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Homophobia towards Cabin Crew

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Homophobia towards Cabin Crew

Old 10th Jun 2012, 08:46
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Homophobia towards Cabin Crew

Hi everyone,

I'm doing some research for an article i'm writing for my blog regarding Homophobia towards Cabin Crew in the work place.

Stereotypically a male in a CC's role is seen by many of the general public as being gay. Of course this is ridiculous as I know MANY straight CC. I want to know what are your thoughts on this, and have any of you ever experienced any homophobia towards you whilst in work?

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Old 10th Jun 2012, 10:57
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There is plenty around.... Depends on the airline how overt it is. Sad to say!

Most people you would never know they were gay, others rub it in your face (the latter I do not appreciate)
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 11:27
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I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 16:29
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If this really has to be discussed could we please back off the jokes, especially those that are as old as the hills.

I could understand an article about Homophobia: I just struggle to imagine why it should be airline industry specific? Are you trying to establish that it is more prevalent in this industry than in some other? Statistically, we are surely all more likely to encounter Homophobia while working as Cabin Crew than while working on a construction site, for no other reason than that there are likely to be a higher proportion of the workforce that are gay. In fact, nobody would be surprised if there were less homophobia within the airline industry than elsewhere given that we're nearly all used to it and don't really give a damn either way.

Finally, in the interest of balance, do make sure that you discuss Reverse Homophobia, sometimes known as the "Gay Mafia" which is of course an issue, although probably less so.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 17:03
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speaking as a non-gay, non-cabincrew (cargo side of the business, yes, I know, "yeeugh, hawk, spit").... the world seems to fall into 2 sets of people
(a) people I like
(b) people I don't

with me you have to work pretty hard to fall into cat(b) above and I would guess that over 50% in cat-b are not gay, and those that are gay are the sort of people that would be obnoxious full stop.

Oddly I would also guess that of all the gay types that do fall into cat-b 99% are of the female gender.

I would also guess that over the years the people I have most enjoyed working with have been 'openly' gay, because they have no hang ups and can laugh at life, which is quite a morale booster when everything that could go wrong has and you have 5 minutes to get it sorted before the boss comes back...

Surely in this day'n'age none of this should remain an issue???
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 20:50
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Simple truth is that most professional pilots are conservative with a small 'c'. In the UK, the vast majority are male, caucasian and if they have any religion at all would probably classify themselves as CoE or RC. In isolation these facts mean little but could tend to lead to certain attitudes to many things such as homophobia as but one example, usually unspoken, to which some others may take exception. Not right or wrong just life.

Last edited by beamer; 10th Jun 2012 at 20:53.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 21:25
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Thank God things have changed since the 80's where some flight deck in London Airways refused to be served by 'known' gay cabin crew.

Homophobia has no place in the workplace. However dealing with immigrants from Muslim countries as I do now is a real problem when it comes to gay issues.
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Old 10th Jun 2012, 22:52
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I'm gay cabin crew but straight acting (don't get your boxers in a twist RE: that term, it's a figure of speech) and never really encountered homophobia in any part of my life. Alot of passengers do either automatically assume and on numerous occasions I have been asked if I am gay......by both male and female passengers purely because of the job that I do. That doesn't bother me personally and to be honest, in the UK atleast, the stereotype can be pretty spot on. For example, at my base 80% of the guys are gay. There are very few occupations where gays (openly gay that is) are so prevelent. Some may argue that Manchester bases tend to be popular because of the City's gay scene but other bases around the country also have a disproportionate amount of gay crew.

As I said, I have never experienced homophobia from passengers though apart from a bit of occasional light hearted banter from groups of lads/stags which is never offensive and quite often lapped up by crew.

Most people you would never know they were gay, others rub it in your face (the latter I do not appreciate)
Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Overly camp guys sometimes fuel the gay stereotype in my opinion but you're view point 'comes across' as homophobic. I hear that on occasions..... "I don't mind gays aslong as they don't rub my face in it" kind of sentiments. Camp guys can be very affluent and flirtacious which is noticable but no more so than straight culture....whether that be page 3 models in the Sun or groups of lads and stags. Are you saying that it's ok for one but not the other?
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 09:05
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In my experience within BA there is very little anti gay feeling in fact the opposite.

Some of the best cabin crew I worked with were gay. I met a small number of 'bitchy' gays but they also had a very professional approach to the job.

There was a little group of macho men, at Gatwick, who formed a little club ( I can't remember the name now) which was basically anti gay. They even wore a little tie pin badge to identify each other.

Outside of the airline industry people assume if you are male and cabin crew then you must be gay.

I have had many quizzical looks from people when I say what I do for a living!
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 09:16
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Thanks everyone for your replies, they are very much appreciated.

To Tightslot I am fully aware that there is homophobia in all walks of life and across all jobs and industries. However, the reason why I have asked cabin crew is becauise the article I am writing is cabin crew related, for a cabin crew related blog hence why it is airline specific.

