The California woman who tried to shame a Starbucks barista on Facebook for not serving her because she wasn’t wearing a mask is claiming that she was discriminated against.
Amber Lynn Gilles, a yoga instructor, photographer and self-proclaimed anti-vaxxer, took to Facebook on June 22 to blast the barista – identified as Lenin Gutierrez – for denying her service at a Starbucks in San Diego.
‘Meet lenen [sic] from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask,’ she said in the post, tagging the coffee shop off the 4200 block of Genesee Avenue. ‘Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.’
The post, which has been deleted after drawing numerous negative comments directed at Gilles, inspired a stranger, Matt Cowan, from Irvine, to launch a GoFundMe campaign for Gutierrez as a way of tipping him for his work.
As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser has drawn more than $105,000 in donations.
Gilles recently told Fox 4, that she was the real victim and is demanding half of the money raised on GoFundMe. ‘I feel like I need the apology,’ Gilles said. ‘I’ve been discriminated against, I’m the one who’s sick.’
Amber Lynn Gilles (pictured) whose viral Facebook post seeking to shame a Starbucks barista for refusing to serve her because she was not wearing a mask is claiming that she was discriminated against and has demanded an apology
‘Meet lenen from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask,’ she said in the post, tagging the coffee shop off the 4200 block of Genesee Avenue. ‘Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption’
Gilles said she was the real victim and is demanding half of the money raised on GoFundMe for Lenin Gutierrez (pictured)
‘It was discrimination and everybody is OK with it and enabling and rewarding that behavior,’ Gilles said.
She then described her health issues that prevent her from wearing a mask.
‘I get shortness of breath, dizziness and it messes with the heartbeat,’ she explained.
‘And I do have asthma as well, and I do get mask-acne. So there’s several things going on and not only that but it doesn’t even work.’
Cowan told ABC10 earlier this month that when he launched the campaign, titled ‘Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen,’ he never expected the outpouring of support that followed.
‘I set it at $1,000 thinking that was a reach but we would be lucky if we hit like $250 and when we hit $100 I was overwhelmed by that,’ said Cowan.
Gutierrez told ABC10 that he plans to use the money to pursue a college degree in kinesiology – the study of movement – and to donate some to charity.
‘Everything I wanted to do seemed very far away, but with all that’s going on, it seems more within my reach,’ he said. ‘Everyone showed my kindness, so now I want to show it back.’
Gutierrez posted a video on his Facebook page offering his side of the story.
He said that he asked Gilles if she had a face mask, to which she allegedly replied that she did not need one.
‘Before I could say anything she flipped me off and said I don’t need one and she started cursing up a storm,’ he said.
Gutierrez (pictured) posted a video on his Facebook page offering his side of the story. He said after he asked Gilles to wear a mask, the woman began hurling profanities and calling people ‘sheep’
‘She started calling people sheep and she left and within a few minutes came back and she asked for my name and took a photo.’
Under California Governor Gavin Newsom’s mandate regarding face coverings, people can be exempt for wearing masks in public but must provide a medical reason.
Gilles took to Facebook to defend her actions and to clash with those who were blasting her on her post.
‘I am not scared or bothered by your ignorant fraud a**’s, not so sorry you losers got nothing better to do.,’ she said last week.
‘Thanks for the ratings you all act like the terrorist organization you are.’
Speaking to NBC San Diego days later, Gilles denied ever threatening Gutierrez.
‘I just called him out on his actions,’ the 35-year-old mother-of-three said. ‘I never threatened him and I’ve received death threats, thousands, it’s very upsetting. It’s very scary.’
Gilles, who opposes vaccinations, argued that forcing people to wear masks is a slippery slope.
‘It starts with coffee but it ends with mandatory digital certificates, the mark of the beast and all of that forced vaccination,’ she said.
Starbucks released a statement standing behind the need to wear masks inside stores.
‘We want everyone to feel welcome in our stores,’ they said in a statement to CBS 8.
‘We respectfully request customers follow social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores.