Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet

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Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#1
Posted: 12/16/07 at 6:52pm
Clearly not the airline one flies if you want any kind of decent treatment ... the girl with the inappropriate attire, now this.

A Gay Spokane man and his partner were subjected to anti-Gay slurs, discrimination, and eventual police action during and after a Southwest Airlines flight Wednesday. ...


A Gay man's ordeal on Southwest Airlines
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#2
Posted: 12/16/07 at 6:57pm
That's pathetic.

I'll stick with Virgin America.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#2
Posted: 12/16/07 at 7:22pm
Well, at 30,000 feet, if you'll pardon the expression, Southwest actually is a pretty good company as far as GLBT issues. They score better than a lot of the other airlines on the HRC index. Of course, that doesn't mean they can't hire some pretty crappy human beings as employees. Here's a chance for them to prove their policies aren't just extra pages in the employee handbook.

Sounds like they need to do a little housecleaning. That guy should have called that troglodyte out the first time she uttered fag.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#3
Posted: 12/16/07 at 7:24pm
I would've went off if some mile high slut called me that.
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#4
Posted: 12/16/07 at 7:49pm
"I heard her say, 'Fags,'" says Brown, recalling the "disgust or contempt" in her voice. "I thought, no, I didn't hear that. This is 2007 and people who work with the public don't say that; I must have misheard her."

Oh, if only this were true. Unfortunately, I still think things aren't as 'progressive' as some would like to think.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#5
Posted: 12/16/07 at 8:37pm
The airline should be held accountable. There is no excuse. This stupid attendant represents THEM.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Updated On: 12/16/07 at 08:37 PM
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#6
Posted: 12/16/07 at 8:42pm
I hope they fire the bitch.
....but the world goes 'round
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#7
Posted: 12/16/07 at 8:50pm
re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#8
Posted: 12/16/07 at 9:01pm
Now if that door was at 30,000 feet.
I've seen quite a few gay attendants. I thought it would be a pretty tolerant work force but hey there's lousy people everywhere.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#9
Posted: 12/16/07 at 10:51pm
I've probably flown Southwest a hundred times- No discrimination and nothing but smooth sailing. I can only imagine "The rest of the Story."
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#10
Posted: 12/16/07 at 11:04pm
So far this sounds like "he said, she said."

This could be a case of a
hateful and bigoted
flight attendant or of
an
extremely unhappy and difficult passenger.

Click on my profile and watch Chita Rivera "Put On A Happy Face"

Updated On: 12/16/07 at 11:04 PM
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#11
Posted: 12/16/07 at 11:10pm
Watch the Southwest Reality show on A&E. I've never seen such bad behavior.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#12
Posted: 12/16/07 at 11:41pm
Airline ended a few years ago.

The employees were always nice, obviously, but they always had the craziest customers.
"Writing is like prostitution. First, you do it for love, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money." ~ Moliere
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#13
Posted: 12/17/07 at 12:10am
Been flying Southwest for many, many years, and never, ever have had a problem. Just got back today from a Southwest trip. This story sounds just a little off...... But, none of us were there. We'll never know what really happened.

I seriously doubt that the flight attendant would risk their job by doing the things that there were accused of. Just doesn't make sense.

Wouldn't surprise if the couple in question, "altered" some of what happened to make them look like the victims. Just my opinion.....none of us were there. I could be wrong. In all my years of flying, I've seen it happen many, many times where passengers will look for any opportunity to get a "freebie," and color the truth. Seen it happen time and time again.

Updated On: 12/17/07 at 12:10 AM
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#14
Posted: 12/17/07 at 1:07am
I agree that the whole story needs to be heard, and would love to hear what Southwest - who did not return calls from the paper - has to say. Even though the airline has a good track record, there are always problem people, and they should be pointed out.

I'm just a little surprised about the "they probably altered the story to gain sympathy" attitude.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#15
Posted: 12/17/07 at 2:35am
Wouldn't surprise if the couple in question, "altered" some of what happened to make them look like the victims. Just my opinion.....none of us were there. I could be wrong. In all my years of flying, I've seen it happen many, many times where passengers will look for any opportunity to get a "freebie," and color the truth. Seen it happen time and time again.

(what an absolutely stupid thing to say....and in all MY years of traveling I have seen some pretty nasty FA's)

yeah, damn that rape victim....she asked for it.


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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#16
Posted: 12/17/07 at 3:21am
I'm not "Blaming the victim" here, I just think there is probably more to the tale than we've read- the victim here is affiliated with the paper that reported the incident and they only told his side of the story. There are things in the report that sound, at the very least, melodramatic: ""Finally, Fred got up and moved," says Brown, and was seated elsewhere for the entire flight." Really? The ENTIRE flight? He didn't just let the mom sit with her sick kid for twenty minutes? "Already ill, verbally abused, and now sitting next to a relentlessly screaming child instead of his partner, Brown was understandably despondent." Well of course, who WOULDN'T be 'DESPONDENT' if your partner VOLUNTEERED to move so a family could sit together? ""If Gandhi has been in my seat, he wouldn't have been more patient, more cooperative, more positive,"" Uh huh, OK.

