Apple customer says store gave him receipt with anti-gay message

Apple-Genius-Bar

Tim Cook has led Apple into the front of the LGBT-rights movement with company appearances at Gay Pride parades and Wall Street Journal op-eds demanding equal rights for gay workers, but according to one Apple Store customer in Portland, some of Cook’s employee don’t share his enthusiasm for inclusion.

Adam Catanzarite, who self-identifies as queer, has taken to social media after an Apple specialist printed off his receipt for a set of EarPods with a not-so-subtle homophobic slur tossed in the spot reserved for his email addresses.

Take a look:

fagdotcom

Adam says he explained the situation to a store manager to try to get it rectified, but not pleased with Apple’s actions, says he feels it’s important to raise awareness and shared the receipt with the letters ‘(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)’ in the email address field.

“Being queer and having worked with queer youth, I know first-hand that this is an example of the type of #homophobic beliefs and actions that lead young people to harm themselves. This type of action is NOT OKAY, especially from a company that prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming.”

Catanzarite, who works as an HIV prevention specialist with Cascade AIDS Project, is encouraging friends and anyone else sees the Facebook post to share so with friends “to let them know that homophobia does not have a place in PDX.”

Apple has reportedly been informed of the incident but declined to comment on any action it plans to take when we reached out this afternoon.

It should be noted that the Apple employee who checked out Catanzarite may not have been the one to enter the slur. The Apple Store’s system automatically brings up the last email address used with that credit card, or gives the specialist an option to enter an address manually.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Queer Apple customer says store gave him receipt with anti-gay message”

    How this story plays out aside, just because Adam Catanzarite self-identifies as “queer”, must you as well? It’s an offensive word in this context, whether homosexuals use it or not. Just as the “N”-word is offensive, despite being used by African-American to describe themselves.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    • quitcherbichinn

      How is queer offensive? As a gay male I would really like to know how that is an offensive word. It’s a word that is outdated but not offensive. F*g is the offensive word however I’m not sure why a straight person has a right to be offended by it? Quite frankly you being offended doesn’t matter. If you don’t like something then don’t read it, don’t listen to it, don’t watch it. This whole “I’m offended” and “that is offensive” is getting REAL old REAL quick. You are offended…so what?

      • Jim

        Chill out man. He means well.

      •  Chris Iwan ☢

        Queer is offensive the same way the N-word is offensive. If I called someone a “queer,” 9 times out of 10 that person would take offense to it; same thing with using the N-word. I think you are making the same point he is in a different way. Take it easy.

      • Veritas1965

        You are absolutely correct. If someone called me a “queer” I would be offended. It is and always has been a slur, whether those in the gay community use it innocuously or not.

      • http://www.facebook.com/markryder0 Mark Ryder

        You contradict yourself as you think F@g is offensive yet Q***r is not?
        If certain words are used to discriminate and belittle then they should be avoided.
        There will always be black people that are not offended by the N-Word but it is generally an offensive word due to it’s history. Such is the same for the Q***r or F*g for the Gay population weather your gay or not or find it such or not. I’m not gay but I would defend the rights of anyone to be treated equally and as a human not as a person to hate due to their personal life choices or the colour or their skin or any other differences.

        Being gay does not give you any more right to claim the moral high ground as someone that is straight ..We are all equal and should all work together to end discrimination and hate.

    • Jim

      I agree with you in simplistic terms but queer doesn’t mean gay in LGBTQ terminology. A straight person can be queer and a gay person doesn’t have to be. I’m gay but I don’t identify as queer because I assimilate with straight/cis society outside of my sex life. Many gay people don’t. They live fully alternative lifestyles and so identify as queer. Gender and sexuality are really too much of a spectrum to apply a term like queer to someone solely because of who they prefer to sleep with or love.

      I appreciate the sentiment, however.

      • quitcherbichinn

        “Prefer to sleep” with denotes a choice and being gay is not a choice. As a gay male I would really expect you to get that.

      • Jim

        No it doesn’t. Don’t be so silly. Prefer denotes preference and nothing else.

