A gay single mom whose customers wrote a homophobic slur on their restaurant check is the recipient of a GoFundMe campaign to give her “The tip she deserved.”
Michele Crider, 33, was serving lunch at the Dash-In restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana in late February, particularly to one party that wasn’t friendly. “These two male customers were standoff-ish and I got the feeling they didn’t want to be bothered,” Crider tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
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The men paid for their food very quickly and afterward, Crider saw on the check’s gratuity line, “I don’t tip f**s,” a homophobic slur for gay people.
“It really hurt my feelings, it was so uncalled for,” Crider tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
On Crider’s 25-minute walk home, she was venting on the phone to her 7-year-old son Jax’s mother and decided to make a Facebook video. “I am all about people being entitled to their own opinions…and I would like to say it’s OK. But it’s not OK,” Crider said in her video, which has more than 8 million views.
“…I don’t know what happened to you in your life to make you such a miserable person, but I feel very sorry for you,” said Crider. “I need you to understand that you did not ruin my day by doing this…you didn’t win.”
Strangers started mailing Crider happy greeting cards, floral bouquets, and warm emails, even from Rome and South Africa. And today, Crider is frequently stopped in the grocery store by people, usually parents of gay children, who simply want to embrace the mom.
A man started a GoFundMe that currently has raised almost $8,000. “Michele had two options for how to react after receiving this note,” wrote the petition’s creator. “She could get angry and lash out, try to fight or slander him. But instead, she chose to find as much positivity as she could, and respond in a remarkably tactful and classy way.”
Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to the GoFundMe author but couldn’t reach him for comment.
Crider has explained everything to her inquisitive son. “He’s wanted to know why so many people want to hug me and I said, ‘I ran into a few bullies and they didn’t like my clothes and hair.'”
“People have asked whether I could forgive the customer and my answer is yes,” Crider tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “No one is perfect. He did a crappy thing but we still have humanity in common.”
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