An image of a bar receipt imprinted with an antigay slur has gone viral, though the motivation behind putting the word on the receipt was not malicious.
Alissa Maugens, who works as a bartender at West End Tavern in Lakewood, Ohio, wrote “fags” on a customer’s receipt.
A photograph of the receipt went viral after it was posted to social media, with many users expressing disgust and vowing to boycott the establishment.
But the image was taken out of context.
“I understand it’s a very sensitive thing, but it was definitely not meant to be offensive toward anyone,” Maugens told Cleveland TV station WSYX, which interviewed her after response to the receipt reached a fever pitch.
“Nothing was meant to be malicious about it. Nothing at all,” said her friend Andrew Rollings, who was the recipient of the message. He said it was meant to stay “amongst friends, just joking around.”
Rollings posted the photograph to Instagram. “A friend of a friend” copied the image and posted it to Facebook, where it was shared over 750 times as of the posting of this article.
“I'll never go there now,” wrote one commenter, with others calling the those who work at the bar “disgusting,” “gross,” and “walking sacks of sewage.”
Even after the intent was clarified however, many said the act of using an antigay slur was uncalled for.
“Words like that should never be used jokingly,” wrote Lucas Barstow, who initally shared the image to his networks. “Not when there are LGBT teens committing suicide over being called that word or worse. Still trashy, disgusting, and inappropriate.”