A name tag reading simply “Gaytard” has become the subject of some controversy in Yankton, South Dakota.
At a Taco John’s fast food restaurant in the small community, Tyler Brandt, a gay teen and now former employee, says that he was bullied by the store manager.
Brandt claims there were numerous inappropriate and offensive remarks leading up to the proverbial last straw — when his manager handed him the name tag you see in the picture above and forced him to wear it while on the job.
(“Gaytard” is defined by Urban Dictionary as a politically incorrect term used when you think someone is of a LGBT persuasion and of subpar intelligence.)
Questions Of Authenticity
While the placard itself appears to be from Taco John’s, those can easily be taken from a job after termination.
As for the label with the offensive word printed across it, it appears to have been done with a standard label maker. These can be readily acquired by anyone, thus making Brandt’s accusations impossible to prove on this evidence alone.
This reality led KELOLAND.com to reach out to the restaurant manager, who refused to comment. But that isn’t unusual either, since businesses usually don’t comment on personnel matters.
Still, the question remains: why would anyone lie about something like this, and is there any precedent for allegations of such discrimination being a hoax?
While the first question is impossible to answer without being inside the skin of the accuser, the second is yes, precedent does exist for this being a hoax.
In 2013, Dayna Morales, a self-identified gay woman waiting tables, claimed that a family did not leave her a tip. Instead, they wrote a hateful note disagreeing with her lifestyle.
The only problem: Morales completely fabricated the story.
The diners were able to reproduce their copy of the receipt and the credit card transaction showing that they did leave her a tip, and the family denied writing such a note.
When the truth came out, Morales was released from her position. In Brandt’s case, he no longer works for Taco John’s, by choice, but is considering a lawsuit and has sought counsel from an attorney.
In light of the Morales hoax, and the recent KFC hoax claiming the restaurant asked a little girl who’d sustained injuries from a pit bull attack to leave, we would suggest giving the “Gaytard name tag” case a few more days (or weeks) to shake out before choosing sides.
What do you think, readers — real or fake?