Starbucks Update… Part 1

It’s been less than 30 hours since we posted about the incident at Starbucks. 

The post has over 200 comments, has received over 15,000 views.  It’s been Tweeted, Facebooked, and blogged at least 6 degrees of stranger-dom.  People who aren’t even friends of friends are finding links on their Facebooks and Twitters and reaching out.  On the official Starbucks Twitter, this post just appeared “@Starbucks: If you read a blog post about a NY store, we are concerned and are looking into it. We have a zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”  I have received an email from corporate trying to set up a phone call with Missy (which should be taking place soon).  And we’ve received 2 requests for media (news) interviews.

We will definitely keep everyone updated with the progress, but in the meantime…

Thank you to everyone who cared enough to reach out an comment, Tweet, and share the link.  I am so proud of my wife, Missy for taking a stand against an injustice to a complete stranger.  But I am also so pleased that people out there Care!

Keep sharing, because the first step to change is awareness.

So thanks to everyone, Starbucks has heard us loud and clear.  I only hope that appropriate action follows.

This is for Jeffrey.  And this is for everyone who has faced injustice and humilation without the back-up the deserved.

Keep checking back on the blog for further updates.  (And add our Facebook page for notifications of updates).

*edited to add* The first news article about this has been brought to my attention: http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2011/06/14/18281786.html

And we just found a second article: http://outspokennyc.com/shoutout/starbucks-employees-accused-of-homophobia

*edit 3:55PM* Starbucks has issued an official response to our letter: http://www.starbucks.com/blog/our-dedication-to-embrace-diversity/1035?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=rep

*Edit* 9:30PM – more articles!

http://www.metroweekly.com/news/last_word/2011/06/starbucks-looks-into-gay-mans.html

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/14/woman-complains-of-homophobic-rant-at-starbucks

http://www.outwesttv.org/2011/06/brewing-hate-starbucks-manager-is.html

Picked up by a Seattle news station: http://www.kirotv.com/news/28239524/detail.html

You can follow us on Twitter: dana_rubyfruit

Posted on June 14, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 116 Comments.

  1. Missy’s letter was extremely well written. I’m so glad that Starbucks got back to you two and that there has been overwhelming support.

  2. Excellent news. Accolades to you both for handling this in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

  3. Awesome! Glad they are taking note and doing something about it!

  4. Happy to hear, looking forward to seeing if they actually do anything with it..

  5. MARVELOUS NEWS!!!!!

    Thanks to you both for shining the light on this matter! <3

  6. I just arrived here and read the post. I can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing — for Jeffrey and for anybody and everybody who faces discrimination. That kind of attitude and behavior has to end.

    Thanks again.

    Sincerely,

    Pam @writewrds

  7. So pleased they did….your wife should go round places like that and write about them, like an online panorama!! Will keep linked into you guys so i know when i can go back to Starbucks!!tehe! and not untill they make it up, if possible, to that lovely poor man. Well done you guys xxxx

  8. fantastic! Friends of mine shared this many times on facebook and I’m glad it has reached out to as many people it has…and it’s just going to keep on going!

  9. I kicked it through to both fannish and SCA circles, local to that store last night. Lets hope this gets results, (and we can find Jeffrey).

  10. More importantly I hope corporate tries to set up a meeting with Jeffrey!
    Good luck Missy!

  11. Awesome! I really hope that Jeffrey is able to see what has happened and hopefully be able to have some faith in humanity once again. We’re not all ignorant intolerant pigs.

  12. I’m glad that Starbucks has gotten back to you so quickly about this. One of my exes worked at a Starbucks out here on the Left Coast, and from what I learned from her, this is NOT how the average Starbucks employee behaves (referring to the manager/catty Baristas, of course, not Jefferey!) ! While I’m not a Starbucks customer (I just don’t like their coffee or their environment), I approve of how they treat their employees in general… even their part-timers… Just not what this “Manager” pulled. And I’m very glad that this incident can’t be swept under the rug at this point. Starbucks should look at this as a lesson on how NOT to behave, and possibly screen their potential managers a little more carefully for attitudes like hers. This is the 21st century, people! Aren’t we all supposed to be past this crap now?

  13. Reading about the incident left my jaw hanging open. I don’t know if Jeffrey will ever want to work at Starbucks again, but I hope he finds a place where he is welcome just as he is.

    And bravo, Missy, for your extremely well-written letter. I’m glad Starbucks is taking it seriously.

  14. I’m so glad that the word is spreading, and that Starbucks is taking action. I hope that Jeffrey is okay. I hope he knows that so many are on his side.