      • quitcherbichinn

        Yes just as you stated…it states a preference and a preference is a choice. It tells the world “well I could sleep with a guy or a girl but I prefer to sleep with xx.” That is misconstruing and propagating the belief that being gay is a choice. Being gay is an orientation, not a preference. Who we have sex with is our orientation, not our preference.

      • Jim

        Prefer literally means to like one thing more than another. I prefer men over women. No choice there. I prefer to eat frosties over coco pops. I don’t choose to prefer it, I just do.

        Don’t be so ridiculous and reactionary. That attitude and the ideology of constantly fighting people over small things like terminology is not going to help gay people, it’s going to hold us back. Stop being so sensitive.

      • quitcherbichinn

        Sensitive? LOL Keep choosing to be blind to reality. When straight people, who are anti-gay, hear or read that you “prefer”, what they take from that is that you are choosing to be gay. In fact what you just said yourself was that it is a choice. Keep living blind. Enjoy.

      • Jim

        You need to step back and realise how silly and obstinate that attitude comes across. I believe in being reasonable and treating people who mean well with respect and not picking them apart over small mistakes, because it garners results. Your way doesn’t. It makes people dislike you. And it makes them dislike you as a gay representative.

        Prefer has nothing to do with choice in this context and you really need to chill your bean.

      • quitcherbichinn

        I could just give a flip if you like me or not, seriously! You need to educate yourself. Have you heard of the word synonym? Choice is a synonym for preference. All of your other arguments are invalid. You, sir, are wrong.

      • Jim

        It’s like trying to reason with a Flemish Bunny Rabbit.

        Okay. You say what you want and I’ll say what I want and we’ll go our separate ways.

        I “prefer” men. Get the gay mafia to shoot me if it bothers you that much.

      • quitcherbichinn

        Live in ignorance. lol What a fool.

      • Guest

        You sir, are just an angry queer.

      • http://www.pcsupport.com.mx Hal 9000

        Ignorance is bliss.

      • rflemingtx

        As a Flemish Bunny Rabbit, I sir, am offended! (but seriously…the gays of the “quitcherbichinn” ilk really do give the rest of us a bad name)

      • quitcherbichinn

        Let me give you an grammar lesson.

        http://thesaurus.com/browse/preference

        Choice is a synonym for preference. Synonym means a word that has the same or similar meaning as another word. So just like I said, when you say that you prefer to sleep with a man, you are telling people you choose to sleep with a man and that is telling people gay is a choice. Please educate yourself.

      • Guest

        Hold on a minute, you are a gay man, arguing with another gay man, trying to explain to him that he doesn’t understand the right word to label someone as being a gay man? You’re arguing with someone who is ‘on your side’ and you’re looking for a way to argue with them over something as dumb as particular wording? Good grief, man.

      • fiftyplusgeek

        @quitcherbichinn You should take the advice of your forum handle.

      • Counterproductive

        Preference is not the same as choice. I prefer not to be punched in the face. That doesn’t make me somehow physically incapable of being punched in the face. Preference merely indicates desirable versus undesirable.

        I choose not to run out in traffic. Call it instinct, self preservation, or lizard brain reaction. I have a very strong preference to not be hit by a car and therefore choose not to do so. But choice can also be made between two virtually identical options without expressing a preference. Left or right. Heads or tails. It is possible to make a choice between two equally viable options without expressing preference of one choice over another.

        While choices can be made without preference, on the other hand a preference is almost certainly going to inform your choice. There is a very real reinforcement of once choice over another which you have no control over, and to choose to go against your preference will cause significant dissonance.

        I prefer not to get shot. That doesn’t mean I can choose to be bulletproof.

      • Basic

        That is BS. Choice is not a synonym for preference. ie: I prefer cookies but I chose to eat an apple because it is healtier.

      • Veritas1965

        A synonym is only similar to a particular word, not exactly the same. This distinction is key to understanding the difference between prefer and choose. Choose IS a synonym for prefer: http://thesaurus.com/browse/prefer

      • Anthony

        Technically, a gay man still has the option available to him to have sex with a woman, there’s nothing physically preventing him from doing so. So, while being homosexual isn’t in itself a choice, acting in accordance with your preference is in fact a choice. There’s nothing negative or shameful about that wording.

