Man who fled the Middle East to escape homophobia mocked for being ‘camp’ in DFS
A man has spoken out about being ‘mocked’ for appearing ‘camp’ in a branch of sofa store DFS.
Suleiman Al-Sadi, from Bristol, says male staff mocked him when he entered the store looking to buy new furniture for his home.
The 32-year-old says he was subjected to five male staff pointing and making jokes about him, which he believes was due to his ‘camp’ appearance.
The incident is alleged to have happened at a DFS store in Bristol on Tuesday.
Suleiman says he was left in tears after the encounter, which left him feeling scared and humiliated.
Suleiman told the Bristol Post: “I think my ‘camp’ appearance didn’t go down well I guess, I have never been so humiliated in my life.”
He said: “Genuinely I was having a great day as I was very excited to be looking at furniture for my new home.
“I thought DFS as a reputable brand would be a great place to go as I have heard a lot of good stuff.
“When I walked in there were four or five sales guys at the front of the store, pretty much the only guys in the whole store.
“As soon as I walked in all of them turned and walked away from me laughing.
“Literally felt I was infectious or something – one of them then made a joke to one of the others about showing me around the beds and they all started laughing even more.
“A couple of them then started to whistle in a way that I could only describe as taunting or bullying.
“I was horrified, scared and confused by what they did, I carried on walking around the store and it took 20 minutes for any of them to approach me – by which point it was really too late, the damage was done.
“I was attacked and humiliated simply for looking camp. It was horrible. I can’t believe that in 2017 incidents like this still happen, especially in a place like Bristol.”
The University of the West of England student had come to the UK from Jordan at 18.
He says he fled the country for fear of homophobic abuse – and has been shocked to face insults in Britain.
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Suleiman complained to DFS who have said they are conducting an internal investigation.
However the major furniture chain is refusing to tell him if any action will be taken against the employees, citing data protection.
In a statement, DFS said: “At DFS, looking after our customers and treating them respectfully is paramount.
“We take all complaints extremely seriously which is why we’re conducting a thorough investigation and speaking to our team in store to understand exactly what happened.
“We’ve already been in contact with the customer concerned to apologise for any unintentional distress caused as we look into the issue further.”