Coffee shop which claims to support Pride shares ‘transphobic’ meme and gives literally the worst apology ever
Jonestown coffee shop in East London has been criticised for sharing a transphobic meme while decked out in rainbow flags.
The cafe in Bethnal Green, part of the F***ffee brand, retweeted a meme which took aim at the trans and non-binary community.
It read: “If I had a pound for every gender there is, I’d have two pounds and a load of counterfeits.”
James was among the first to call out the store, which has a sibling branch in Bermondsey, South London.
“Since your Bermondsey store is permanently covered in Pride flags, why are you retweeting this transphobic nonsense?” he asked.
“Does your support of the T in LGBT only extend south of the river?”
Hi @jonestowncoffee. Since your Bermondsey store is permanently covered in Pride flags, why are you retweeting this transphobic nonsense? Does your support of the T in LGBT only extend south of the river? pic.twitter.com/J5uQ57HWIm
— james? (@james_csb) October 28, 2019
Jonestown reacted to James’ post and others like it by retweeting them, before sharing an apology labelled “insincere” by followers.
“Deleted the retweet that seem to have upset some people,” it wrote.
“We are LGBT friendly and understood that tweet was to raise awareness of such issues. We are sorry if anyone has taken offence by 1 retweet.”
James said that “we’re sorry if you’re offended” isn’t an apology.
“I totally get their f*** off attitude, it’s part of their brand,” he told PinkNews.
“But when it’s victimising already marginalised groups it just isn’t funny.
“The whole ‘we thought it was raising awareness’ part is laughable and the apology is completely insincere.”
For James, Jonestown’s actions are all the more disappointing because “a lot of people, myself included, had assumed it was a safe space for queer people”.
“They fly the Pride and trans flag all year round and it’s a shame they won’t stand up for what those flags represent,” he said.
“If they can’t look out for everyone in our community, then they don’t deserve our cash.”
Another critic, James Barley, was accused by Jonestown of wanting “to appear on PinkNews” after he called out the shop’s behaviour. Fortunately, we were able to accommodate.
“I think it’s a shame when brands/organisations/companies kit their shops/offices out in rainbow flags during Pride Month and then does something so stupid like this,” Barley said.
Suggesting that the original retweet could have been down to “unconscious bias”, he added: “It’s obvious that whoever looks after their social media made a stupid mistake which could have been solved with a sincere apology instead of this pointless evasive behaviour. All this could have been avoided if they had stopped and thought for a second.”
On Tuesday morning, Jonestown wrote on Instagram that it was “really sorry” and claimed to have “sacked [its] social media person”.
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“Another person on the dole,” it added.
Since then, the shop’s Twitter account has blocked both James and Barley and has begun been retweeting messages of support, including one mocking “hyper sensitive social justice keyboard warrior[s who] can’t take a joke”.
It also reshared several news stories about its “offensive” F***ffee branding and “controversial” chalkboard signs.
PinkNews contacted F***offee/Jonestown for comment.