  15. I just want to say on behalf of everyone who has endured even remotely what Jeffery had gone through. Thank you Missy for stepping up and saying, This is not acceptable!. Not enough people stand up for the people around them who need it. Too many people say, don’t get involved, or, it’s none of our business. It warms my heart to know that people out there DO care. I love you all for it.

  16. I need to follow your blog now! LOL I hope Jeffrey is re-hired and/or put in another store to work!

  17. I’d kind of like to know what Jeffrey has to say to all this

  18. Just saw your story after Starbucks posted their response on Facebook. So glad they are doing the right thing – good for both of you for standing up for what is right!

  19. I love so many things about this story:
    (1) That social media can spread stories like this so quickly, which makes them effective agents of change (from flagging bigoted corporate managers to Middle Eastern revolutions)
    (2) That Starbucks got back to you (which, given the coverage of the original blog post, would have been stupid not to)
    (3) That people care enough about other people and civil rights in general to take the time and energy to follow-up on this.

    This story has officially made my day. Three cheers, to Missy & her family (who are probably raising a spectacular daughter, from the sounds of it), Jeffrey, everyone else who has faced discrimination and everyone who has worked to change it. x

  20. This is why I love the internet of today.

  21. I work at Starbucks. I can’t believe a manager would act like this in front of customers or even in the cafe area for that matter! She, and her employees, will hopefully be out pounding the pavement for a new job. In the letter it sounds like Jeffrey was a shift manager since she asked for the keys.
    I found out about this through their Starbucks Partner’s page on FB. So they are letting everyone know this is not tolerated.

  22. This is fantastic news! I just email blasted a bunch of LI newspapers and news ch 12 in LI LOL

  23. BRAVO! You are an inspiration!

  24. Here’s hoping that they do what’s right. I’m glad your wife had the stones to stand up for Jeffrey.

  25. The world needs more people like you two. Thank you so much for speaking up. I think my faith in humanity has been restored, just a little bit, knowing that there are still decent people in this world. <3

  26. Any news about Jeffrey, since he is the real victim in all of this! Gods, I would have to fight myself not to lash out violently towards their behavior against a Brother of mine!

  27. I can’t say that I support being gay, but I am unwaveringly opposed to any behavior which discriminates against any person because of who they are. It’s sad this kind of ignorance is still so widely accepted, but I applaud you for standing up against injustice and saying something!

  28. Cara Gundersen

    I’m so glad that Starbucks has at the very least acknowledged this. For the record, after I read the initial blog two hours ago, I printed it and took a drive (I live in the town where this occurred). I got the name and contact info for the district manager, emailed her a link to the post and then called her and asked her to check her email. I also shared this on Facebook on my own wall and the walls of the ACLU, Proud Ally and Give A Damn Campaign. It WILL be addressed.

  29. I’m teary eyed at work reading the initial letter and the updates. What a great example your are to your daughter and to all people on how to do the right thing, and show each other respect. Thank you. You’ve truly touched my heart.

  30. Emily Meister

    That took a lot of courage to write to Starbucks. I too am a big follower, fan, groupie etc of Starbucks, my husband makes fun of me for my daily trip for my coffee. Any discrimination regardless of the location, should be noted and stopped. I hope Starbucks does something to correct this not just for Jeffrey, but for anyone else in the company that is in his shoes.

  31. Here is another news article with an interesting comment at the bottom: the poster claims to know the “real” situation.

  32. Please BE AWARE that Starbucks’ primary interest in “interviewing” Missy is to cover its own ass — i.e., to get documented testimony on the record from her that, should she later amplify her recollections or is interviewed by a lawyer representing Jeffrey (because, with you as witness, he certainly has a case) will enable them to impeach her testimony.

    Whether or not they discipline the other employee, and even if, at a corporate level, they embrace GLBT equality, their primary interest in talking to Missy is self-interest. If you want to help Jeffrey, don’t talk to Starbucks about the specifics of what she observed and overheard without a lawyer (preferably his) present.

  33. I hope that after the investigation into this heinous situation, the Manager and all those who behaved in such a disgusting manner are terminated immediately. I hope that Jeffrey finds a company to work for that treats him with respect and dignity.

  34. Your daughter should be proud to have two extremely intelligent and caring parents. I wish my parents were as wonderful as you two!

  35. I am a partner at Starbucks and am horrified to have read your letter and the events that happened to a fellow partner! I have e-mailed your blog to all of my coworkers and support the stand you’re taking. I’m only nineteen, but Starbucks is the best company I have ever worked for. I have been trained by partners striving for professionalism, with constant awareness of customer perspective, and with open values and views that match those of the company. I hate to hear that my own experiences have not been matched at other locations, and that another store could have strayed so far from the overall mission of Starbucks partners. I have faith that Papa Starbucks will make the best effort to set things right.

