What started as a normal trip to the mall ended in tears for a West Kelowna couple.
While at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Shopping Centre on Wednesday, July 8, Razvon Bachmeier and his boyfriend Robert Boettcher were confronted with homophobic remarks and a police report.
The couple was at the jewelry booth in the Bay when a woman tried to cut in line as an attendant attempted to assist Bachmeier. The cashier told the woman she would be helped after the Bachmeier finished.
She went up to the counter again less than a minute later, Bachmeier said, still unimpressed she had to wait in line.
“She was just one of those entitled people who felt she didn’t have to wait her turn in line,” Bachmeier told the Kelowna Capital News, adding that the woman was making “rude huffing noises.”
Noting her apparent displeasure, Boettcher then asked the woman if she had a problem, to which Bachmeier claims the woman told him to ‘shut up.’
At that point, an unnamed third party started filming the incident, which was later posted to Facebook and has garnered over 35,000 views and 700 shares within 48 hours of being posted.
Let’s make this go viral.
My boyfriend and I were in The Bay in Kelowna BC today. I was being helped by a sales…
“She must’ve taken one look at how I was dressed — which I mean, I was wearing a pair of shorts and a T-shirt — and that’s when she started throwing around the word ‘gay’,” Bachmeier said. “There was so much more before that the video doesn’t show and there was so much after that the video doesn’t show.”
After she called him gay, Bachmeier called the woman a “b–-tch.”
“Obviously things and tempers escalated quickly. We could have improved on how we handled the situation as well,” he said.
Boettcher then called the woman homophobic and she went to call security. She also called the police. The Kelowna RCMP confirmed to the Capital News that it received a report, but determined that no criminal offence occurred.
Despite this, Bachmeier claims the woman returned, after the filming had stopped, and told the couple they had to wait for the police to show up. At that point, the woman left.
The couple was told they could leave by the Bay’s security and staff.
“We gave them our info and left. Shaken and in tears,” Bachmeier said. “My boyfriend hasn’t even been out of the closet a year, so this was a huge issue for him to deal with.”
After the video was posted to social media, Bachmeier said he was made aware of “hateful comments” directed at the woman and her family and discourages anybody else from doing so as it only adds to the negative situation.
“That’s not what this is about; It’s just about raising awareness,” he said. “This is still happening. We’re not in the States; we’re not in some little hick town; we’re in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. And it still happens.”
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