A restaurant in Dundee, Scotland, was praised by LGBT+ patrons on social media after it warned those with symptoms of racism, homophobia or transphobia to steer clear.
After Wee Mexico shuttered due to COVID-19 earlier this year, the store reopened with a new sign which read: “We’re back! Please do not enter if you have symptoms of COVID-19, racism, homophobia [or] transphobia.”
The general manager of Wee Mexico, Ben Wyatt, told the Evening Telegraph that the sign was in response to LGBT+ patrons being targeted in the past by hateful customers.
“We have quite a diverse group of staff and this is something we stand for, and we figured our customers would agree with it, and as the sign says if not we are not particularly keen to have them in here,” he said.
After Wee Mexico shared its sign on social media, it quickly drew praise.
One user said on Instagram: “Y’all are the best!! loving that sign!”
“Wee Mexico Dundee, [this is] a sign to be proud of!” another user said on Twitter.
Tomorrow we’ll be back open for business for the first time in 6 months! We’ve changed a lot of our ordering systems so please read below: Due to the fact we have an extremely narrow building we’re taking extra measures to ensure safe social distancing. Starting tomorrow we will only be able to accept orders made through Deliveroo. This is specifically to prevent the large queues we get at the till. When ordering on Deliveroo you’ll have an option for “Table service”, “Pickup” or delivery. This will mean if you are sitting in you’ll be able place your order from your table and we’ll bring it up to you. If you’re ordering to takeaway you’ll order through deliveroo using “Pickup” and we’ll call your name and pass your order to you in the waiting area. If you have any questions pop them down below in the comments and I’l get back to you 👇 We’ll have extra staff on hand tomorrow to make sure everything goes a smooth as possible. Looking forward to seeing you all! – Ben 🌯
A post shared by Wee Mexico – Dundee (@weemexico) on Aug 14, 2020 at 8:00am PDT
Yet, Wee Mexico’s stand against racism and anti-LGBT+ bigotry drew criticism from some quarters.
“Since when has an eatery been so judgemental?” one social media user wrote.
“You gravitate to where you feel comfortable but does it need [to be] proclaimed like that!”
After all, a transphobe not being able to eat a taco is truly the height of prejudice. No doubt.
Other comments included people questioning why the restaurant didn’t include other forms of discrimination, such as misogyny.
Wyatt said that it was upsetting that some people had taken the message in a negative way.
“2020 has been a crazy year with lots of debate on all sorts of issues and we wanted to spread the message that anyone is welcome here,” he told the Telegraph.
“I am a privileged white male but this does happen, especially in the hospitality industry.”
Wee Mexico is not the only business to take a stand against discrimination.
The Wee Mexico sign appears to have been inspired by a Lush store in Edinburh which won praise with a similar message earlier this year, as it warned customers to not come into the store if they had “signs of COVID-19, racism, homophobia, sexism or transphobia”.
Lush said on Facebook: “Our store is a space for compassion and respect for all, and we will not condone or support acts of hate.”
“If you are showing signs of COVID-19 please follow government guidelines to isolate and get tested, if you are showing signs of any of racism, homophobia, sexism or transphobia, we recommend you isolate and educate yourself.”