Owners of a speciality cake shop have been targeted by homophobic hate mail today.
The letter, sent to Special Days Cakes in Uddingston, was sent anonymously and opens with “Dear Poofs”. It goes on to say “I don’t want any of your hands near any food – you should be shut down.”
The expletive-filled letter was opened by staff at the shop earlier, with owners Michael Burns and Stephen Whyteside both shocked at the contents.
Michael told us:
“One of the staff opened the mail for me today and then phoned, they were really upset – more embarrassed I think for me and Stephen. We don’t think for a second it actually came from any of our clients, but maybe from someone who wanted to call us out for being gay. We’ve been together for 18 years and it’s our 10th wedding anniversary in December, but we’ve never come across anything like this. I thought homophobia was a thing of the past, but this has really knocked me for six today.”
The incident has been reported to Police Scotland who are treating this as a hate crime.
Local MSP, Richard Lyle commented on the letter, telling us:
“This is an outrageous letter sent to a couple who have set up their bakery business in Uddingston and are providing much needed jobs. I totally condemn the person who wrote this vile letter and hope that the Police will rightly treat this as a hate crime.”
“This is is totally abhorrent abuse against Michael and his husband Stephen and should be rightly condemned and I hope that they will carry on with their bakery business.”
Michael opened his first shop in the area 27 years ago and although shocked by this incident, he says he’d rather sit and talk to the person who sent it than get angry:
“I’m not going to sit back and let anyone treat me or my husband like this just because we’re gay. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, I just happen to be gay. I want to find the person that did this and take them for a coffee so they can see I’m not weird.”
“Everyone I’ve ever met, anywhere in the world, has had no issues with us. I’ve never seen the point in Pride or anything, we’ve always kept our heads down and got on with things, but for sure I’ll be there with bells on next time. We need to stand proud – I’ll never be brought down. I’m gay and proud.”
Labour MSP, Monica Lennon also commented, saying it was “an alarming reminder of how far we still have to go to eradicate bigotry.”
“I am horrified that this abhorrent homophobic hate crime has occurred in the community that I represent and I stand in solidarity with Michael and Stephen and the team at Special Days Cakes. Police Scotland must take this matter seriously.”
Friends, customers and business people have taken to social media to show their support for the couple.