Group of ‘lads’ hurl homophobic slurs at bar staff and refuse to leave as their table time slot comes to an end

Lily Wakefield June 16, 2021
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SIX in Swansea, Wales

The incident took place at SIX in Swansea, Wales. (Facebook/ Ross Smitham)

A group of “lads” hurled homophobic slurs and mocked the weight and disabilities of bar staff in Swansea because their table time slot had ended.

Ross Smitham, a queer man and manager of bar SIX in Swansea, Wales, has spoken out after he and his staff endured the horrific treatment from the group of customers.

He told WalesOnline that a group of men had booked a table outside with a two-hour time slot, but minutes before it ended tried to order another round of pints.

Smitham said: “Any group of lads, you expect them to be rowdy, they were fine the entire time they were there, drinking pints, loving life in the sun.

“One of them started off by going, ‘We want more drinks.’ I explained that we can’t serve you all full pints, the time I make them you’re going to go over your booking time.”

Refusing to leave, one of the men began “abusing a member of staff who has a hearing disability”, before turning on Smitham and hurling homophobic slurs.

They also attacked a member of door staff over her weight, he said, describing her as “fat”.

“I’ve been in this industry for years and I’ve never experienced it personally so it was more of a shock for me,” said the bar manager.

“It took me back a bit, I didn’t really process it until I went home. They just went for all our weaknesses… It happened on Pride Month as well, a month where I should be celebrating who I am and then I take a knock.

“My members of staff are fine, but it just shouldn’t happen, we are just doing our job.”

Posting about the incident on Facebook, Smitham added: “You came into a bar that’s open to everyone and accepts people for who they are.

“We have staff of all genders, sexuality, height, weight, nationalities, disabilities.

“I’m more sorry for you that you felt the need to abuse us on something that really had nothing to do with the point in question.

“I hope you that you’ve woken up this morning with regret and realise that grown men (or anyone) abusing people’s sexualities, disabilities or weight is shallow and weak.”

Related topics: Homophobia, Wales

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