I too am gay cabin crew and would class myself as 'straight acting' as easyflyer says. However, I have experienced homophobia from both fellow crew and passengers. I am curious to see why people stereotype our role as being 'gay' if you will and how, over the years opinons may or may not have changed.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 13:33
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I am curious to see why people stereotype our role as being 'gay' if you will and how, over the years opinons may or may not have changed.
I do believe easyflyer answered that question. One can hardly call it stereotyping, when in actual fact the majority of male cabin attendants - at least in the western world - are indeed gay. I don't have a problem with that, neither race or religion, but you're basically saying people from Northern Nigeria are being stereotyped as "black muslims". Uhm, yeah, that's because they by and large are ..
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 16:56
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SMT member, this is exactly what I was talking about. I actually disagree with you. At my base there is a (relatively) equal amount of both gay and straight male cabin crew. Indeed many crew I know at our European bases are straight and when I have operated from a number of these bases and we have got onto the subject, many, many I have spoken to have said that (or at least claimed) they are straight. So while it maybe stereotypically a 'gay' role, I slightly disagree that, nowadays at least, it is predominatley gay man in the industry.

In any case, we're kind of going slightly off the reason why I opened the thread in the first place (partly my fault I admit). I wish to know that gay or straight have any crew members been subject to any homophobic abuse or bullying whilst working as crew. If so how did it make you feel etc?
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 17:45
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If you go outside of Europe you might find as a gay man, or even just as a man you cant work as cabin crew.

There are a number of airline who only employ female cabin crew. This is perfectly legal in their countries.

One issue that was touched upon before is a gay person offending a Muslim, for those of you operating into countries where homosexuality is illegal?

How does the airline deal with this while complying with UK and EU law, having to roster a crew member who in effect could be arrested on arrival at a foreign port.

Sounds like a legal nightmare for the airline to keep everyone happy!
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 19:44
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Homosexuality may be illegal in many countries but this doesn't make it any less prevalent amongst the people who live there. In my experience, in more sexually repressed countries, gay sexual activity is actually more common and privately, if not officially accepted in a very "hush hush" way.
Actually being gay is not normally illegal and the notion of being gay is not recognised as being possible. Rather the sexual activity between two people of the same sex is, or certain sexual activity in many cases. Even the most strict countries do not refuse entry to gay crew or arrest them upon arrival. In these countries, airlines would certainly advise discretion....but they would to all crew regardless whether they are gay or straight. Ironically in Saudi Arabia it would be acceptable for two gay men to walk hand in hand as this is not considered a sign of homosexuality. But a male and female couple could be arrested for doing so unless they could prove they were married.

Im a bisexual crew member & have never experienced any anti-gay feeling from anyone at work....be it management, pilots, passengers or other crew.

Last edited by Marty172; 11th Jun 2012 at 20:03.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 22:16
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I am not gay, and I have never witnessed any bullying per se towards my gay colleagues onboard our aircraft. However, being close friends with 2 gay guys (the 3 of us trained together 15 years ago) I must say I've heard quite a few stories about gay crew being upset for the way they were treated by other colleagues...
I have on some occasions heard jokes being made about gay people by straight guys - some may say it's banter but forget that those at the receiving end may not find it amusing though.
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Old 12th Jun 2012, 22:33
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EZYA319 I get your point about LPL and European bases but even with a 50/50 split you can easily argue that the stereotype is still in fact true.
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Old 13th Jun 2012, 00:48
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In any professional setting, the orientation of said professional should be difficult if not impossible to determine. I'm not here for a cabaret show, so I really don't need to know one way or the other.

Out in public, I'm straight, but I'm very supportive of the rights of gay men. The more of them there are, the more women there will be left for me.
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Old 13th Jun 2012, 02:28
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Maybe you should take a peek at this LGBT rights by country or territory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I'm curious what would happen if for example a UK airline refused to employ a male cabin crew member, who was gay.

If they stated the reason for the non employment was the fact he was unable to be scheduled across their entire route network. The airline has a duty of care to it's employees and they cannot absolve a crew member from complying with the laws of another country.

Much the same as a crew member who has a criminal conviction that is "spent" under the rehabilitation of offenders act in the UK, but another country does not have to recognize the UK legislation considering it "spent" and can refuse entry. (Canada for example)

As such, the airline would be within it's rights to deny employment based on the standard clause "Must be able to travel unrestricted across the network" or various words to that effect......

I could see how this could be argued in a variety of ways... I wonder if any airline has thought about the issue? Or been to afraid of the PC BS to ever address it.

Map below showing parts of the world where homosexuality (mainly between men) is still illegal, and in some cases punishable by death.

Ps. I could not give two hoots as to someones sexual orientation, I'm just curious is the possible ramifications of sending an "overtly" gay crew member to some of these countries has been considered.

Last edited by PT6A; 13th Jun 2012 at 02:36.
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Old 13th Jun 2012, 02:55
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Gay CC

I remember once being told by an instructor during Cabin Safety lectures for Tech Crew members, when he was asked if it was true that a large proportion of male CC in the company were homosexual, that "Yes, probably 70 to 80%, but don't worry about it too much because about the same percentage of the girls are too". It is nothing new.
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Old 13th Jun 2012, 03:02
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Truth is most Male CC are gay.

like American Politicians the ones that complain about them most are gay too.
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