Dayna Morales, an out lesbian server and ex-Marine who got stiffed on a tip because the patrons (who racked up a $93.55 bill) disapproved of her so-called “lifestyle” has received an outpouring of public support in recent days. That certainly warms our hearts. But what she has chosen to do with that support is truly remarkable.
According to NJ.com, Morales wants to assist her fellow vets by giving much of that donated tip money to the Wounded Warrior Project. Her employer, Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, N.J., will match her contribution.
Morales’ experience with a family of homophobic diners at the restaurant went viral last week when she posted their offensive receipt to the “Have a Gay Day” Facebook page. In lieu of leaving a gratuity on the bill, the paying member of that family had scribbled the following anti-gay message: “I’m sorry but I cannot tip because I don’t agree with your lifestyle & how you live your life.”
She went to the popular social network to publicize her experience, noting, “I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free.”
It didn’t take long for her story to blow up online. Since then, Morales has been showered with a flood of supportive messages and tip donations from every corner of the globe. She has received a total of about $2,000.
“People have sent me tips from all over the world just to show support. I have had people from Germany to South Africa, Australia to the U.K., San Diego, everywhere,” Morales stated to CNN. But she’s clear that she never expected money from people. Getting her story out and encouraging community support were the things she chiefly wanted. “It wasn’t for the money. I never planned on this. I just wanted to vent. The purpose was to inform people it wasn’t OK.”
CNN reported that the general manager of the restaurant, Byron Lapola, stood behind Morales after the incident and posted a message of support on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “Dayna is one of our absolute best servers working here at Gallop. We as a team were deeply hurt by the events that transpired. I myself as the General Manager took it personal as my team treats each other like a family.”
Lapola added that if any future customers demonstrate anti-gay bias or bigoted behavior while dining at the restaurant, they will be denied service and shown the door.
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