java jerks

CT Coffee Shop Owner Calls 18-Year-Old A ‘Faggot’ Over Dunkin’ Donuts Cup

I’m sure Scott Lively wouldn’t have thrown 18-year-old Spencer Deane out of his coffee shop — but that’s because Lively gives his java away for free. Deane’s problem with the owner of Javapalooza coffeeshop in Middletown, Connecticut, began when he brought a Dunkin’ Donuts cup into the shop. Fast-forward to “faggot” being thrown around and protests from the local gays.

Deane says he complied with the request from Javapalooza owner Neil Dinerman, 63, to either leave or throw out the cup; Dinerman stood by while Deane finished the coffee and tossed it. And then things went awry.

“As I was sitting down, he grabbed me by the shirt, and you know, pulled me up towards him …” and started pushing him toward the door, Deane said. “He kept calling me a faggot, like kind of whispering it to me. Like, ‘dick-sucking faggot,’ things like that.”

Once out on the street, the confrontation continued, and one of Deane’s friends tried to defend him verbally. Deane claims there have been similar run-ins between Dinerman and his friend, also involving a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and homophobic slurs. Deane says no one was seriously hurt during the confrontation.

What was Dinerman’s problem? He thought Deane was being disrespectful and claims the young man was “laughing at me” while he finished his drink. So that makes it okay to call him a faggot? No: “I think the slurs that I used are inexcusable … I just blew up when they laughed at me. I’m not making any excuses.” But he says there was no physical altercation, and while Deane filed a police report later on with his father, he didn’t seek to press charges against Dinerman, meaning the police’s involvement ends there. Dinerman also claims he didn’t know Deane is gay, and his word choice — while poor — wasn’t motivated by hate. Uh huh.

Enter Queer Liberation Front, which hosted a 60-person rally in front of the store last weekend after the incident, and convinced Dinerman to hold a a LBGT “teach-in” at the cafe. Dinerman also met the group’s request for a written apology, but balked at their demand for a $1k contribution to Cyndi Lauper’s charity of choice True Colors. Dinerman and QLF are going to meet again on Sunday to see if they can reach more common ground.

But in the meantime, expect Javapalooza to be the straightest cafe in town: Deane and his gay friends won’t be stopping by.