Gay Couple Says Airline is Homophobic
A gay couple from Iceland says that they were kicked off of a Southwest Airlines flight before the plane took off.
James McDaniel and Hafsteinn Himinljómi Regínuson (who’s also a drag queen named Ragna RökO) were traveling from Baltimore to Atlanta. They then plan to go to Alabama to spend the holidays with McDaniel’s family.
That’s when McDaniel says things went wrong. The 31-year-old shared a long post on Facebook on December 22 detailing the situation in his view.
“We boarded our flight to Atlanta on time and were getting cozy, glad to be on the last leg of our trip,” he wrote. “Then, while we were sitting in our seats on the plane three police officers came onto the plane and told the two of us we had to leave immediately. They wouldn’t tell us why.”
McDaniel says that his boyfriend was accused of throwing something at a flight attendant, but of course both of them deny this.
“They said if we didn’t leave they would take Haffi away in handcuffs,” McDaniel recalls. “Haffi started to cry, holding his hands up to his face. They told me that if he didn’t calm down he would be arrested.”
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McDaniel says he could have remained on the plane by himself and wasn’t going to be taken away like his boyfriend, but he got off the plane anyway.
The two eventually got to Alabama through taking a train instead of a plane.
McDaniel says that homophobia was the real cause of him and his boyfriend being targeted by airport security.
“The main difference between us and other passengers was that we were openly gay,” says McDaniel, “Not in an over the top or publicly disrespectful way, but in a way that we are used to living in a free country like Iceland.”
“We hold hands when we walk together. We might take a brief kiss now and then. And on the flight, Haffi has a tendency to curl against my shoulder and nap. All things which, of course are normal between a healthy, loving adult couple, no matter what part of the sexual spectrum they are, whether straight or gay.”
“It’s just unfortunate that this was Haffi’s first experience in my homeland,” McDaniel continues, “It felt like being forced back into the closet.”