        Who you prefer to have sex with is, as you said, your orientation, but acting on those feelings is, semantically, acting on a preference.

      • Kevin Mise

        The fact that you “don’t identify as queer because [you] assimilate with straight/cis society outside of my sex life” is part of a whole other problem that I hate to see. There is no difference between gay society and straight/cis society, and assimilating to straights means that you’re clarifying a separation between those who act straight/masc and those who act gay or “associate” with gays. Just be proud of yourself and acknowledge that there is no difference.

    • BusterH

      my apologies. It was a mistake to use ‘queer’ in the hed whether it’s offensive to some or not. I’ve changed it.

    • Anthony

      If he identifies himself that way, it seems like it would be more offensive to label him with a label he doesn’t identify with.

  • DodgerDawg4Life

    Since Tim Cook is out as a gay man, don’t you think he should be on this guys side?

    • dcj001

      Actually, I believe that Tim is not “out.”

    • sigzero

      Tim Cook has never said anything either way. So I do not think your statement is correct.

    • Bob George

      Whether he’s out or not has no bearing on this. It’s wrong, employees cannot be allowed to treat customers like that, if the receipt is real.

  • Grunt_at_the_Point

    There’s something fishy here. Aren’t store receipts impartial. I mean the receipt is preprogrammed, credit card scanned, bar coded, ext. How can a store employee change what is printed on the receipt. I’m not saying it didn’t happen but, an employee would have to go through a lot trouble to direct a slur at one individual. He would have know when the customer was coming into the store, and most importantly know the customer is gay. This doesn’t add up for up.

    • quitcherbichinn

      They ask you for your email address and if you want your receipt emailed or printed. Not saying this story is true but they do ask for your email.

  • DodgerDawg4Life

    BTW – (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)is NOT a real email address – this guy is a fraud

    • chucky

      And what exactly is a “fat g”?

  • DodgerDawg4Life

    isn’t everyone who shops at apple a queer?

  • dcj001

    Queer? Buster. Someone in your position at this website should be more familiar with the English language and tact.

    I have considered asking Leander to remove you from your writing position at COM, but everyone else here is not much better than you are at writing the English language.

    Also, your use of PG-13 language in your articles pushes away COM’s classier readers.

    • DodgerDawg4Life

      let me show you what Queer means sir!

      queer |kwi(ə)r|adjective1 strange; odd: she had a queer feeling that they were being watched.• [ predic. ] dated slightly ill.

    • DodgerDawg4Life

      IMO sir, my right to freedom of speech should be honored. just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you should have to power to silence anyone sir. this is america and you sir are not the leader of this great nation

  • Dan

    Using the word ‘queer’ is offensive by definition.

    queer
    kwi(ə)r/
    adjective
    adjective: queer; comparative adjective: queerer; superlative adjective: queerest
    1.
    strange; odd.
    “she had a queer feeling that they were being watched”
    synonyms: odd, strange, unusual, funny, peculiar, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, freakish, eerie, unnatural; More
    antonyms: normal
    dated
    slightly ill.
    2.
    informaloffensive
    (especially of a man) homosexual.
    nouninformaloffensive
    noun: queer; plural noun: queers
    1.
    a homosexual man.
    verbinformal
    verb: queer; 3rd person present: queers; past tense: queered; past participle: queered; gerund or present participle: queering
    1.
    spoil or ruin (an agreement, event, or situation).
    “Reg didn’t want someone meddling and queering the deal at the last minute”

    • DodgerDawg4Life

      not if you are referring to the first definition!

      • Dan

        When you are using in reference to a homosexual, the first definition doesn’t apply. The man is obviously gay and they use another derogatory term for his email. Using it for the title is still referencing the same person and situation which makes it offensive.

      • Rob in Katy

        And the clerk knew the customer was “gay”, how?

  • steven

    ok, (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)is just wrong.

    however, why are people trying to add ‘queer’ to the end of LGBT??? L = gay woman, G = gay man or woman, B = bisexual, T = transgender.

    all of the above have to do with sexual identity or orientation. Queer is not an sexual identity or orientation. can someone help me understand how Q ended up tacked onto LGBT?

