Beaufort, N.C.

March 9, 2023


Our coffee shop is not turning kids gay. On February 28th, a concrete millstone decorated with rainbow colors paired with a Bible verse was anonymously left in front of Cru Coffee in downtown Beaufort. The Bible verse painted on read “Luke 17:2,” referencing the quote about throwing a person in the sea with a millstone around their neck after they lead the children astray.

For those unaware, Cru had historically been a safe space for LGBTQ+ members of the community and in the fall of 2022, they created a youth support group with the goal of opening their safe space to queer youth in the area. I heard about the anger from the community once people found out, and discussed with my father why some of his workout buddies made the decision to boycott the shop in response. I don’t know people’s exact reasonings but from the recent reaction via the public display, I can assume that some hold the belief that this little group may cause their children to come out of the closet.

I hate to break it to some of you, but LGTBQ+ youth exist and they are not going anywhere. They are not created by other gay people. They come into this world with their identity. Due to our traditional heteronormative society, it can take a while for them to come to terms with their true self. Internalized homophobia is also real and horrible feeling. Those experiencing it may feel as though they are “lost”, “worthless”, or “immoral.” This can lead to feelings of self-disgust and self-hatred along with suicidal tendencies.

According to the Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ+ support organization, “LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers (Johns et al., 2019; Johns et al., 2020).” They also stated in their National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health in 2022 “that 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.”

The blatant homophobia in this county is not shocking. I saw it firsthand throughout my time at Beaufort Middle School and East Carteret High School. Daily harassment and even sexual assault towards queer presenting students was normal and expected. While students are outed by their peers and subjected to verbal and physical harassment, the school system has nothing in place to prevent this or to support their LGBTQ+ students. In a county that has record levels of addiction, increasing dropout rates, and a 15.7% teen pregnancy rate according to SHIFT NC, I find it ironic that queer kids hanging out is the main topic on the discussion board.

This is all to say, leave the kids be. Let them find safety and happiness in a community that refuses to protect them. Let them connect with others who are going through the same struggles. Support them through their youth even if you don’t fully understand how they feel.

Queer kids will exist, no matter the flavor of coffee in your cup.


Editor’s note: Luke 17:2- It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.

(26) comments

David Collins

You know , was pondering the need for another safe space . By golly , instant gratification ! Now , is it to keep harm out or contain the harm ? Safe being an opposite of harmful and all that stuff . Only in America , what a country .

Had to ask .

Big Fat Drunk Republican

Wish I were surprised, but this is a MAGA county thru and thru.

One only has the read the comments in CCNT opinion section to see ignorance rules the day with your dads buddies and others like him.


Soooo… as a consumer, a person decides to take their “coffee business “ elsewhere due to ideological/religious differences and they’re ignorant?

Big Fat Drunk Republican

Those who use religion as a tool for hate are guilty of a sin far worse than ignorance.


Would someone who refused to patronize a business owned by blacks be considered a racist?

Susan DeWitt Wilder

This is a beautiful letter. Well said. Thank you for speaking up.

David Collins

OK , I’ll bite .

So this business is a 2023 take off on the famous “ Cheers “ , where everybody knows your name but focusing on queers and those that identify . Therefore showing responsiveness to the needs of a underserved consumer base and with a humanitarian touch . Nothing wrong with that ! Just makes an already cool town even cooler .


What a sad state of affairs coming from the MAGAphobes who would rather see the US as less than great. Typical response!

As a conservative and past Trump supporter, I detest the hate crime at the Cru coffee shop.

“Everyone” needs a safe place to go. If you don’t like a business, don’t support it with your dollars. Period!

I’m sorry this happened, Lydia: “Noli Illegitimi Carborundum.” (Latin)


Agree jeep unfortunately not patronizing a business is ignorant and or racist according to the liberal folks.


Gay people are human beings just as much as any straight person. Their money is the same as everyone else's. Why would you want to boycott a business just because they accept gay folks? Would you still feel the same way if someone in your family was gay and was treated unfairly? And who are we to judge someone who isn't commuting a crime? We call ourselves Christian's yet we still persecute someone because they are different. If a person wants to be gay, it's their choice not yours. If a business serves gay people, it's their choice not yours. If you want to follow the deceptive and destructive politicians of this country, that's your choice not nobody else's. And the most ignorant thing is the discrimination of people based on race, creed, religious beliefs and sexual orientation. I intentionally left political views out because that is ignorance at the highest level.


Would I feel the same way if….that’s not an argument…not patronizing a business certainly isn’t persecution.


