Alaska Airlines has always been a strong ally in the LGBTQ community, so as a gay, black man, this story was shocking and hurtful to the soul.
Many in the LGBTQ community know that we live in a heteronormative society, and the actions of the flight attendant crudely reminded us all of that fact. But it also had the power of greatly diminishing the value and importance of same sex relationships.
This incident affects me in two ways: To reduce that relationship to the level of a casual encounter reminded me why we had been fighting for the right to exist in public with the person you love without fear of discrimination or retribution. On that day, Alaska Airlines brought all of that back in a single act.
Also, I fly Alaska Airlines frequently, and I now question the culture of the airline. How am I perceived by the staff when my husband and I step onto an Alaska Airlines flight? Will one of us be asked to get to “the back of the bus,” to accommodate an opposite sex couple? Something I was sure I would never have to worry about when flying Alaska Airlines.
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Chris Porter, Seattle, Alaska Airlines MVP-Gold member