  36. (Rt. Rev. Dr.) Adrian G Tremayne, D.D.

    People are often dismissed from employment for things which have nothing to do with their job, and often those dismissals are performed by the manager or HR person making it known that the employee “should leave rather than risk being fired”. It usually involves veiled threats and takes place away from any customers or other employees so that if the person doesn’t leave, the person trying to force them out has no witnesses against them. Then, if the employee complains, it becomes an “incident” in their file that can be used against them to actually fire them.

    To have a “manager” act this way in public, says she thinks she’s speaking from a position of “moral superiority” and that most people would agree with her if asked. That she and her friends continued to attack the employee after the employee was no longer present, but while they were still in public, says she and her friends feel they would not be adversely affected by their opinions when it came to the general community and corporate attitudes and beliefs.

    I am very glad that when the matter was brought to the attention of the corporation and the American people, it was condemned. Such behavior is appalling in any case – that it involved a personal attack on the employee in public, with expectation of public support, is even more heinous.

    Thank you , Missy, for bringing this to public attention with publication of the letter you wrote, and than you to my fellow American citizens for responding so quickly and emphatically on behalf of the wronged employee.

  37. I don’t know either of you – but I wanted to thank you for stepping up. Too often we all look the other way when things are uncomfortable or unpleasant. No one should have to work in a hostile workplace. Starbucks has a great reputation for their diversity and benefits policy; friends of mine who have worked for the company have nothing but praise for the environment (both at the corporate and the store levels). Still, if the company doesn’t know a problem exists, it can’t fix it – right? So thanks again, and your daughter is lucky to have such great role models for parents!

  38. I found you through Starbuck’s FB page. Thank you for standing up for something that seems so very inappropriate. I’m glad you did and I’m glad SB responded.

  39. Thank you for taking the stand that has shown Jeffery, Starbuck’s, your daughter, and John Q. Public that we do not stand alone. Discrimination is an ugly beast and change started with one voice.

  40. Jhon Centurri

    RIGHT ON! This is how things get changed in our world. I fully support this movement to end homophobia at Starbuck’s.

  41. I have witnessed this type of bigotry in the workplace, too. I once worked for a high end store with two wonderful gay men–both of whom were managers, consistently top salesmen in the company, and yet continued to be passed over as the company grew, opened new stores and added general managers (one person they were passed over for turned out to be embezzling and is now in prison).
    In addition, these two men–and again, each had their own customers who repeatedly asked for them by name when looking at/for the item(s) in which the company specialized–never received invitations to any management parties. A few times a year the owner of the company held parties for his management team and personnel who worked in his office. I was in personnel, received invitations, but never attended the parties. These men had been there for over a decade and here I was, a new employee, being invited to parties they should have been invited to as well. Disgraceful.
    Though both men had the respect of nearly all subordinates, there was a clear line of division between the owner, the general manager and a few other managers and employees. I personally heard derogatory remarks made to each by both the owner and GM. It was terrible to witness, I’m so glad to be gone from there, and I’ve learned that since my departure one of the two men (with whom I still maintain a friendship) left the company and is doing quite well in another business. It’s surprising to me that despite this attitude from the powers that be, the amount of respect for the two men from other employees of the company seemed to remain pretty strong.
    I don’t understand why this continues–politically, socially, in business or in any other manner. How can a person think these are acceptable ways to treat another human being? Why is “anti-gay marriage” seen as a positive political platform? Why do I seem to see so many people who are jobless and barely putting food on the table spend time worrying about other peoples’ relationships? And more importantly, how can they spend time worrying about other peoples’ relationships? How can someone who is supposed to be a professional act in such a manner that is so full of disrespect and even anger?
    I hope more voices are heard from the gay community and supporters of the gay community; that one day SOON as a society we will realize that putting energy into lifting people up instead of tearing them down is much easier and more fulfilling. Everyone of age in this country should have equal rights, whether it means marrying the one you love, serving your country, or freedom of speech–meaning if employees are friendly and/or engaging in conversation about life at home with a loved one, whose right is it to point to someone and tell him or her not to engage because the loved one is of the same sex? Trust me, there are people you’re working with right now who would much rather hear about that than your daughter’s tennis lessons, your sister’s divorce, your son’s little league play-by-play, insert-personal-story-you-deem-important here. Be careful before you start deciding it’s time to vote someone off the island; it could be you who goes first.

