Cape Town tattoo parlour owner in homohobic street rant


Michael Love captured an angry Tyler Murphy in the shop window before the homophobic incident

The owner of a tattoo parlour in Cape Town has apologised after he verbally attacked a photographer and his model in a homophobic pavement rant.

Last week, on Wednesday afternoon, Michael Oliver Love was in the midst of a photo shoot in the CBD when he asked his model to pose on a bench outside the Sins Of Style tattoo shop.

Love said that while he was taking the photos, furious owner Tyler B Murphy ran out the store and charged at him with his fist in the air. Murphy allegedly shouted “fagg*t” at Love and threw a wet towel at the model’s face. He had apparently objected to the pictures being taken outside his store without permission.

“I backed away asking what the hell was going on?” wrote Love on Facebook. “He [Murphy] then charged for my model who was yelling right back and not backing down. All the cars hooting around us made him stop, but didn’t stop him from continuously throwing homophobic slurs my way, saying he’d hit me if I wasn’t such a fagg*t.”

Love said he genuinely feared being punched by the angry man. When he got into his car with the model to escape the scene, Murphy allegedly ‘smacked’ the vehicle as he drove away. According to the photographer, the incident was “completely random and unprovoked.”

“It was all pointed at me for being a homosexual,” Love told MambaOnline, “and that became the crux of the anger.” He went to the police station down the road to report the incident the next day but became discouraged and left when the officer appeared uninterested.

“While I was sitting there, trying to tell this lady my story, she was just not having it. That was quite triggering,” explained Love. “She said, ‘being gay is not that special…'”

Love’s post on Facebook about the incident, however, quickly went viral, with hundreds of reactions, shares and comments. This led Murphy to reach out to Love to apologise over the phone. The store owner also took to Facebook to address the matter.

“I have just got off the phone with Michael. I wanted to apologise to him directly before I wrote publicly about what had happened. I did reach out on Wednesday following the incident, but wasn’t able to make contact until now,” wrote Murphy on Friday.

“The other day I lashed out at two strangers with wet rags and foul language. I was not provoked by them. I am sorry for how I reacted. I realise that the language that I used in that moment of anger is very offensive. I have no excuse.

“I have not read anything that has been written online, but I can assure anyone reading this that I was the only one from the shop involved in this horrible event. I have learnt from this and I hope to be part of some positive change,” said Murphy.

Love is still considering his options but may accept the apology. “If he’s not going to do anything else like this again, then I am happy,” he said.

Love, who describes himself as “out and proud”, revealed that the incident left him feeling “very angry and just upset that this could happen.” He added: “I’m confident about who I am but what makes me really upset is the fact that if I was a 15-year-old boy this would have probably f*cked me up really badly.”

MambaOnline called Murphy at his store and left a message for him. He later texted us back with his Facebook statement. Murphy said he was brainstorming with a friend to “create something out of this mess that I made,” adding that it had been “a horrible week.”

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