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Watch: Gay Teens Say They Were Tossed from Chicago Eatery, Told 'We Don't Want Your Kind'

by Kilian Melloy
Friday May 17, 2019

Two gay high school students say they were tossed out of a Chicago restaurant for a sharing a hug on May 13, reports local CBS affiliate Channel 2.

Kendall Anderson and Peter Sevig, students at Lane Tech High School in Chicago, were with a group of their friends when they went to lunch at nearby eatery Big Boys Gyros. As the group took to their table, the pair shared a hug. That's when an employee accosted them, they told CBS News.

"We can't have two guys hugging in here," Sevig recalled the employee telling them.

Added Anderson, "And then he said something to the effect of, 'If it was a guy and a girl it would be okay, but we can't allow two boys.' "

Shocked, the whole group started to leave. But the teens allege the employee hurled still more abuse at them: "Get out. We don't want your kind here, anyway," Anderson claims the employee said.

Fellow student Lyla Stern confirmed the boys' story, telling local Fox affiliate Channel 32 that "the guy at the counter yells at our two friends who were hugging. And then he said two guys can't do that. If it was a girl and a guy, that's ok, but like not two guys and we were like all really shaken for a second."

Students at the school now make different choices come lunchtime, the Fox 32 story said, and the administration at Lane Tech has shown that they stand behind the students.

"As a school, we are disheartened because our students were treated with disrespect and made to feel unwelcome," Lane Tech said in a statement. "As a community, we stand strong and we want to make it clear that Lane Tech does not stand for discrimination of any kind.

"We will not tolerate hatred and will not support an organization that promotes hatred of any kind. We support any students, staff and community members that choose to not support Big Boy Gyros," the school's statement added.

The restaurant in question has not publicly addressed the issue, with employees refusing to comment and telling the reporters to "turn off the camera," the news channel said. When a reporter attempted to speak with the man the students say verbally accosted them, he claimed he didn't work there and was a customer.

Social media posts that recounted the incident drew trolls who suggested the students were being disruptive, the CBS story noted. Anderson responded, "I have seen a lot of those comments on social media and whatever, and I would just like to say that they are completely false."

Watch the CBS News report below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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