  42. Thank you so much for coming out with this story, I am really hopeing for a good resolution. my life-partner is a starbucks employee. I would like to personally ask that you be careful how you let the media spin this. Some media-heads will rip a good company to shreds on one bad employees actions :/ Make sure they know the good if it comes as well as the bad.

  43. As I was told in the military: “Praise in public, criticize in private.” No matter what happens here the HR person or manager should have handled this matter in the back room, not in front of customers. I hope Jeffrey gets his job back and the others are disciplined. Thank you for doing this.

  44. So glad that they have responded and things are moving forward. Hoping that Starbucks does the right thing…

  45. Good for you for writing the letter and not letting this go. I feel so bad for Jeffery and hope that his career is not hurt by this unfortunate incident.

  46. Excellent news!!! I’m glad to hear this! I linked to your site from a certain website forum that I love ( a great site for workers to vent their frustrations) and read the letter which both surprised and angered me at how Jeffrey was treated. If it were myself hearing something like that in any Starbucks or retail store I certainly wouldn’t remain quiet.
    I just hope those three workers are fired and not transfered to other locations.

  47. I have to say I was impressed by Missy’s letter. Bravo.

    Hey, maybe they can put Jeffrey in charge of that branch, eh?

  48. Well done. Stay strong.

  49. Let me preface my remarks by saying I am a straight, married male living in New York, although not on Long Island.

    Had I been in the store when this incident occurred, I would have had no problem making it known that whatever Jeffery’s transgressions might have been, handling the situation in view and earshot of customers was the wrong way to go about it. To then continue in the manner that Missy’s letter indicates AFTER Jeffrey was removed from the scene is unconscionable. I would have immediately insisted the district or area manager be called, or given a number to call myself, so I could make my concerns known. From the sounds of it, the “manager” would probably have called the police to have me removed, but I would not be leaving without that person KNOWING there was going to be repercussions.

    I will follow this story until it’s conclusion, and I will be sharing information on facebook and Twitter. I am also expecting to see this hit mainstream news media once both sides of the story have been investigated. 60 Minutes, anyone?

  50. Missy’s letter was so well articulated that I thought I was reading an article in a magazine. Always best to attack a topic like this with class and she did just that. I have to say, you’re better than I, because I’m not sure I could’ve left there without addressing these people. As a mom, my instinct is to pounce and protect but it doesn’t always produce the most constructive results. I applaud you. I’m from the Seattle are living in NYC for quite some time now and I assure you, I have faith that my fellow seattlites will make this right!

  51. I’m impressed that Starbucks actually included the link to your original blog post in their release.

  52. This both saddens and sickens me. I find it hard to believe that anybody who has been placed in a managers position could ever justify the sort of unprofessional firing of an employee. First off they fired him for an illegal reason, they fired him unprofessionally on the floor in front of customers, and was a horrible sounding manager anyway to be that hypocritical.

    I hear stories like this and I hate the companies attached to them.. I hope that the company will change its tune fast because I spend considerable money on their MO sales.

  53. As a flaming heterosexual :) I too, would have been appalled by what transpired. I’m sure Missy felt it on a more personal level, being gay. I just want to reach out to tell you that in the fight against homophobia, you are not alone. It is abhorant that, in our supposedly enlightened age, people are so intolerant. Just know that there are more of us in the straight world who speak out against homophobia every day. We are no longer content to “let you fight your own battles” because these biased and judgemental people are more vile and undesirable than any gay they attack. I wish I could hug Missy for her eloquent support of a fellow human being, and I wish I could give Jeffrey a double hug! I hope wherever his career takes him, he rises to the top so he can fire all fluff-headed twits who pass themselves off as superior. They are in for a rude awakening along the way.

  54. I’m so happy for what you did. You may have just saved that kid from himself and for that, you’re awesome.

    My question is, did the “manager” have sort of a southern accent? Maybe 50? A former supervisor of mine, who now works for that Starbucks, used to regularly announce her opposition to my “life of decadence” as she called it. She was a total bigot, one who gives good christians a bad name. She pushed her politics and beliefs on everyone and we walked on eggshells when we saw her ar pull in.

    I know that she’s not just a store manager but a regional or branch manager, and I’m really curious to know if it was her. If so, I’d like to write them myself letting them know that this is not an isolated incident, but a true attribute of her character.

    Please email me if its easier, but ill be checking back here anyway.
    And again, thank you so much for what you did. From me and my family of totally average Americans, who happen to be gay.

