New York firefighter faced homophobic abuse for refusing to have sex with a stripper

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Michael Troina alleges he was subjected to a cruel campaign of harassment during his time at the New York Fire Department (FDNY). His colleagues suggested he was a closeted gay man and used much ruder words to express it. Troina says his colleagues “tried to coerce” him go to a strip club and “regularly harassed him by encouraging him to have sex with a stripper.” When he said ‘no’ they started abusing him verbally. The court filing alleges: “[Troina] was singled out time and time again on account of his race and national origin as a Hispanic American male as well as perceived homosexuality … [and] was further threatened with physical violence if he dared to report any incident of battery, harassment or discrimination to the FDNY’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office.” The harassment, said to have begun as initiation or “hazing,” also allegedly included Troina being forced to “eat orange juice” with a fork and being told that “he could not do the job like the other white firefighters” because he was Hispanic.

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