The past month has been rough to say the least. After coming back from vacation in the beginning of January my boyfriend and I decided it was time to end things. Now, before you become sympathetic, let me tell you a little bit about what happened. Seb has a lot on his plate. He works practically full time, goes to school full time, must complete an internship this summer, and does not wish to remain in Phoenix after school, and is considering a move to Seattle.
Maintaing and making a relationship work and exceed requires more time then he has at the current moment. We did not end things because of a dislike for each other, nor because we had an argument, but rather because he needed to focus on things more important in this time in his life. I was supportive of this decision and fully understand the reasoning.
I was a witness to his lack of time, increased stress and need for some downtime. In fact, I am so supportive that he and I still live together, as roommates and best friends, in an upgraded 2 bedroom apartment. I tell you this because I made him an important role in this blog. However, it can be quite comical for all of you, because now it gives me another chapter of my life that I can share with you on here. What if you break up? I think my breakup came at a good time in my life. In closing, thank you to those of you who are close to me and sent me messages after the breakup and offered a shoulder to lean on and thank you for continuing to read this blog!
I am sorry I have been slacking this month with updating it, but between the break up and the move, in addition to changing my flying schedule around to accommodate both events, time escaped me. Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: A lot of people dream that one day they can do what I do: When I started flying a few years back I never realized how difficult it would become to find a romantic interest that would accept what I do for a living.
The History Of The Homosexual Flight Attendant
Many flight attendants do this job because of the flexibility, travel benefits and because they love people and love to fly—just kidding—but seriously, this job is unique. When men were finally allowed to become flight attendants, mostly gay men applied for the position and there was already a stigmata associated with them as being able to have meaningless sex and jumping from guy to guy. I, for one, am relationship oriented. I like having someone to come home to and share my life with.
After overcoming that hurdle and finding guys who think the job is fun and interesting, the harder part is locating someone who is okay with you being away. Finding someone who understands the job and accepts it for what it is, truly is a needle in a haystack. They both understand the job and understand the concept of being away. However, my fear would be completely conflicting schedules and you never being able to see each other.
Luckily, my boyfriend is one of those people. From the start he thought the job was intriguing and different and we never really encountered an instance when my being away hindered our relationship.
Passengers and even fellow cabin crew, became wary of travelling and working in the confined spaces found onboard aircraft with those who could be unwell; an attitude brought on by fear, poor education and lack of knowledge. These prejudices and fear tactics were not just confined to America. In the UK, Dan Air later admitted that they too had stopped hiring male flight attendants in late Their decision was over-ruled by the equal opportunities commission in October and once again men were subsequently hired by the airline.
But with time, came research and with research came a greater understanding of the illness.
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The message, sent by the pilots, eventually leaked to the press causing an uproar among the gay community. Fearing a backlash, and as so many gay people were known to work for the company, American went on to educate its employees and become the first US airline to commit to nondiscrimination of its staff and passengers.
The carrier also later teamed up with LGBT organisations such as Stonewall, paving the way for other carriers such as easyJet and British Airways to follow suit and today regularly sponsor and enter their own floats in Gay-Pride events around the world. So where are we today in terms of homophobia and equality within the industry? Thanks to the early court battles won by the likes of Celio Diaz , airlines are unable to discriminate in terms of sexuality, race or religion.
But more and more straight men also now apply for the role. Attitudes towards the gay community have also rapidly moved on since the early days of flying, both socially and politically. Unfortunately, homophobia does still exist and with the airline industry having such a large gay community, it is no surprise that it still remains prevalent in the confines of an aircraft. I spoke to some airline colleagues and asked if they had experienced any homophobia during their time in aviation.
Many said they had never suffered or witnessed any abuse. Others shocked me with tales of both physical and verbal attacks. By simply typing in the words homophobia and flight attendant into an internet search engine, I was stunned by the number of widely reported cases even today, of homophobia in the aviation industry.
Passengers are often the worse.
