FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A Fort Wayne server's video on Facebook has gone viral with more than 20,000 shares.
Michele Crider posted the video Tuesday after two men left her a note containing a homophobic slur in place of a tip.
You can view the whole video here. Warning: This video contains language some people may find inappropriate.
"I just welled up with tears. That just genuinely hurt my feelings," Michele Crider said.
Crider is a mother and walks to work at Dash-In every day. She happens to also be openly gay.
Crider said she works every day with two other parents to give their son a good life.
"His father is an amazing guy and has such a strong family bond with his family, which is something that myself and his biological mother did not have, so he's just getting all the love," she said.
Crider said the two men at the table were acting weird the entire time.
"It was a very short interaction with these men and as fast as I dropped the check off, is as fast as the put money in and just left."
Despite some social media users questioning the validity of Criders story, she says she sticks by it.
"Especially with what's going on with the celebrity that just got caught in a lie, which I think is appalling. That is horrible. You should never do something like that," she said.
But, as Crider said in her video, she isn't letting bigotry get her down.
"You didn't, sir. You didn't win. You're the coward. You're the one who wanted to write that note."
The Dash-In family immediately came together and got her flowers, and took to social media to show support.
They also released the following statement:
On February 19, 2019, one of our customers made a prejudicial and
homophobic comment about one of our employees. The comment was written
on a receipt so the employee and our staff didn’t see the note until
after the customer had left.
Everyone at the Dash-In had the same initial reaction: we were shocked
and saddened that someone would intentionally be so hurtful. Our
restaurant, and Fort Wayne, as a community has always been a friendly
place. We were devastated. Soon after Michele posted her video calling
this incident to light, we were quickly reminded that the world is
full of so many wonderful humans. People have gone out of their way to
voice their support for Michele, our staff, and anyone who has ever
been victimized. It is truly incredible how one extremely negative
comment can turn into so much love and positivity.
Ultimately, 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 and to continue the support those in our extended Dash-In
family. We will continue to welcome all those who share these values.
We want to thank everyone who has shown their support and love to not
only Michele, but to all of us. We will forever be grateful and
continue to be amazed at the true beauty of humanity.
Emily & The Dash-In Family
A stranger also set up a Go Fund Me page, which is up to over $5,300.
Crider said she'll use some of the money to get a car for the first time in two years, and some will go to a charity.
"That's something that will help me out day to day, and other than that, I would love to find a charity to donate the money to."
As for the men who left the note, Crider hopes they've seen the video, and would accept their apology. For now, they are not welcome back at Dash-In.
Crider also posted a new video Friday to thank the community for their support.