A fire chief in Delaware is under fire after posting an anti-gay slur on his social media while attending a drag show at a Rehoboth Beach gay bar, reports Metro Weekly.
In the since-deleted Facebook post, Lewes Fire Department’s Bill Henry Buckaloo is seen smiling in a photograph taken at the gay bar and restaurant in Rehoboth, on Sunday, Nov. 15.
“The shit I get talked in to,” he captioned the post, which included a picture of the drag show. “Matt, talked us to go to a faggot show!”
Magnolia Applebottom, the drag queen hosting the show that Buckaloo attended, responded to the viral post on her Instagram, calling it a “sad turn of events.”
“The @lewes_fire chief thought it was ok to go to a gay owned and operated establishment… and go to a show hosted and produced by a award winning gay entertainer and use that F word on social media,” she wrote. “Your job is to protect the people in our community not bring us down. Do better!!! Be better!!! And we recognize your inappropriate behavior.”
In an Instagram story, Applebottom added: “Mr. Fire Chief of Lewes thinks it’s still appropriate to use that word while in a very open and accepting community. This is absolutely disgusting. Unacceptable. Do better!”
The Lewes Fire Department on Monday suspended Buckaloo and removed him as fire chief, the Cape Gazette reports.
A spokesperson for the fire department said that their disciplinary committee would review Buckaloo’s actions, adding: “While he was not representing the department at the time, it obviously reflects back on the department and the town itself. We do not tolerate this.”
Lewes Mayor Ted Becker called Buckaloo’s post an “intolerable message,” and said the city has had “a long-term relationship with the department and it’s generally been positive.”
CAMP Rehoboth, a nonprofit that works to make Rehoboth Beach more LGBTQ-inclusive, posted a statement to Facebook saying they “appreciate the quick response from the Lewes Fire Department and will continue to work with them on this matter and on rebuilding trust in our community.”
A quick glance at Buckaloo’s recent Facebook posts show that he is a supporter of Donald Trump, with one calling LGBTQ ally President-elect Joe Biden a “fork tongued, smooth talking hypocritical corrupt liar” and a “demented, senile washed-up Swamp Monster.”
Buckaloo posted an apology to Facebook on Monday, calling his use of “faggot” an “inappropriate comment,” and saying he wanted to “sincerely apologize for my distasteful choice of words.”
“I definitely displayed a lack of good character and judgment,” he wrote. “I offended a lot of people including myself. I have no excuse whatsoever. I am truly sorry for all the harm I have caused.”