A gay man from Sydney, Australia who was kicked out of an Uber for kissing his friend on the forehead has revealed the online abuse he received after sharing his story.
Ryan Ottey, who claims he was kicked out of an Uber due to his sexuality, was instructed by the driver to get out of the car mid-fare on Sunday (March 2).
Ottey later shared footage of his confrontation with the Uber driver, and has since revealed the abuse he has received from strangers online—many of whom agreed with the driver’s stance.
According to the Daily Mail, Ottey explained that he shared the video in order to promote awareness of his experience, and was not expecting a negative response from people online.
He said: “I definitely wasn’t expecting the backlash from people who agree with what the driver did.”
Ottey then went on to reveal the content of the messages he has received. He explained: “People have direct messaged me telling me we deserved it, posted online calling us ‘AIDS spreaders’, ‘alphabet soup victims’, ‘no one should have to tolerate those fruits’.”
“It’s just such a strong reminder that there are so many still in our country that do not accept the LGBTQI community and wish us ill harm.”
Ottey said he found the incident to be even more upsetting as it took place the day after Sydney celebrated Mardi Gras. He said: “And that is so hurtful, especially when the weekend just past was all about acceptance and love.”
Uber has responded to the accusations made, and also has an anti-discrimination policy in place which covers sexual preference.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Our community guidelines expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and make it clear to driver-partners this behaviour can result in them losing access to the Uber app.”