“Rally Against Queerphobia @ Coffee Shop,” by Hartford Independent Media Collective
Several members of the group carried signs reading “Homophobia Kills,” and “I’m Sorry Just Doesn’t Cut It,” among other slogans along with rainbow flags and walked in a peaceful picket in front of Javapalooza.
“The apology was worth a lot,” Queer Liberation spokesperson Aaron McAuliffe said. “But it wasn’t enough. We hear apologies all the time. We wanted Mr. Dinerman to make amends in a more substantial way.”
“We brought our business here today,” McAuliffe said. “But we can use our organization skills to shut this place down if the owner does not meet our demands.”
— “Queer Liberation Teach-In Draws Crowd,” The Middletown Eye, January 31, 2011
Gay rights groups are demanding a public apology and a show of support from a local coffee shop owner who used a homophobic slur when he threw an 18-year-old gay man out of his coffee shop in December for bringing in a beverage from a competitor.Al Riccio, co-founder of Queer Liberation Front, said that Javapalooza Café owner Neil Dinerman should issue a public apology, make a $1,000 donation to True Colors and host “teach-ins” at his coffee shop. True Colors is a youth and family services organization for sexual minority teenagers.
— Middletown Café Owner Apologizes For Homophobic Slur, The Hartford Courant, January 31, 2011.
“We feel as though when one of us is hurt or attacked, all of us are hurt or attacked,” McAuliffe said. “I think a good way to arm a queer person with intellectual self-defense is to give them a straight-forward educational conversation about what their legal rights are.”
The organization also demanded a written apology from Dinerman and a donation of $1,000 to True Colors as a show of good will to the community, according to McAuliffe.
— Teach-In Held at Javapalooza, The Wesleyan Argus, February 1, 2011