Queer Apple Customer Finds '[email protected]'; Written on His Receipt

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Friday August 15, 2014

A queer Apple customer was shocked to find a homophobic slur printed on his receipt after a recent visit to a Portland, Oregon, Apple store.

Metro UK reports that after Adam Catanzarite bought a new pair of headphones, he perused the receipt and noticed that instead of his email address on the receipts, an anti-gay slur had popped up: the word "[email protected]";

"So here's a thing. I got called a [email protected] by an Apple employee here in Portland," Catanzarite wrote on his Facebook page. "The store manager did not do what he said he would to rectify the situation, so now I feel it is important to share the story."

"Being queer and having worked with queer youth, I know first-hand that this is an example of the type of homophobic beliefs and actions that lead young people to harm themselves," wrote Catanzarite. "This type of action is NOT OKAY, especially from a company that prides itself on being LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming."

He asked his Facebook friends to 'like' his status and share it to let Apple know that "homophobia does not have a place in PDX (or anywhere) and that you reconsider where you spend your money. Perhaps the Apple store is not so deserving."

But PQ Monthly reports that the whole thing was likely just a big misunderstanding.

Speaking anonymously, a current Pioneer Place Apple Store employee reached out to them to say that the employee who rung up Catanzarite was gay himself, and may have either been flirting, or simply following the store protocol by entering a random series of letters that just happened to spell out the slur.

"I can personally confirm that the employee in question is gay," wrote the anonymous employee. "It is not uncommon to want to quickly help a customer with an accessory sale and to hurry it along by typing in whatever is shortest for an acceptable email for the system, especially if they just want a paper receipt then get out. Also, 'f' and 'g' do happen to not only be next to each other, but centered on the screen on the iOS devices we used. I do know that it is common for gay men to use the term in question as a playful, joking thing. I've not known this employee to employ the term in a casual, callous, or even joking manner."

PQ Monthly reports that calls to the Pioneer Place Apple Store and Apple's media hotline were not returned by the time the article went to press.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.