    • DodgerDawg4Life

      this is certainly a queer idea i think.

    • Jim

      Because a lot of people think that identities in general should be tacked on.

      It’s complicated and the people who push it are terrible at PR.

    • quitcherbichinn

      It’s all just becoming too much. LGBT is all the letters that are needed. We bitch about labels and being called names yet we keep demanding the public recognize label after label…to the point that none of us knows what the hell to call anyone.

      • DodgerDawg4Life

        Like Paul Simon said – you can Call me AL

      • steven

        I like the word queer, but in the odd way.

      • Guest

        Hold on lol you are complaining about people bitching about labels when you were just freaking out about someone labeling your preference incorrectly? You sir, win the senseless arguments awards today!

      • lucascott

        i rather like the term human. I think that covers all the bases. Or person if you like a longer word

    • lucascott

      i believe the Q is seen as Questioning. i.e., someone that hasn’t figured it out yet.

  • http://www.robgadv.com/ RobG

    Just another case of the militant gay mafia out to try to get more attention. Like quitcherbichinn says, get over it. And get on with your life. There may be people out there who don’t like your choice of lifestyle; if you let them get to you, they win. Move on. Or keep playing the victim.

  • steven

    well the new question is who is the poor guy in the picture? I wonder if he knows he is the poster child for hate at the moment?

  • Michael Superczynski

    Back in the early 60s, we use to play ‘Smear the queer’ on the playground. We had no bad intent; we didn’t even know what homosexuality was. Oh, and we were gay when playing that game.

  • http://iAlan.com Alan Aurmont

    I would pay thousands just to own that email address! Seriously! :o

    • Jeff

      It’s a terrible email address. Might as well do (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)if you really want to believe that the @ symbol is an ‘a’ because this generation of americans are stupid.

      • chucky

        Yeah! And what exactly is a “fat g” supposed to be, anyway?

  • Jeff

    I think this is an over reaction. if you look on your keygoard f and g are next to each other so they probably just typed (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)as the email address. That doesn’t even spell anything.

    • http://iAlan.com Alan Aurmont

      Trust me, people don’t just type f, @, g because of laziness. It was 100% intentional.

      Now, this, on the other hand, is laziness: jhfgkjdhfgvkusdgbvjzdfhg

      • Jeff

        what does (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)mean exactly? Keep in mind that the @ symbol is the “At” symbol and not a letter.

      • http://iAlan.com Alan Aurmont

        That’s what you can tell me and others, but inside, you know very well what f@g means. Don’t act stupid.

      • Jeff

        I think it’s stupid to assume that you know what that means. Not understanding the intent creates a false reality and an over reaction. That’s how innocent people get hurt.

  • Ian Gendel

    This is why apples official policy if they don’t want an emailed receipt is to put (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)

    • Jeff

      then they should put (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)– regardless (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)doesn’t mean anything and I think there’s a bit reading into it and over reacting.

      • Ian Gendel

        Yeah. The problem is that didn’t start till recently and a lot of employees don’t know about it so either you fill random letters in the email address field to create a fake email so you can print a receipt out or it auto populated from someone who did that before. I agree that the person is taking it wrong and over-reacting

      • Jeff

        Ya it’s definitely a better idea to put noreply than some random letters because sensitive people who over analyze things will take offense to a non-issue.

      • Ian Gendel

        Yep. Btw I work at a store.

      • lucascott

        there is also the question of whether that detail is actually told to new staff. some stores have a lot of turn over, especially at the end of the summer. Perhaps the poor unintending kid that did it didn’t know about the ‘fake’ email or even that selecting print only removes the restriction to require an email. Or maybe he wasn’t really paying attention and hit done without looking at the email that someone put in earlier and the guy came back in a couple of days later because the receipt didn’t show up in his email and it was reprinted and again, no one paid attention after swiping his credit card. Certainly that could explain why it’s been a month since it happened and just seems to be getting press now. If it was a case of ‘i wanted to give them a change to do something and let me know’ that wouldn’t take a month. probably not even a week, if Apple would even tell him what happened (which I bet they wouldn’t out of privacy concerns)

    • lucascott

      actually no. the official policy is that you don’t put an email. it’s not required for sales transactions. if you have ever seen one of those handhelds you would know this.

      the whole ‘(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)‘ was set up for those cases like booking a genius bar appointment when someone either doesn’t have or refuses to give an email but it is required. they don’t want staff putting in (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)cause that might be real. so they set up an address they know 100% isn’t leaving apple and is auto dumped every day.

