Did Homophobia Play A Role In A Gay Man Losing Job After Telling NC Governor “Thanks For Nothing”?

Pat McCroryDrew Slope was doing his job at a gourmet food store in Charlotte, NC, when he recognized one of the customers: Gov. Pat McCrory. Apparently unable to restrain himself, Slope confront McCrory, telling him, “Thanks for nothing.” What followed next is disputed, with Swope saying homophobia played a role in how McCrory supposed responded. However, one thing is not in dispute: that remark caused Slope his job.

There’s plenty of reason to echo Slope’s sentiment. A one-time Democrat, McCrory has veered to the right to capture conservative votes. When he was mayor of Charlotte, McCrory didn’t want the city LGBT pride event to take place in a local park.  “If they need to do it, I think it belongs in a hotel,” McCrory said then. He voted in favor of the state’s constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and appointed an outspoken opponent of LGBT rights to the state’s task force on safe schools.

While he agrees that he was right to be fired for being rude to a customer, Swope also alleges that homophobia played a role in how he says McCrory responded. After telling McCrory off, Swope says the governor started shouting at him. (McCrory’s office says the governor never shouted at Swope and charges that Swope shot the governor an obscene gesture, which Swope denies doing.)

“When he started yelling at me, it was a sudden turn because I made sort of a swishy move,” Swope told Talking Points Memo. “I’ve been discriminated against a lot, and I can see that moment when someone just suddenly goes ballistic because of this other thing, not what you said or did.”

“I don’t know what he was thinking, but I’ll tell you from man to man: He was hating on me for being a fag,” Swope added.

Despite losing his job, Swope says he would do it all over again. “Oh, this is a tough state to live in, dude. It’s really weird,” he said. “But this is where the battle is, and I’m not leaving and I’m not going to shut up.”



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  • Geoff B

    I read this on HuffPo and while I agree with the guy’s sentiment, in a business setting, he did the wrong thing. It wasn’t the time or place to do that. I deal with many political figures where I work, many of whom I disagree with. When I’m behind the bar, it’s not the place for me to voice my opinion. That’s what sites like this are for.

  • Harley

    @Geoff B: I agree. Business should be free from politics. The local car wash I frequent posted about ten Mitt Romney signs out front during the last election. I now drive about five miles down the road to another neutral car wash now. That car wash alienated 50% of their potential business. Not good business.

  • Geoff B

    One of my favorite regulars at work disappointed me when he voted against SSM in Illinois. I’m still nice to him at work, but definately not doing shots with him anymore when I see him at other bars.

  • tdx3fan

    The remark should have cost him his job. It was completely unprofessional. I do not care if Hitler walks into the place you do business. You simply smile nicely and nod and allow them to leave without opening your mouth. That is what professionalism is all about.

  • Mezaien


  • sportyguy1983

    If you are going to claim homophobia (or racism or sexism), then show proof and not just say it is a feeling.

  • balehead

    This just proves that gays can be “excuse queens” better than any other loser….

  • BJ McFrisky

    What a tool.
    Another “activist” who thinks the most important thing on the planet is his opinion.
    Happy job-hunting—especially now that every employer in Charlotte has seen how you treat the clientele.

  • enfilmigult

    Weird comments. The guy AGREES it was right for him to be fired for his etiquette and he’s not claiming otherwise. He just doesn’t care—some thing are more important than whether Pat McCrory has a somewhat unpleasant shopping experience. I say more power to him.

  • DCNimbus

    Homophobia didn’t play a role in the gay employee’s firing- it seems being tacky and unprofessional DID play a role! All- the best way to change people’s minds is to show them our best side. Offer his gourmet food with a smile. Nobody wants a croissant with your anger baked in. Agreed with a poster in saying- that is what these sites are for.

  • Curti3480

    I completely agree with you Swope, we need to keep our voice loud and clear… Those who would like to keep us quiet and in a sense put us in Hotels, which to me is the same as putting us back in the closet. Need to know what they are trying to do, and have it put in there face for all to see there F ups so to speak lol… Good on you man ! Blessed Be !!!!

  • BrianZ

    Good one ole boy for having the balls to confront an elected official in person rather than hide anonymous on some internet site like some suggest. Some of you commenters sound like weak-minded, subservient children.

    @tdx3fan: I would sooner slit my wrists than serve Hitler, smiling or not. Your attempt to prove a point makes you appear to be a horrible person.

  • Lvng1tor

    @Curti3480: @BrianZ: No one here is saying he didn’t have the right to say what he did. I’m personally proud of the guy but don’t turn around and say it was bias that got you fired. Regardless of ability to say something, standing up for your beliefs and refusing to let an opportunity slide by to tell off an asshat politician you have to take responsibility for your actions. In this case he chose to get himself fired. I hope it was worth it for him. Plus, there is a better way to disagree or take offense to another poster other than calling them a horrible person. That’s just my opinion.

  • BJ McFrisky

    @BrianZ: I must defend tdx3fan. True, the Hitler analogy has become cliché and overused, but if someone has any intention of keeping their job, they better treat the customers decently, and not as antagonists. What this guy Slope did was absolutely an offense that cost him his job, as it should have.

  • BrianZ

    @Lvng1tor: I did not call him anything, but rather stated the appearance portrayed by his comparison. If you have an issue with that, or want to defend his analogy, feel free.

  • sportyguy1983

    He has the right to speak his mind, but there are CONSEQUENCES to it, mainly his BOSS didn’t like him mouthing off to a customer. Other BOSSES wouldn’t care. This BOSS did care. A BOSS can (and should) fire employees who make the business look unprofessional.

  • BrianZ

    @BJ McFrisky: no one is disputing he should have been fired for speaking freely while performing his job duties. However, to diminish that this individual took the known risk to speak out makes him worthy of praise. That so many here deride his choice, voicing a preference in hiding behind anonymity, or claiming “professionalism” is repugnant to me. I won’t change my mind about that.

    “any intention of keeping his job” obviously wasn’t the intent, and is not in dispute.

    And regardless of how overused the cliché, it has real meaning to a lot of people, and I refuse to discount it or excuse it. You are, obviously, free to disagree.

  • Daniel-Reader

    Politicians hate being confronted with the reality that the people they harm when they violate human rights of others never forget their crimes against humanity. Most mass human rights violators just delude themselves into thinking everyone suddenly forgets what they’ve done to millions of people. I say good for the victim for reminding the politician that people never forget.

  • Bobby Christina Crawford

    When I first read the news about this guy getting fired, I didn’t know he was guy…however, it was the first thing to come to my mind. Straight men in power do not like being called out……but being called out by a gay man is the ultimate bitch slap.
    Sadly …if the guy were straight there would have been a bigger back lash.

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