Rich Ware, who works in PR, was at the Spar on Patmos Road, near the popular LGBTI area of Vauxhall, south London, at around 10pm on Wednesday 7 September. He said that workers gave him flirty looks and one of them was singing homophobic swear word in a high voice. ‘I just turned to him a said “yeah, really funny”. He just laughed at me and carried on. I said “hilarious”, and they both laughed at me. I paid quickly and rushed out pretty stunned by the whole thing,’ the man said. In the two weeks since the incident took place, Spar claimed they were investigating the veracity of the complaint. But now, the regional manager for the area has apologized to Ware.
Ware said that he was very angry but it would unlikely lead to a legal charge: ‘The problem is much bigger than those two guys. Awareness and education is important. They should definitely be reprimanded, but I think proper diversity training programs and education at work is important – especially for big customer-facing companies,’ he added. ‘Maybe I’m being too sympathetic. If this was racist abuse I’d have no hesitation in saying they should be fired. The sad thing is that when it happens a part of you thinks “well, there are bound to be straight guys who don’t like gays”. As if that is OK!’ He also said absolutely will not be going to that grocery store again. I absolutely won’t go back to that Spar. I hate to admit it but I’d actually be too embarrassed that they’d be there. So, they’ve lost a customer.’