A Seattle man said he was left in “shock and disbelief” after being on the receiving end of a homophobic tirade while visiting a local nail salon.
Christopher Brown said he was visiting Casabella Spa & Nails in Lynnwood, Washington, Dec. 30 for a pedicure at the time of the incident. He said a female customer walked into the salon and began having a loud conversation on speakerphone.
After Brown asked the woman to turn off the speakerphone, she responded by angrily mocking him. At that point, Brown began recording the confrontation on his cell phone. The woman, who has not been identified in the media, then told employees that she would leave the salon, where she is a longtime customer if Brown wasn’t asked to do so.
When the woman apparently didn’t receive the response she was hoping for, she began gathering her belongings and headed towards the exit, hurling anti-gay insults in Brown’s direction as she left.
“Keep recording, sissy,” she can be heard saying. “Faggot, sissy, queer! Eat my pussy!”
Brown, who identifies as gay, told HuffPost he “couldn’t fathom something like this would happen in the safe haven of Seattle metro.”
The 29-year-old Indiana native uploaded the video to his Facebook page, where it had been viewed more than 325,000 times as of Thursday. After KOMO News featured a segment on the story Tuesday, it’s gone on to make headlines in Newsweek, NBC and other outlets.
The response to the video, Brown said, has been “overwhelmingly positive and supportive,” with viewers all over the world reaching out in solidarity.
Casabella Spa & Nails has not issued a public statement about the incident other than to tell KOMO News that Brown had acted politely throughout the altercation. For his part, Brown said he doesn’t hold the salon or its staff accountable and plans to return in the future.
“I think the salon acted with tact and attempted to be diplomatic before the slurs began,” he said. “They were very kind, caring, supportive and reassured me her attitude is not reflective of their views as a business.”
By sharing the video, Brown said he wants to show both the woman and others that “regardless of how you feel about someone, there is a code of human decency to follow.”
“Hateful slurs based on real or assumed identity markers are not acceptable in any way,” he said.