Like that. This is not an objective news report.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#17
Posted: 12/17/07 at 6:51am
it is kind of weird to read people to jump to the defense of a CORPORATION.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#18
Posted: 12/17/07 at 8:59am
He definitely needs to follow through with his official complaint, and I'd love to hear the outcome.

If what he says is true, it's completely intolerable, and the attendant should be fired.

If what he says is false, he should be equally accountable, and should be banned from flying with the airline ever again.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#19
Posted: 12/17/07 at 9:15am
Funny, I have found flight attendents to be arseholes in general.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#20
Posted: 12/17/07 at 10:37am
...and of course expecting a group of people to be a certain way doesn't color your perception of them in the least, right?

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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#21
Posted: 12/17/07 at 10:52am
What a mess.

It would seem with the recent clothing scandal that Southwest has set a precedent for odd behavior toward its passengers. I wouldn't automatically dismiss because you don't think the flight attendant would risk her job for something like this. Many people wouldn't even consider that saying an anti-gay slur might lose them their job. Homobigotry is okay, because Jesus makes it okay, people.

Also, while I do admit that when I saw that the article was about someone who worked for that paper I wondered if there might be a bias, but I'm still willing to give the guys the benefit of the doubt until I hear the full story.

It's interesting to note the lack of support from gay folks in this thread. I don't expect everyone in the community to walk lockstep in agreement with everything, but I do have to wonder if we're not our own worst enemies a lot of the time. As a gay person who as experienced scores of homobigotry and hatred in my 30-something years, my sympathies do tend to go first to the alleged victims in cases like this. Maybe evidence will come to light to prove otherwise, but I don't think an incident like this out of the realm of possibility at all.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#22
Posted: 12/17/07 at 11:15am
Oh, I have no doubt that the story could have happened. Like Joe, however -- and this is from a journalist's perspective, not a gay man's perspective -- I do have a slight uneasiness in the way the story is presented. This line in particular:

The SGN was unable to contact Southwest Airlines before press time.

It doesn't say "Southwest Airlines did not respond to requests for comment." It just said the paper was unable to contact the company. I read that as the reporter called and left a message with a PR person but had a really short turnaround time to get the story out.

I used to work for a gay publication, and I learned that you have to be really careful when someone approaches you with a horror story like this. I once did a story on a transgender girl who had claimed to have been kicked out of Covenant House. Covenant House wasn't too helpful in providing their side of the story -- because of their rules, they couldn't even confirm whether the girl had actually stayed there or not -- but at my editor's urging, I ran with it anyway. One very nice woman in the local LGBT community read it and decided to give the girl a place to stay until she got back on her feet. A few days later, the girl disappeared, along with a lot of the woman's possessions. Another guy called me to tell me that he'd been a victim of a hate crime. It turned out he had just had a minor argument with a gym employee.

Again, I'm not saying that this couldn't have happened as it was told. It very well might have. It just makes me uneasy that this publication didn't wait to run it until a little bit more thorough reporting was done. I mean, it's not as if they were in any danger of getting scooped.
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#23
Posted: 12/17/07 at 11:33am
I'm with Calvin on this. It very, very easily could have happened, but at the same time, there are a lot of drama queens out there, gay and straight. And although there are plenty of douchy flight attendents out there, they are douchy for a reason: They have to deal out rules and orders all day with people who are tense and demanding. It seems to me an experienced flight attendant would know how to deal with people without using slurs. But then again....
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali
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re: Southwest: Homophobia at 30,000 feet#24
Posted: 12/17/07 at 11:42am
Also, I know from experience that the Seattle Gay News is quick to cry "homophobia" and ask questions later. They are kind of a ridiculous publication and a bit of a joke in the Seattle community (their inability to use the Spell Check option on their computers is infamous).

For instance, a couple of years ago, Fred Phelps had one of his hoo-ha's in front of some gay bars in Seattle. The SGN's cover story was about the "mistreatment" of one of the counterprotesters by the Seattle police. Apparently, this gentleman had brought eggs to the protest and when he started throwing them, the cops stepped in and carted him away. The article was a sob story about how the police took this innocent man in and didn't charge him and "who's the victim here?" and all this crap. Not once in the article did it suggest that the guy got off easy and that "incite to riot" and "assault" really ought to be taken seriously by the police no matter what their sexual orientation is.

The fact that this story is from the SGN makes me call the whole thing into question.
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing. ~ Muhammad Ali