An Illinois waitress was denied a tip last weekend by a family who didn’t like her Pride tattoo.
Samantha Heaton waited on the family of five Saturday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockford. Everything was going smoothly—she made friendly small talk with the parents, smiled at their three young kids, and refilled their drinks throughout their meal. But when Heaton went to pick up the receipt for their $60.55, she discovered that, instead of a tip, they left a hurtful note.
“Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus,” it read. “Bad tatoo [sic].”
“I went above and beyond for this couple, and for them to leave that kind of hurt,” Heaton told the Rock River Times. “Like, I have bills to pay too.”
Heaton says she never discussed her sexuality with the family, and expressed concern about the sort of example the non-tippers set for their children.
“The kids are going to be under the impression that it will be okay to discriminate against anybody.” She also clarified that she does, in fact, “love Jesus.”
“I myself am a Christian. And, as a Christian, ’thou shall not judge.’ No matter how someone looks, you should love them for what’s in their heart and how they treat you—not for what is on the outside.” She called the note “plain rude and uncalled for.”
“What if one day their kids grow up and want to be with the same sex? Are they going to disown them? Throw them on the street?”
One of Heaton’s co-workers posted a photo of the receipt on Facebook, where many people have offered words of support.
“I am sorry this happened,” wrote one woman, who insisted “a true Christian would not do this.”
“I would totally donate money since these meanies didn’t want to tip you,” offered another, adding, “Also, good for you for being you. Took me 31 years to finally be myself and I’m proud.”
A Twitter user also tweeted the image with the caption, “Just a reminder, customers/people like this really exist. Love is love.” At the time of writing, it had been retweeted over 8,000 times.
Just a reminder, customers/people like this REALLY exist. LOVE IS LOVE. pic.twitter.com/B6xG4c9yhd
— emily sotakoun (@EmilySotakoun) August 6, 2017
While the ordeal was undeniably upsetting, Heaton told the Times she doesn’t have any regrets about her ink.
“Someone asked me the other day if I would go back in time and get the same tattoo,” she says, “and I said, ‘No I would get it bigger.'”