This was something said to me last week on Facebook, when I said that I was unhappy that a gay couple in East Texas had been thrown out of a restaurant with the remark, “We do not like f**s.”
Big Earl’s restaurant in Pittsburg, Texas reportedly ejected a gay couple for showing too much affection. They have a sign on the door that reads,
Welcome to BIG EARL’S
Where MEN act like MEN
WOMEN act like LADIES
NO SAGGY PANTS
We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.
The owner told a reporter that, “homosexuality, Blacks, and Hispanics are all welcome to eat at [his] restaurant.”
This of course led websites like Huffington Post, Think Progress, and Gay Civil Rights to report on the incident. Because I lived in East Texas for 4 years, I had many friends from college posting about the situation. This restaurant is about a 5-minute drive from the big truck stop where I always stopped for gas on the long drive from Athens, Texas back home to Chicago. It was on a friend’s status that the conversation erupted when he said that the owners of the restaurant were not only homophobic, but racist to boot.
“Gays should know better than to be out in east Texas.”
“Everyone should have the right to be out wherever they live. I’ve lived in Chicago, east Texas, Vancouver, Dublin, and London, and let me tell you — my wife and I have been harassed in every one of those places. It makes no difference how ‘liberal’ you perceive an area to be, discrimination happens just the same. To suggest otherwise is not only disingenuous, but a little deluded.”
I can’t quite find the words for how much I hate the idea that people deserve any discrimination they get if they aren’t living in a “liberal” area. That ideology comes from a very privileged, very narrow world view. For one thing, many people living in rural areas can’t afford to pick up and move across the country. For another, why should we have to? Some people have friends, family, and partners in these places. They shouldn’t have to give up everything they have and relocate to a place where they have no support system.
I wish I could post a screen cap of what was said, but the offending author deleted his comments and blocked everyone involved when the debate began to heat up. It seems that bigotry is best kept in the closet.