Friday, November 18, 2011

Why are so many GLBTQ Orgs Partners with Southwest Airlines?

I get that the national GLBTQ orgs don't care about body shaming when it comes to fat people, but after the Leisha Hailey incident, as well as the homophobic Southwest pilot spouting off for everyone on his full plane to hear, one would think organizations that fight for the right of queer people in the US would divest themselves of organizations that hate on queers.  Thanks to a Facebook friend, I followed a link to Southwest's website, where I learn that Southwest is the official airline for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD), the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, and The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, among other organizations.

Are any of these groups in dialogue with Southwest about these incidents?  Do they care that not only is Southwest is hurtful to gays and lesbians and fat people, but also women in headscarves that they mistake for terrorism garb, and people who they deem aren't dressed appropriately (didn't know flying had a formal dress code, did you)?  Has anyone followed the money to see what the CEO and other big wigs at Southwest support in terms of donations, political affiliations, and so forth?  I know folks are writing the National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce to complain about this, and I would urge folks to write all the TGBLQ organizations that have affiliations with Southwest, letting them know it is bad business to partner with an organization that practices such widespread discrimination against so many people, including lesbians who want to kiss.   

I vow to never knowingly give any money or support to an organization that promotes the kind of oppression that is part of Southwest Airline's business model.  I wonder what others think about this situation, what can or should be done, and how we communicate these issues to others.  Now that AirTran has been gobbled up by Southwest, it saddens me that there is one less affordable airline choice for those of us who choose not to give our money to such a problematic airline.  It also saddens me that friends have had hassles on other airlines besides Southwest.  I wish it were easier to make ethical decisions about where to spend one's money, but in our deregulated, multinational conglomerates age, that is increasingly hard to do.  I fully recognize that some places I continue to give money to may be as problematic as the places I choose not to give money to (Southwest, Target, Chick-filA, Whole Foods), but no matter the reason, I have a right to choose where I spend my limited money.  One great thing for me about being in the lower classes is that it isn't that hard to not spend money that I don't have (sad, sardonic chuckling commences).

Boo Southwest for being, in the words of Marilyn Wann, SouthWORST.

1 comment:

  1. Your comments make me think that the problem is the kind of top-down organization of these mainstream lbgtq organizations. It makes me think, for example, of HRC telling the administration that they should focus on DADT first, while the Employment Non-Discrimination Act could be put on whole. The Occupy Movement is onto something with their anarchist, nonhierarchical organization, even as this is exactly what annoys those in the mainstream, whether gay, lesbian, or straight.