A group of gay, lesbian, and transgender people say they “never experienced anything” like the discrimination they were allegedly exposed to while trying to eat at a New Mexico Denny’s. “We noticed [the servers] just kept passing us and never offered us something to drink. Nothing,” an event organizer, Manny Carlos, tells a local news station. After asking when they’d be served, the group says a waitress replied with homophobic slang and called one transgender person at the table a “boy with tits.” At this point, the customers requested the manager, who reportedly said it was time for them to leave.
Denny’s, meanwhile, has a starkly different version of events: The corporate office released a statement that reads, in part, “we value our diverse customer base and are committed to treating all of our guests with dignity and respect,” and they quickly followed that up by saying there’s proof that the location in question was experiencing “2 to 4 times” more business than usual that day, adding that the group — who arrived to eat after a Pride celebration — antagonized staff by calling the restaurant’s phone “over and over” from their table and asking, “Why aren’t you serving us?” The waitress claims that once they got fed up, they were the ones who provoked the situation, calling her “bitch,” among other things.
Carlos and six others have filed a discrimination charge with the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions. They say they want a $20,000 donation to their local Pride group and a public apology.