  • Dilbert Adams

    I’m sure from now on they will use (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address), but I can see that F and G are closer on the keyboard. I think that it’s an innocent error and an over reaction by the customer.

  • dorkus_maximus

    This is in line with the bogus stories that got some press awhile back about slurs allegedly left on receipts at restaurants. Why would a store employee put a smear on a receipt going to a customer he/she had just assisted? Smearing is done behind the target’s back, not written on a piece of paper handed to him.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Tim Cook needs to let this one go away.

  • sigzero

    This is a non-story. I don’t think it means anything at all and is certainly not any kind of smear.

  • Sarcastic Curmudgeon

    I call bullshit on this guy. You have to generally confirm your email address with the person completing your transaction.

  • Jim

    This is suspicious. Either the salesperson filled that in to be mean, which in that case they need to figure this out and fire him, or the customer provided this email at sale time or in the past and it was already in the system. Or perhaps this is a mole sent in by Samsung to start trouble, lol. Given how Samsung operates, I’d say a stunt like this would not be beneath them at all.

  • http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/ Russ Hughes

    Any Apple NEWS today?

  • Eric Sebasta

    Apple is probably THE most pro homosexual company in existence….

    • lucascott

      That is the real reason why this is getting press. Nothing like showing up a company as only being 99.999999999% the way you claim. It’s the same as the folks that hype up tech issues calming that Apple says their stuff doesn’t break (which no they never have).

      The other big reason this is getting press is the rumors that ‘everyone knows that Tim Cook is gay’ even though he’s never said it and no one can prove it.

  • lucascott

    a lot of questions are raised here. how do we know that this staffer actually knew that Adam is gay. It’s not like you can tell. Gays don’t have a certain smell, they don’t sparkle, etc. Well not all of them do. For all we know, the staffer had zero clue and it was just an innocent mistake trying to type something in that field because the staffer is new and didn’t know that there is a way to make it optional (I know this cause I don’t give them my email unless I know there is a chance i will be returning the item).

    Also how do we know that the staffer put in the email. Mine is rather long and tricky so I offer to put in it myself. It’s not saved since i’m often paying cash. The staffer helping me hands me his/her handheld and i punch it in. for all we know, Adam did the same thing and typed it himself.

    And we have only his word that nothing happened after the report. Or that he clearly said who it was. If he said that he couldn’t remember the persons name and didn’t see said person then the manager can’t do anything right then cause they have to figure out who it was first. And if he expects to get free stuff that makes him look bad, like he came in with an agenda. so what was the manager supposed to do. yell out in the store for the staff who called the customer a fag to admit what they did. making a public spectacle of it. don’t think so

    yes maybe it happened as he claimed, maybe it didn’t. But lacking all the details these articles and his post reek of attention seeking

  • Joel Bram

    This is stupid. It’s just a person being looking for a reason to be offended. He bought a small item and the employee didn’t want to ask for an email so he put 2 random letters in. This guy should look at his keyboard, f and g are next to each other!

  • chucky

    So why is this “queer” dude objecting to having “fat g” listed as his email address? And why didn’t he just supply his email address when requested? Incidentally, what exactly is a “fat g”? Perhaps he’s sensitive about his weight? Hmmmmmmmmm, maybe it’s like “OG”, but the “O” stands for obese?

  • Andrew Vrba

    And in a week, it’ll turn out to be fake.

  • JDSoCal

    Typical liberal grievance, assume the worst intentions instead of giving someone the benefit of the doubt. Because of Apple’s notoriously anti-gay stance.

  • Bob George

    F&G are next to each other, but @ is not.

About the author

Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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