  55. I’m an experienced business manager (20 years) and I’ve managed all sorts of people. I’m also a lesbian in a 27 year relationship, and we have a 14 year old. It sounds to me like everybody in that Starbuck’s was spending too much time yapping and not enough time working. In my experience, when conflict like that happens, it’s because people don’t have enough to do. Little personality issues take root and the next thing you know you have a bon fire. No doubt the people involved including the HR Person absolutely sucked. They are the worst kind of manager. If the issue of yapping to much when they should’ve been working had been dealt with initially, the entire issue would not have turned into such an embarassment to the company. My opinion does not excuse what happened … but peel back the layers. It was screwed up long before anybody got homophobic. I said this in the previous post on this blog … all it takes is one BAD MANAGER to make an employee’s life hell.

  56. Considering the training that goes into Starbucks employees, I find it difficult to believe that there’s not tacit support for this sort of behavior. I’m not so sure that Starbucks is sorry that this happened, but I’m quite sure that they are very sorry that it’s being publicized.

    I think I’ll avoid them in favor of Dunkin Donuts in the future.

  57. Well done. A beautiful letter. I’m off to read all the links now.

    I found you through a link>link>link etc.

  58. I think “checkyourfacts” will end up being “witnessforclaimant”.

  59. Good news! Thank you for your letter and dedication to spread the word about this ridiculous discrimination. I hope Jeffrey learns how many people really care!’”

  60. Thank you for not just witnessing an intolerable act but for acting.

  61. Were the manger and the other employees who participated in the rant fired? It seems like that would the only way to rectify this problem if Starbucks truly believes in a zero tolerance for discrimination.

  62. Thank you for standing up for Jeffrey and for informing Starbucks. It’s people like you that make this world a better place.

  63. Well i am indeed at least if not more than 6 degrees from strangerdom!

    Tell you wife this stranger thinks she is awesome. Not just for biting her tongue so she could hear the entirety of what is going on. It was more valuable that way. I would have stepped in and that would not have been as beneficial. the thing that really made this was what she heard after he left. That;s a good lesson to learn.

    so thank you for hugging him and especially thank you for going the extra mile to write.

    I am a fat person. A large and lovely gal and proud of it I have experienced the usual persecution which comes along with it. When i hear it get’s better. I always wonder, when?

    only through people doing something like this whenever there is an incident regardless of the reason will it get better.

    thank you.

    • So, Susan, I know where you’re coming from. A few weeks ago, I was talking sympathetically to a man I met at a bar who’d just quit his job because he hated his boss. He was also depressed because a 20 year relationship had ended a few years before and he said he couldn’t get past the pain. After awhile, we were having a really nice time and his spirits were definitely lifted from when he came in. Then we went to another bar and he ordered drinks on my credit card (since I had to give it to the waitress a card for us to have a tab). When I tried to collect the money for his drinks, he told me he couldn’t pay for his drinks. That was upsetting, but I figured okay, it’s not the end of the world for me to pay $20 to help someone when they’regarding down. But it got worse. When I stopped buying him drinks, he started buying his own drinks. When I confronted him that he told me he couldn’t pay for his drinks but then bought one, he called me a fat fucking bitch and was nastier than you can believe for the rest of the time he was at the bar. I was nothing but nice to him. Anyone can use fat people for target practice. You just have to realize it’s their problem. This guy was gay but the only reason I’d mention it is because you’d think someone who’d been discriminated against would be more compassionate, but just because someone has been discriminated against doesn’t mean they will never discriminate against others. There’s a lot of angry, hurt, and sometimes mean people in the world. But that’s not me, and probably not you. Anyone can lose weight but it’s impossible to lose a lousy personality. Remember that!

  64. penny trindle

    I am a 54 year old woman who just came out over the last couple of years,i.I Also am An Individual Of Diversity In That I Do Have A Condition Of Bipolar Disorder And Though I’m Stable Most All Of The Time I Do Experience Still Despite Medication And Keeping And Maintaining My Other Obligations To A State That Is Balanced And Healthy As Possible There Are Times When Despite My Best Efforts Things Just Show Up Right In Front Of ME And Out To The Public Eye.Whether It’s My Mild To Moderate Syptomology Or Someone’s Ignorance And Sometimes Deliberate Acts Of Bigotry,Prejudice,Injustice and Outing Me For Some Find Or Other Kind Of Incapable,Dangerous Threat For Their Own I’ll Gotten Gain To Elevate Themselves Out And Above Their Otherwise Inadequate State Of Personal Awareness And Responsibility For Their Own Behaviors ,Actions,And Words That Can Do And Have Had Serious Consequences In My Own Life Experience.My Point Here Is As Yours That Despite The Diversity,Alternative Lifestyle And Or Other Minority or Diverse Choices Or Natural Biolocic and Genetic Race,Religion,Gender,Creed,Or Just Human In A Human Driving World We Do Need To Support And Uplift One Another And No Forget To TAKE notice,Take Time And Take Our Own Strength,Courage,And Action To Evolve And Uphold For Ourselves And Society As A Whole To Take The Higher Road And See The Gifts In Each And All Of Us As They Are Within Not Outside And Beyond Our Being Human And For Humanity,Equality,Balance,Life And Support One another From Our Highest Potential Into Our Highest Most Greatest Good…Thank You

