After receiving a homophobic Valentine’s Day card from a co-worker, a young Canadian man has now received a much kinder card from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Degas Sikorski, 20, who is openly gay, received a card last month with a homophobic slur from an anonymous co-worker at the party supply store he worked at, Party City.
“Faggot. You are not getting shifts for a reason.”
However, Mr Sikorski has now been gifted a book filled with messages of support from several MPs and Cabinet ministers as well as a special floral Valentine’s Day card signed by Mr Trudeau.
“Know that your friends outnumber the haters by the millions, and I am one of those friends,” Mr Trudeau wrote.
Mr Sikorski responded by saying “it’s amazing to know I have their support”.
“I want to give him [Trudeau] a hug,” he told Global News.
Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault, who is gay himself, reached out to Mr Sikorski following the workplace attack and handed the book around Parliament Hill to collect messages of support.
Degas’s mother, Shelley Sikorski, said around Christmas her son’s work hours were cut and by Valentine’s Day he had not had a shift since New Year’s Eve.
“Finally so excited he got a shift tonight,” she said in a Facebook post on February 14.
“One of the supervisors made sweet Valentine’s gifts for all the staff … when Degas picked his up … some ‘unknown gutless’ employee did this to Deg’s Valentine.”
Mr Sikorski, who worked at the Edmonton store for three years, said he had never had any problems with homophobia in the workplace before the incident.
At the time of the incident, Party City released a statement saying they were looking into the matter and would provide more information as it became available.
“Party City does not condone this behaviour and is committed to creating a fair and inclusive working environment,” it said.
Mr Sikorski has since indicated in Facebook posts that he no longer works for Party City.
He said he had been interviewed by the company’s human resources and investigation team following the incident but he was yet to hear back from them or receive an apology.