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Often, when you get a group of young lads onboard there will be some derogatory comments aimed at the male crew. Even my straight colleagues have told me of times where a homophobic comment has been made towards them, further highlighting how all male crew are often tarred with the same brush. She was subsequently offloaded from the flight, taking her very embarrassed husband and unsuspecting children with her. Sometimes, the homophobic attacks can be so severe that the passengers involved end up in court and these incidents are widely reported in the press.
In a flight from Manchester to the Dominican Republic had to divert to Bermuda after three passengers became drunk and traded homophobic abuse with the male cabin crew. One was later charged by British police, while a second man involved was deported back to the UK. In , Merseyside man John Hawkins 32, was jailed for eight months after his homophobic tirade on a Thomas Cook flight from Manchester to the Canary Islands.
Later that year, Thomas Delaney , 40, was sentenced to a 12 months community order and hours of unpaid work after he made numerous homophobic slurs towards two male easyJet cabin crew on a flight to Alicante. And in March , Thomas Sleigh , 45, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a Ryanair cabin crew member during a trip from Murcia to Manchester. He was also given a five-year notification requirement, which meant he must continue to register his details to the police and inform them of any changes of circumstances.
And what about our airline colleagues? I was shocked to hear the number of homophobic incidents from fellow cabin crew and pilots. Many crew, from various airlines around the world, told me of captains and first officers who made it very clear that they do not like gay crew. Stories emerged from night stops, including one incident where the gay crew were excluded from invites to dinner and a room party.
When he reported this to the purser she just laughed and said that it was just how this captain was. Another reported homophobic incident occurred when a crew member brought his boyfriend along one of his trips. In , an audio recording from a Southwest Airlines captain was leaked to the press and made headlines around the world.
The homophobic rant about his cabin crew colleagues was accidentally broadcast over an air traffic control channel and was heard by various other aircraft. The pilot was later re-instated after completing a diversity course. What also saddened me during my research, was the number of homosexual First Officers who spoke of their fear of being openly gay, for fear of a back-lash from their flight deck colleagues.
Numerous First Officers told me they believed if they were openly gay onboard, they would be treated differently by many of the captains they have to fly with. This just further highlights the stereotype, when even some of our own colleagues believe this image. Airlines themselves can also be in the firing line for homophobic slurs towards their passengers.
Dating the Flight Attendant
Southwest Airlines was involved in another incident in , after actress Leisha Hailey was offloaded by the cabin crew for kissing her girlfriend, apparently upsetting the passengers around them. British Airways had a similar situation, after a gay couple travelling to London from Cape Town were reprimanded by the crew for kissing each other good morning. And in BA made the headlines once again, when a passenger was threatened with offloading by the cabin crew after he was asked to stop holding hands with the man he was sat next to. For some, the physical and emotional bullying became so severe that they left their careers in aviation completely.
Once there, a number of these men tried to initiate sex with him. When he refused, some became violent and threatened him. Thankfully he returned to base unharmed and later went on to report the crew who were subsequently fired. But stories of rape and sexual assaults have emerged over the years, especially during the early days of flying, when crew were forced to share rooms with their flight attendant colleagues. Sadly, most of these incidents went unreported for fear of their own reprisals, as homosexuality was still illegal. Even today, the image remains that most male cabin crew are gay and that this has always been the norm.
This is often portrayed in the media, with overtly camp and larger than life male crew appearing in films and TV shows. What many people today fail to realise, is that there have been numerous battles for equality and against homophobia over the years; battles that so many of our former male cabin crew, gay and straight have fought with governments, passengers, fellow crew and airline executives to make the industry such an accepting place for gay men.
I know so many homosexual trolley dollies, myself included, who started their careers in the closet. It was only working in an environment where being gay is so widely acceptable, that allowed us the freedom to finally come out. I hope from this article you can see that it was not.
Congratulations, very well written. Lose the Matt Lucas photocaption though. Couple of people have commented it is much better than that image might suggest. Really interesting article. I was a firefighter paramedic for over 20 years before retiring early due to a line of duty injury. Please an honest opinion.
Hi there Odette. Thanks for the message. Of course you should apply. There is very little discrimination in our industry. You should definitely follow your dream and apply. Please let me know how you get on. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.
Why are so many flight attendants gay? A straight point of view…
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