  65. It amazes me that with cell phone cameras, and everything being so viral that a manager would actually do this in public. Also doesn’t Starbucks have cameras? I am sure there is videotape of Jefferey being berated and the women talking about him once he went to the bathroom. All of this would help Missy’s claims and possibly get these terrible women removed from their jobs. I for one am surprised Jeffrey hasn’t posted on here as of yet. I wonder how he feels about all of this. I also will follow this story and see what happens. I applaud you for making this public.

  66. WOW, I commend you for “not not saying anything and letting it happen” it is people like you who make a difference in the world, though it may be small, but small is all we want sometimes, that little bit of courage to stand up for what it is…Is what is lacking so much in the country. Again Thank You for helping this young man in the way you have, I know he will Never forget it.

  67. It causes me pain to read about this encounter and relief that someone chose to speak up about it. This is important. This.. needs to be said. Progression takes a very long time. And i’m happy you handled the situation as you did.. With grace, dignity and vulnerability. It was beautiful really.. no wonder your wife is so proud of you :) You chose a path, not like theirs. You chose not to brutalize but to be sizzle out hate with compassion. Hate begets hate.. As compassion begets compassion which is all this inspired for me. So thank you for choosing to be a lovely being, even in darkness.

    My mother always said “Kill ‘em with kindness.”

  68. It sounds like you are seeking attention Missy… WTF. if he flaunted his gayness, that is inappropriate and uncomfortable. It is not that he is gay but if he flaunts it, well he should be taught not to.

    • And I suppose if someone tells you not to kiss your significant other, not to hold hands, not to hug her in public, not to speak of her as part of your life, then you’ll accept that and go along? After all, you shouldn’t be flaunting your sexuality like that – it’s rude, don’t you know!

      Missy, thank you – for standing up against bullying, for not just being a bystander who makes the problem worse by just letting it go and saying nothing, and for doing it in a manner that was calm, rational, and cannot just be dismissed as “ranting”.

    • God knows, we wouldn’t want to make Mike uncomfortable. Why in the hell do people like Mike assume that their comfort is more important that Jeffery’s or anyone else’s? Mike simply and blindly assumes that he is superior to those around him and the “gays” should keep silent so he won’t be inconvenienced or even worse, have to think. What a pitiful way to live one’s life.

    • The problem is that to some people, just admitting to having a boyfriend is enough to consider it flaunting.

      Hell, admitting to anything other than standard missionary with the spouse.. .straight-and-narrow-minded is “flaunting” to some people.

      Although I’m always amused by the people who encourage, even initiate conversation about my being bisexual, polyamorous, and kinky… then sneer when a man mentions his boyfriend. Why is it okay for me but not him?

    • If someone wants to truly flaunt their gayness, they can do it on their own time. But if they want to flaunt it at work, they should get a job where that is encouraged. Most places of work do not encourage and will not tolerate any overt expressions of sexuality or public displays of affection, whether straight or gay.

  69. Props to all who have shown support in this issue. I think the greater message here is that it is NOT okay to treat a LGBT (or anybody really) employee any different from any other employee anywhere, anytime! COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION COMMUNICATION is key.

  70. I hope Starbucks will do the right thing. Thank you Missy for standing up to injustice!

    Lindsay

  71. christian figueroa

    My husband is also a starbucks devotee.. I’m following this closely and have passed it on thru facebook.
    Thank you!

  72. That made me cry just reading it. I cannot imagine how this man felt. I would imagine that these horrible women at Starbucks will be standing in the unemployment line soon. Kudos to Starbucks for their response! It renews my hope that each one of CAN make a difference.

  73. Thank you for doing this. For being courageous. For standing up for a stranger because it was the right thing to do. Hopefully Jeffrey knows by now that he has more friends than he ever imagined.

  74. A friend of mine always sends me articles like this and I pass tem on to my friends on Facebook. There is no reason for this kind of behavior in this day and age. I feel so sorry for Jeffrey and I hope thaqt he has found a job where people are more civilized!

