A New Jersey waitress was denied a tip this week because of her sexuality. She sent a copy of the receipt and her story to Have a Gay Day’s Facebook page, where it received more than 3,000 comments and resulted in over $1,000 in donations to a PayPal account she set up at the urging of others.
She wrote in her post, “I’m a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ and THIS is what happened to me today.” According to the waitress, Dayna Morales, a couple and their two young children dined in the restaurant this week, and the mother was apparently shocked by Morales’ short hair.
When the waitress introduced herself as Dayna, the mother allegedly said, “Oh I though you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!” Nothing was mentioned about Morales’ sexuality, but when the family left, she received a note instead of a tip. The note read, “Sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle the way you live your life.”
Understandably, Morales was furious. The donations she received when her story went viral were a surprise, and Morales told TODAY, “I’m still rather overwhelmed. I’m beyond thankful for it. I’m speechless.” As a former Marine, Morales plans on donating some of the money to the Wounded Warrior Project. Some will also go to an LGBT foundation, but she hasn’t decided which one.
While she received donations and support from around the world, Morales also saw support from the restaurant she works at. They compensated her for the lost tip money immediately, and promised to match the amount of money she donates to charity. General manager Byron Lapola explained, “We’re a family here. It’s the most outlandish thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. There’s no reason for anything like that to happen.”
Morales isn’t the first server to receive a note condemning her sexuality instead of leaving a tip. A similar story came out last month when a waiter in Kansas received a note criticizing his perceived sexuality instead of a tip.