Opening inspired by ugly incident

To the Editor:

One year ago, my boyfriend and I were screamed at and ordered to immediately vacate the “Mexican” restaurant we were eating lunch at in Milford after the owner’s wife saw us kissing each other on the lips at her empty bar in the late afternoon.

In the moment, we were both shocked and never expected to receive that kind of backward thinking so visibly and viciously homophobic in our own home state. We were told that it was a family restaurant, and how dare we do something so disgusting.

This was and continues to be something that has left a mark on both of us. However, this ultimately became an inspiration to open up my own cafe in Manchester, Milk & Honey Juicery and Cafe.

I wanted to reach out publicly for my intention to create a safe and accepting space there. I always thought of New England at large as a progressive and accepting region of the country, and I want to do everything in my power to make that a reality for everyone living here.

From the beginning, we have decided to mark our bathroom with three figures representing male, female and trans/non-binary individuals, letting it be known that we have an all-gender bathroom and that we recognize all members of our community.

Our employees have been trained that, above all, our safe space policy is the most important aspect of this cafe. We will not tolerate any discrimination of any kind inside our walls.

Creating safe spaces in our communities will be key to surviving through the next four years together. I welcome all people in our community to eat and drink inside our sanctuary we have worked so hard to build for you no matter your sexual orientation, identifying gender, ethnicity or background. You are welcome here and we can’t wait to meet you.

Matthew Radwan