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Raging homophobe caught on CCTV abusing restaurant staff simply for displaying a Pride flag

Josh Milton January 19, 2021
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A man in a white shirt and tie grabs and throws an LGBT+ Pride flag at staff behind the counter of a food stall

Surveillance cameras captured the moment a 'middle aged man' tore down an LGBT+ Pride flag at SMOL, a healthy food vendor. (Screen captures via Facebook)

A “middle-aged man” in Singapore hurled homophobic abuse and threatened staff with violence all because a food vendor had an LGBT+ Pride flag by the till.

Video footage showed the man berate employees at SMOL, a health food restaurant in the Geylang neighbourhood.

Allegedly telling them to “go to hell”, the man exploded with rage in an episode that has come to be viewed by store owners as to why LGBT+ people and allies must remain resilient: “There is more work to be done.”

The man swung by the company’s stall Monday afternoon (18 January), according to a Facebook post uploaded by SMOL owner Charmaine Low, and began sparring with staffers after he spotted the flag.

Eatery employees in Singapore left stunned as man tears down and throws LGBT+ Pride flag

“What is this flag?” he asked, Low claimed. After an employee explained that it’s a Pride flag, the man walked away only to return raging.

“Do you know that this is a public food court?” he spat. “Not everybody supports LGBT! How can you put this flag?”

“We were stunned at this point,” the post continued. “And all of a sudden, the man ripped our Pride flag off our counter and threw it forcefully at one of us.”

Startling surveillance footage showed the man forcefully grab the flag and hurl it at an employee as he allegedly shouted: “You are the kind of people who are destroying Singapore! Go to hell!” He stomps out of the store, leaving employees stunned.

“What happened today was an unfortunate incident with someone who was not interested in having a peaceful conversation, but who believed that he had the right to abuse and use force against our staff,” Low wrote.

“It is also a reminder that discrimination against LGBT+ people in Singapore is well and alive, and there is so much more work to be done to promote understanding, love and tolerance for this community.”

In uploading the video, Low said that her intention was “not to dox or to track down the perpetrator, but to highlight the everyday reality that the LGBT+ community experience when most incidents are not even caught on camera”.

Low, unbowed by the man, said the incident will not deter her from displaying the flag in the Lau Pa Sat store, as well as at the SMOL branch in Paya Lebar Quarter.

According to news outlet Channel News Asia, Low filed a report to local law enforcement – investigations are now ongoing, police said.

Related topics: Homophobia, lgbt pride, pride flag, Singapore

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