Community Supports Couple After Homophobic Incident at Restaurant

"I've never been disrespected like that, to hear that just made me kind of sick inside."

A McKinney couple says they’ve been overwhelmed by community support after a homophobic incident at a restaurant on Monday.

Michael Heard said he and his husband were eating lunch when another customer across the bar called them anti-gay slurs and threatened them with violence.

"I've never been disrespected like that," Heard said. "To hear that just made me kind of sick inside."

Kacie Fisher was working at the McKinney Pizza Tavern and witnessed the ordeal.

"The other gentleman was across there," Fisher said, nodding toward the other side of the bar. "And just out of nowhere started degrading them very badly for absolutely no reason."

"They did say, 'Hey man, what's your problem? We're just minding our own business," Fisher said. "He just went on even more, got more angry, asking them if they wanted to fight. They stayed very calm."

Fisher said she warned the man to stop, but he didn't.

Heard said the man shoved him as Fisher, a cook and other customers jumped in to help Heard and his husband. Among those who confronted the man, was a woman who was there eating lunch with her kids.

"I would just say thank you for standing up for not just me but for your children," Heard said. "You're raising children that are going to be kind and respectful to others."

McKinney police responded and issued a criminal trespass warning to the man after Heard declined to press charges. At the time, Heard said he just wanted the man to leave and never return to the restaurant.

He posted a description of the incident on the McKinney Cares Facebook page, which drew hundreds of comments and messages of support Monday night.

"There is so much love out there. I hope that people continue down that path," Heard said.

"This one person decided to try to ruin my day and he kind of did," he said. "But everybody turned it into such a great day. To really know that I was supported."

Heard said the owner of the McKinney Pizza Tavern reached out to make sure Heard and his husband felt safe returning. Fisher said the staff has been told to call police if the man ever shows up again.

"We do not allow discrimination of any kind. We respect everybody here," said Fisher said.

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