The mother of a PinkNews.co.uk reader has spoken of her disgust after coming across an allegedly homophobic greeting card sold in a branch of Card Factory in Essex.

Mandy Lewis, a “proud” mother of a son who is gay, was in the Card Factory store at the Lockwood Walk Liberty Shopping Centre in Romford when she and her son came across the offending item.

The card depicts two men in the woods and it says: “Having popped out for a fag, Nigel was delighted when one turned up immediately.” Given that neither men are holding a cigarette, it is clear that the implication of the card is that they are gay.

The word “fag” – as frequently used by the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church – is for some an incredibly offensive term when used about gay men.

Mandy Lewis told PinkNews.co.uk: “I can’t believe that this company would sell a card with this design and offensive writing which is obviously inciting homophobia and condoning the use of the word ‘fag’, which is highly derogatory. The image of two men out in the woods with the above writing ‘popped out for a fag’ just reinforces negative and sordid stereotypes about the habits of gay men. It’s as though it’s ok to have a laugh about homophobia, or that insulting gay men is something funny. It’s not what you expect to see when shopping for a birthday card.”

She added: “As a proud mother of a son who is gay, I found it very hurtful to see the disgusted and saddening look on my son’s face when we encountered this disgusting card. I can’t believe products like this are allowed to be sold.”

Earlier today PinkNews.co.uk contacted the Card Factory in response to Mandy Lewis’ complaint.

The company said it did not want to make a comment at the present time.