A Facebook post from a lesbian waitress has gone viral for calling out a customer who left a homophobic slur instead of a tip.
Michele Crider had just finished serving two male customers at the Dash-In restaurant in Fort Wayne, Indiana when she discovered that instead of leaving a tip one of the customers had written "I DON'T TIP FAGS" on the top of their receipt.
Michele was taken aback at first but decided not to let the hate get to her and instead decided to call out the customer in a Facebook video that has since received over 700,000 views.
"You know... I just hope this message gets back to this guy," Michele wrote in the caption of the video.
"You sir are a sad excuse for a human."
"I am all about people being entitled to their own opinions," Michele says in the video.
"I would like to say it's ok, but it's not ok."
"The fact that this has just become such an acceptable thing in our country. It doesn't matter whether you are gay, whether you are black, if you have a learning disability; it's OK now to spread that kind of hate. To say those kind of things to people."
"Why did you feel the need, sir, to write that on there," Michele asked.
"If you don't like gay people, then that's whatever. It is what it is. But to just say something like that? Just don't tip me."
Instead of giving into the hate though Michele decided to rise above it, refusing to be defined by her sexuality.
"When you look at me, all you see is a fag. But I need you to know something: I'm a lot more than that."
"I'm a mother. I work my butt off, sir, to pay my bills, to put my son into a good school and pay that tuition."
"I work my butt off to do things like that. I am a 33-year-old woman who is just now able to get on her own two feet and do things on her own."
"And then I have people like you who think it's acceptable to try to knock those people down."
Michele says she was initially upset by the incident but quickly moved past it thanks to her "work family."
"At first I was shocked, my feelings were hurt, and then it went away. Because I work in an amazing place."
Shortly after the incident Michele's coworkers bought her flowers with a card that read:
"We all love you."
The restaurant later released a statement about the incident further supporting Crider.
"On Feburary 19, 2019, one of our customers made a prejudicial comment to one of our employees. The Dash-In prides itself on providing a welcoming, safe haven for customers and employees from all walks of life."
"This incident only strengthens our resolve to be a force of good in our community. We will continue to support those in our extended Dash-In family. We eagerly welcome all those who share these values and can't wait to see you soon."
Michele received a similar outpouring of support on social media from thousands of commenters applauding her courage and her bravery.
But those on social media were not the only ones who stepped up in support of Michele.
The Dash-In's owner Emily Underwood talked to WPTA21 about the flood of encouragement from the local community.
"Today we have been getting lots and lots of phone calls. People dropping off gifts, people dropping off money, wanting to give Michele the tips she deserves, and just people wanting to show their support."
A GoFundMe was also set for Michele to replace the tip she had been stiffed on. The campaign quickly reached its $1000 goal and currently sits at over $6000.
As for the customer, Underwood said she was able to identify on the restaurant's surveillance system and he while no longer be welcome there.
Although Michele chose to rise above the hate she did have a few words for her abusive customer.
"I hope you do not have children, sir. I hope you aren't raising a little human to grow up and be a bigot like you. I feel very, very bad for you."
According to Michele though she wasn't going to let that hatred and bigotry bring her down.
"You didn't win. You're the coward. You're the one who wrote that note. You did not ruin my day by doing this."
As the video ends Michele leaves the customer with one final thought.
"If you want to sit there and you want to spread your hate and you want to say these hateful things, try to understand what it is that you're saying."
"I'm not a fag. I'm a dyke."