Dressed to distress

Man refused job at sports nutrition shop for his “gay looks”

A sports nutrition store has deservedly come under fire for its reasoning behind ultimately not hiring a prospective job applicant.

Eduard Myra desperately wanted a sales assistant job at LLC Hardcore, a company based in Russia.

When he wasn’t hired, he requested a letter explaining why.

The response cited his “feminine manner,” the opinion that he was simply “too well groomed,” and the suspicion that his appearance promoted “non-traditional sexual relations.”

Here’s a chunk of the letter, sent by the company’s head of HR:

“[Your] feminine manner of speaking and gestures, as well as appearance (too well-groomed and flamboyant clothes) create an impression that you are a sexual minority person who, by his behavior and appearance, is propagating non-traditional sexual relations.”

”I don’t know how I can be propagating anything,” Myra tells Meduza. “My clothes are reserved. The only thing that could probably confuse somebody is that my ear is pierced.”

Related: “No entry for fa**ots” signs appear outside popular food chain

The store said their decision was significantly influenced by Russia’s “gay propaganda law,” which forbids the “promotion of homosexuality” to minors.

Myra sued the store 50,000 roubles (around $850), but the Pervomaisky District Court in Omsk ruled the company should give him 30,000 roubles (around $500.)

Store director Andrey Chistyakov doesn’t think he’s in the wrong.

”Our customers are tough guys,” he tells Novaya Gazeta, suggesting he hasn’t met too many professional bodybuilders in his day-to-day life.

“If they see [that he is gay] they could be hostile towards him. I wasn’t only concerned about the image of the store, I was concerned about this man’s health.”

The BBC translated several public reactions on social media to gauge how Russians felt about the controversy.

“The good thing is that a precedent has been set,” writes NapoleonTort on Twitter. “And a stupid shop owner has paid for his ignorance!”

“Can it really be that somewhere in Russia justice has won? Omg,” Lilya Gubadulina wrote on VK.

“I can understand the shop owner too,” wrote Vlada Brishchenko. ” It’s not their fault that the majority of Russians are not tolerant.”

“Why would they risk their reputation when almost the whole country does not accept such people and treats them with disrespect?”

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12 Comments

  • KaiserVonScheiss

    In Russia…so not America. You could have started with that. Otherwise it’s clickbait.

    • Godabed

      You make it sound like this doesn’t happen in America… because it does…

  • PinkoOfTheGange

    It is a sad day when kaiser is a 100% right ;)

  • Heywood Jablowme

    “When he wasn’t hired, he requested a letter explaining why.”

    How quaint. In the U.S., of course, the employer wouldn’t have bothered to give any explanation at all, certainly not in writing! On the phone they might say, oh sorry we hired someone else (even if they didn’t yet), or, oh sorry we we-wrote that job description blah blah blah (even if that’s not true). Hiring discrimination is almost impossible to prove.

  • Brody

    Discrimination? Not when an employer seeks a specific type of employee.
    It’s not discrimination when Sports Illustrated declines featuring hairy fat men in their swimsuit edition.
    It’s not discrimination if BET chooses to air only black-centric programming.
    It’s not discrimination to desire a specific type of employee to represent your company.

    • DrewD

      SI has a male swimsuit edition?

    • Truth-is-Truthy

      You’re confusing one issue (employee rights) with something else (product creation). What you’re describing isn’t discrimination it’s the right of a business to produce a product of their choice. Discrimination laws don’t apply to the creation of a consumer product. Sports Illustrated as a private company has the right to make a ladies swimsuit issue without having to make a men’s swimsuit issue. But they do not have the right to forbid employment to fat hairy men. BET as a private company can produce black-centered programming rather than white-centered programming, but they can’t forbid white employees from working for them. A company owned by a white hetero protestant can produce any kind of product they wish, but they can’t discriminate as to who can work for them because such discrimination is against the public interest. The Supreme Court and federal courts across the country have ruled as such on these things. But remember that this article is relating something that happened in Russia where they don’t have anti-discrimination laws.

  • He BGB

    Russia. Don’t think it’s America even tho it happens but they wouldn’t put all that in a letter. “Because you’re a big sissy queer, we can’t hire you. Sorry,”

  • ivanw222

    Nowhere in the article did it say the man is gay, only that he was perceived as gay. That alone cost him a possible job, good for their courts to actually increase his settlement.

  • batesmotel

    This was in Russia. That explains it. Most of the guys working at sports nutrition stores tend to be gay, but that’s in America.

  • GayEGO

    Obviously a company that receives orders from Putin who looks more feminine than this gay guy looks.

  • adrianjurado310

    so if u do have those looks, isn’t there a hairy bear man somewhere out there in his apartment all oiled up waiting for you to come over and bake him some cinnabuns, then be his man bitch. isn’t this just the way things work? if u do look like a homo treat get so queened up that Donald Trump gets jealous because too many gay co-workers are slapping your ass.

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