The case of an engaged gay couple in Rome who were on the receiving end of a homophobic slur on their restaurant bill has gone viral on Italian social media, attracting opinion from people on both sides of the argument.
The young men had visited the Locanda Rigatoni restaurant for a midweek dinner and had asked their waiter to replace some pecorino cheese on their dish with parmesan. When it came time to pay, their water handed them the restaurant bill containing the phrase “No pecorino, Si frocio,” which translates as “No pecorino, Yes faggots”. In this instance ‘pecorino’ was also being used as a double entendre as it is also a slang term for the ‘doggy-style’ position.
The couple complained to the waiter, who insisted it was a computer error but continued to give the game away by laughing at them. After a while, a manager intervened, also suggesting it was a computer error, offering the pair a free aperitif while at the same time refusing to apologise for the apparent insult.
The couple called the helpline of Gay Centre, an LGBT support group, to tell them what had happened. Gay Centre posted a photo of the receipt alongside the story of the event to social media. It quickly went viral, leading the restaurant page to be flooded by one-star reviews.
Restaurant management apologised, saying the waiter had been fired for his actions. This prompted the reply – if it was a so-called computer error, why was he fired? Others called out the apology, saying it was merely forthcoming due to the internet backlash and not any regrets about the actual occurrence. The restaurant then began to paint themselves as the victims in the situation, saying they had received online death threats.
It wasn’t long before the far-right political party Forza Nuova (New Force) involved themselves in the argument. Supporting the fired waiter, they gathering outside the restaurant, carrying banners containing anti-gay slogans. This is just the latest in a series of homophobic statements and attacks which have plagued Italy in recent times.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.