Ula Cafe Staff, Customers Speak Up for Employee Targeted by Transphobic Individual

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Ula Cafe staff and customers stood up for an Ula Cafe staff member who was verbally assaulted by an individual in a transphobic tirade.

The patio outside Ula Cafe

Chris Helms

The patio outside Ula Cafe

"[On November 8] one of our employees was the target of transphobic hate when an individual entered our establishment and proceeded to verbally assault and berate her in front of an audience of astonished customers and staff," said an Ula Cafe email newsletter.

Co-owners Marvin Mathelier and Beth Santos said the incident was upsetting, especially because they view the cafe as a second home to many of their customers and staff.

"We want you to come to Ula and feel that you belong and are celebrated here. The only intolerance we have is for people who fail to respect the experiences, needs, pronouns, and boundaries of our extended Ula family and community," said the email.

They said any intolerable behavior that violates the identity and safety of any customers or staff will be thrown out of the cafe. And importantly, staff and customers stood up for the staff member being verbally attacked.

"To the customers and team members who spoke up during yesterday’s incident, thank you for being the manifestation of our values at Ula. We deeply appreciate each and every one of you," said the email.

To further support the LGBTQIA+ community, Ula Cafe will be raising money for GLASS (GLBTQ+ Adolescent Social Services) through the end of the week. GLASS provides a variety of services to LGBTQ+ youth of color and their allies in the Greater Boston area, and based on Amory Street in Jamaica Plain.

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