Justice

An Australian Lesbian Couple Recorded Their Interaction with a Homophobic Uber Driver

June 6th 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski

There's more than one way to leave a bad Uber driver review.

Over the weekend, an Australian lesbian couple witnessed a homophobic tirade by an Uber driver named John. But rather than just leave one star, Lucy Thomas and Chelsea Lang surreptitiously recorded the conversation and posted it online.

Listen to it here:

After hearing the women talk about plans to go to a soccer match, the driver allegedly said that he "hated" the sport since it amounts to "a bunch of faggots who go around touching each other," Lang told ATTN: in an email.

John used offensive language to explain his dislike of the game, with words like "spastic," "retard," and "Abo," referring to a slang term for Australian Aboriginal people, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

When John asked the two about their sexual orientation, things turned sour — and that's when Thomas and Lang started recording.

In the recording, John says that he can say anything he wants because he's "prepared to suffer the consequences."

When the couple says that he's hurting people, John asks them to get out.

"When we got out we were shaking," Thomas, who happens to be the CEO of an anti-bullying educational organization, told the Herald.

In an emailed statement to ATTN:, an Uber spokesperson said that "Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in contact with this rider to offer our support. As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we removed the driver from the platform."

Thomas, who was evidently pleased to hear the news, tweeted:

It's not the first time riders have reported having homophobic drivers make them feel uncomfortable with the service. While Uber, along with other popular "sharing-economy" companies, generally have anti-discrimination statutes, the company has faced criticism for failing to use industry-leading background check services, and exposing app users to dangerous situations.

"After recording the conversation we realixed that this was a chance to raise awareness that homophobia is still occurring in our society, even in a progressive city like Melbourne," Lang told ATTN:. "The best outcome from this experience was that people in the LGBTIQ community, including myself, were able to see the influx of love and support from our community who got behind us and were vocal in saying that this kind of behavior was unacceptable."