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Aussie Airline Apologizes For ’I Am Gay’ Sticker on Luggage

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Oct 15, 2013
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A dad arrived in Perth to find "I Am Gay" written on his suitcase in stickers
A dad arrived in Perth to find "I Am Gay" written on his suitcase in stickers  (Source:Twitter)

An Australian-based airline has apologized to a stay-at-home dad and are investigating the incident where its employees taped "I am gay" in stickers on his suitcase.

According to an article on the Huffington Post, a stay-at-home dad was traveling on Jetstar, a discount subsidiary airline of Qantas in Australia and New Zealand, when he discovered at the baggage carousel at the Perth Airport that his luggage had been defaced, possibly by a Jetstar employee.

The father of two, who has identified himself as ’Aaron,’ as noted in an article on The Atlantic Wire, said on Twitter that the incident made him realize the discrimination that LGBTs face.

"I am a white heterosexual male. This trifecta of privilege means that I’m not routinely subjected to prejudice," he wrote in an Oct. 12 Twitter post. "But for a few minutes I got to walk in the shoes of a gay person in a public place. For no good reason I had had a slur marked over my luggage. I was degraded. I was shamed. I was humiliated."

"For me, this was only a few minutes of one day of my life," wrote ’Aaron.’ "If what I felt for those few minutes is extrapolated out every day over a lifetime, then I can fully understand why our gay friends feel persecuted and why they have such high rates of suicide. It is unacceptable."

Although some were offended that the man considered being called "gay" an insult, they were glad to hear that the airline had apologized, and initiated an investigation.

"We are taking this matter very seriously and we have contacted the passenger to apologize for any distress caused," Jetstar said in a statement.

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

Comments

  • Anonymous, 2013-10-16 11:46:22

    I think the ’insult’ that the man was referring to is the fact that someone would take the time to deliberately try to hurt him because they perceived him to be gay and would want to embarrass him for it. As a gay black man, I appreciate that this man acknowledges and can identify what it’s like to be feel emotionally attacked for the way you were born.


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