A true Christian hates the sin and not the sinners. While I may not agree with everyone's particular lifestyle, that certainly doesn't give me the right to interfere with how they want to live. That said, it certainly doesn't give anyone the right to make me accept something I'm not personally comfortable with. Live and let live goes both ways.


Well it was just a regular bar where people out enjoying the day of evening could stop in for a cold one. And here we are. I hope one day it just goes back to a regular bar. Take the whatever it is to the dump. Wouldn't doubt for a second it's not a set up to gain attention to all this cause.


What does choosing to not patronize a business have to do with hate? Bfdr…you called a person and his buddies ignorant for boycotting this establishment. Uhhhh… you have no way of knowing what they are thinking. Ski…a person can do business with whoever they want…the word racist has been watered down by y’all so much that it really has no meaning. You guys are in worse shape than I thought. You guys do commerce with who you want…everyone else can do the same. Like I’ve said y’all are supposed to be tolerant of everyone’s opinions/point of view/ etc etc….looks like your opinions are the only ones that count…


It was a simple question, if someone declines to patronise a business because the owner is black, would that be racist? I would have to answer yes it certainly would be. No ambiguity there. Others may disagree that is their prerogative.


I do think there is a bit of ambiguity here. Certainly not going to a bar for the soul reason that someone is black is unquestionably racist. That's generally not the case though. Generally, people will not patronize due to lifestyle differences. Usually, you would want to attend a bar that represents people you generally vibe with, correct? I wouldn't deem people who like to hang out at their favorite watering hole that just so happens to be predominantly white, black, supportive of LGBTQ+, and so forth racist or bigoted. It's just where they like to chill.

Are there people who choose not to attend for those reasons? Absolutely! And I think we can all agree that's not cool. But I highly doubt that's the case in a majority of circumstances.

I think the issue is the scripture they quoted seemed to insinuate or lean itself towards violence. Which is arguably on the edge of being hateful. Whether people agree with whatever the definition of a "safe space" is or not. Just let people enjoy themselves in a place they feel comfortable.


I am surprised they did not paint it in camouflage and place it at the door of a gun shop before hitting a coffee shop since, according to the NEJM, firearm injuries by the year 2020 led to more deaths in children aged 1-19 than any other causes.


What is a safe space? I didn’t know it wasn’t safe to go there. Is it safe to go to beaufort? After dark?


Perhaps it's just a coffee house with an alcohol license, the LGBT population is a 10 % minority. I suspect the majority of patrons are not LGBT, perhaps they like coffee , live music,and are open minded. Operating a business takes a lot of sales to pay rent, pay staff, and keep the lights on.

I doubt the LGBT population of the county is sufficient to sustain such a business.


I think a safe place could be defined as a place where a person feels confident and comfortable that they will not be criticized or harassed either verbally or physically.

Sleepwalker, you are 100% correct. You can decide not to patronize a business for “any” number of reasons that have nothing to do with ignorance, hate, or racism. That comment about ignorance was ignorant, for sure.

No matter how you slice it, what happened at the coffee was ignorant, harmful, hateful, and not needed in our county.


Youth support groups? In a bar? How old were these yutes that were referenced? I do not care if it's a gay bar. I've been in Cru a few times. Kind of a weird vibe. And that's okay. However any marketing to underage drinkers, by a bar, sounds unethical and immoral. I wondered its legality as well.


If you've been in there a few times, surely you saw that it is a coffee shop by day. Did you have too much wine?


What I observed in Cru was kids huddled in booths with hoodies while adults were at the bar and at tables in the same room getting hammered. It looks like "masquerade marketing" to me. I don't really have a problem with that, but please be honest about it. The facade is obvious. A coffee shop? Right. It's a gay bar. If Cru adds a barber shop in the same space too than I can get coffee, get a cocktail AND get a good grooming. Hey, honey! Let's bring the kids. BTW, I don't drink alcohol...but go ahead with your ad hominem attack. Typical and tedious.


Well, best that you avoid Lowe's Grocery. They have a bar inside.

David Collins

By golly , that’s it !! A coffee shop by day but deep in the bowels there is a LGBTQRZPTY que*r making machine . Cranks out untold numbers of que*r zombies , when no one is paying attention , which will soon takeover the world .

Quickly , bring in another millstone !

The clear and ever present danger to all mankind is right here in the coolest of little towns .

The movie starts at 11 .


Clearly anyplace that serves both alcohol and food items is suspect? Pizza and beer the devils tools!

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