  75. Thanks for the update Dana! I just told my best friend in the world about this and we are both straight female advocates of the LGBTQ community and when I told her what happened she was shocked and thought I needed to email Starbucks. I told her I didn’t need to as they had already replied and were going to investigate this incident. I too work in the service and hospitality industry and couldn’t believe that those creatures didn’t notice anybody around them. I have shared this on my facebook and even emailed her all of my responses and replies to that Jason character and to a couple of haters. I am sad that your daughter had to overhear such bigotry. As I said to my dearest friend, Jeff handled it with a lot more class than the three creatures did.

  76. glad to see the letter got the response from star bucks it should be getting and Jeff should be really happy that he has a new friend in Missy for willing to not stand by and let what happen to him go with out any thing done about hope star bucks does the right thing . like either send the co workers who did this to jeff either to some senitivity training or maybe to new jobs. and also state star bucks will not tolorate that type of behavior ever.

  77. Eltone Johnne

    I’m confused. Are you saying there are straight people working at Starbucks? Any of the Baristas working where I live would dispel this myth in one visit.
    What’s the problem? The guy probably got fired for cause. Your wife should mind her own business.

    • According to her letter, Missy was sitting at a table in the cafe when the manager and other employees carried on at the table next to her. It doesn’t matter what the cause was, the matter should have been handled in private, NOT two feet away from a customer, on the sales floor. The Manager/HR person acted extremely unprofessionally and should be held accountable.

      Regardless of reason for dismissal, employees are due respect and consideration and, if Missy’s recollection of the event is true (I personally have no doubt of her veracity) then Jeffrey was afforded neither. THAT’s the problem. Perhaps you could see it for yourself if your own judgement wasn’t clouded by homophobia.

  78. Bless you both!!! I live in rural Louisiana, and hear comments like this frequently when I am out and about. Unfortunately, I cannot come out or I would lose my employment, and the only means I have to support my adopted son and his wife and my one year old grandson.

    Just wanted to salute your courage, its people like you who make me proud to be gay. Knowing that there are persons like you in the world makes it a much warmer place.

  79. I think it’s fabulous. Hopefully Starbucks does the right thing.
    And I’d love to find Jeffrey and give him a hug.
    Wonderful of you to stand up for him.

  80. I hope someone reaches out to Jeffery, to let him know that he is loved! It scares me to think, that he may not even be aware, and may be very depressed. I hope someone reaches out to him to let him know in case he considers something drastic like Tyler Clementi did a while back!

  81. Thanks for being so kind to Jeffrey and writing about what you saw. We must not be silent when we see injustice.

  82. This is exactly why we need to encourage our members of Congress to pass the ENDA bills currently in committee in both houses. No group of people in this country should be discriminated against for simply being who they are. We can not have a truly equal society until this sort of treatment, especially in the workplace ends. Good luck to Jeffery and I applaud you and your spouse for acting on what she witnessed.

  83. So proud of all the attention this is getting. Thank you to you and Missy for posting the letter.

  84. What a truly heartbreaking experience. I’m sorry that anybody had to go through that… but kinda glad that Jeffrey’s flogging took place in public, honestly. If not, this would have just ended with his employment.
    I am always grateful whenever I hear of someone who’s willing to stand up for another, for what’s right.
    It’s sad your daughter had to witness such a disgusting tirade. Our oldest daughter is three; she might not understand what was happening, but she’d clearly catch the tone. I guess I’m a silver lining kinda girl, because I think this whole event will make the people who perpetrated the evil will learn they can’t get away with it. So, too, will others who hear about this through any of the various media outlets (I don’t know which one I came here from, but none of the ones in your list looked familiar).
    Clearly I could go on an on about this. I’ll wrap it up and just say thank you, both of you.

  85. You’re on Gawker now… your story is now truly national. Glad to hear that there has been some sort of resolution to this.

  86. Wow – I am completely overwhelmed by the support for Jeffery, Thanks for bringing this situation to attention, and going viral with it – That lady should be fired, and Starbucks better step up!

  87. thanks for doing this! I grew up in Centereach and was disappointed but not surprised to hear this happened there.

  88. I’m glad Jeffrey (and your family) don’t live here in Nashville TN. Our new Republican governor just repealed a law that says you cannot descriminate against gays. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110612/NEWS03/110612031/Group-sue-over-repeal-gay-nondiscrimination-law

  89. Brava, Missy! I admire your calm, cool approach to the situation. Your letter will do much more good than my screaming at the “manager” and her cronies would have done. Jeffrey is lucky you were there to witness this abomination.

