Unless you happen to be a tall, white, handsome man, you've probably experienced some type of discrimination in your lifetime. It may have been subtle, just a whispered comment as you walked by, or, it might have been in-your-face and life-threatening, but both are forms of prejudice that we hear about every day. We here at Wimp believe that no person should be treated differently, regardless of skin color, religion, abilities or gender, so when we hear a story of someone taking a stand against prejudice, we're always eager to share it. Fighting age-old stereotypes is no easy feat, which makes what's happening at Grenache Restaurant in Manchester, England, that much more important.
45-year-old Andy Forster knows what it's like to face prejudice in his daily life. You see, Andy happens to be autistic, and unfortunately, he's often confronted by people who don't understand what that means. They might take his lack of eye contact as rudeness or feel put-off when he does not seem engaged in their conversation, not realizing that it's just part of who Andy is.
But, there's a lot more to Andy than that. He takes care of his mother, who has Alzheimer's, and works to support the two of them. His passion for good food and the hospitality industry led him to Grenache, but he'd only been working as a waiter there for three weeks when rude patrons began to hassle him. They didn't want to be served by him, even after Grenache's owner, Mike Jennings, explained that Andy was autistic. Instead, they asked, “Why would you give him a job?” Jennings was shocked, and knew he had to take a stand.