Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

No Fruities with Your Rooty Tooty?

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

No Fruities with Your Rooty Tooty?

Article excerpt

The International House of Pancakes in West Hollywood is located at the city's gay ground zero--surrounded by martinis, pecs, and attitude. So it came as a shock when waiter Gene Piva, who had worked at the IHOP for 7 1/2 years, claimed he was let go because of his age and because he is gay. Piva, 57, says he knew things were different when he was excluded from an August 6 staff meeting called by Charles Cheng, the new general manager, after the restaurant changed ownership this summer.

Piva claims no one ever explicitly told him he was fired. He called once a week for four weeks after August 6, checking to see if he had any shifts, only to be told he had none. Cheng claims Piva called in only once.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

An antigay remark allegedly made by Cheng and the removal of LGBT publications from the lobby demonstrate how the restaurant has changed, adds Piva. An IHOP corporate spokesman pointed out that each restaurant is independently owned and operated and the distribution of all publications inside IHOP restaurants is discouraged. …

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