  90. Starbuck’s response of “We’re looking into it” simply isn’t enough. That’s HR Speak for “Yeah, whatever . . . ” Enough of that garbage, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Until they publicly show that the manager and two other intollerant employees are no longer in a position to repeat this incident, I endorse the idea of a boycott. Dollars speak.

  91. Joseph Cookie Fields

    I, too, am a loyal Starbucks drinker and I am surprised to hear about this. I live in Seattle on Capital Hill which is the “gay” neighborhood, however, Seattle is such a liberal place all over the city. That may be why this story is sooooo surprising to me because I have blinders on because of where I live. I am glad Missy stepped up….you go girl! Thanks for being mediocre enough to make a difference! Holla, boo!

  92. It was extremely unprofessional of the woman to reprimand or fire an employee in front of customers for any reason, and her conduct was indefensible. However, you only saw the end scene. I’ve worked with several gay men who have been very explicit about their actual sexual activities at work, to the point where I had to say, they needed to cut it out because the supervisors would fire them if they heard the comments. Some of the gay men who behave this way may just not realize how inappropriate it is and others may know, but engage in this type of inappropriate behavior in the workplace purely for the shock value. I’ve never heard gay men talk to straight men about their sexual activities, but they will talk to straight women. (I know plenty of other gay men who are totally discreet and do not disclose details of their sexual encounters so please don’t think I’m of the opinion that all gay men are guilty of this kind of inappropriate behavior in the workplace.) I’m not saying Jeffrey behaved like some of these men have, but if he did, I can understand why those women at Starbucks finally couldn’t take it anymore. One person’s discussion of their personal life may be harmless while another’s may be well, far too personal for work. You only saw the explosion at the end, and because you’re gay, you automatically interpreted the woman as being homophobic and Jeffrey as totally blameless. Well, I beg you to consider that perhaps there may be another side to this story you didn’t witness. Maybe Jeffrey is one of those shock value gays who tell too much and push the envelope, and she just couldn’t take it anymore. Again, whatever she had to say to Jeffrey should’ve been done in private and anti-gay remarks should never have been said. For her unprofessional conduct, she should be fired. I’m just not so sure she’s as much of a major homophobe as you may think.

  93. I am gratified to know that this post exposing homophobia has made Starbucks listen, maybe. I applaud the courage you showed by speaking your truth. I affirm everything you said. I affirm your right to say it. I pray peace and a knowing, to Jeffrey and all others who suffer prejudice and injustice, that there are those of us who want the prejudice and injustice to end, who work to end it, who stand in solidarity with your constitutional right to the pursuit of happiness.

  94. What D Ellis Phelps said, I totally second!

  95. Harry Coverston

    Fantastic that you were able to both bring this issue to consciousness and to draw a definitive statement (and hopefully action to match) from Starbucks. But I am even more indebted to you that you took the time to affirm a young man who was just trashed by stupid, self-focused people with power over him. The world needs more random acts of compassion like that. Thank you for taking that one small step to make the world a better place.

  96. It warms my heart to know that so many people care. Its not about card caring gay rights,with in your face gay attitude.its about everyones right to a safe working enviorment.We all should be able to talk about our personal lives,not just a few.I would to think that I can say I had a great weekend with my partner without anyone snearing.

  97. Jeffrey, I hope you’re reading these comments. I’m flat-out horrified at what happened to you. I hope those snotty little jerks have a quick dose of karma coming to them. What is it about humans that make us love to judge others who are different? Whether it’s sexuality, weight, economic status… that kind of bullying is the worst of us. I hope Jeffrey that you get to experience some of what is the best about people, and very soon. ((hugs))

  98. Leapin' Leopard

    Ms. Allison responded in a truly first class manner by simply observing and not interrupting what turned out to be an extremely unfortunate incidence of ‘moral superiority induced homophobia’. Acts such as that of the employees should NEVER GO UNCHALLENGED. It is only by confronting ignorance and darkness that they are eventually dispelled.

    My heart and mind go out to Jeffrey and wish him well in all his future endeavors! There is a MUCH better job just waiting for him!
    and: kudos to all the posters here who supported the actions of Ms. Allison and Jeffrey as well. ‘Consciousness is its’ own reward’.

  99. Very apropo (written by a German pastor after WWII)
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me–
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.
    Martin Niemöller

    WE MUST SPEAK OUT AGAINST BIGOTRY OF ALL KINDS
    “One person with courage makes a majority”

  100. Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    tell you I truly enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that
    deal with the same subjects? Appreciate it!

  101. I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout
    of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

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