When I was a high school teacher, there were instances where my employment was threatened due to me being gay. Teaching in small town Maine was a blessing and a curse. Maine is full of independent minds and well educated individuals, but at the same time imbedded in tradition, history, and religion. I fortunately did not feel my life was at risk, but just my job and those threats were minimal. I was blessed with a great employer at my first teaching position, but at my second teaching position, I was not as blessed and I along with 3 other LGBT teachers were pushed out of the school.
So what do you do if you or your employment is threatened? Do you stand firm or do you boycott? And is this debate very different than what is going on in North Carolina currently? Do we pull a Bruce or a Cyndi? Do we drop out and stay away from something to make a point or do we follow through and make our presence known?
So are you a Bruce or a Cyndi? If you were an gay Air France flight attendant, what would you do?
Gay Air France flight attendants are calling for a boycott of the airline’s new route to Iran, a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.
One flight attendant, Laurent M, has launched a petition calling on the French carrier to give gay cabin crew members the right to refuse to fly to Tehran, the Iranian capital. The online appeal was addressed to the French Ministry of Transport as well as Air France CEO Frédéric Gagey, and has garnered more than 2,500 signatures.
"Sure, our sexuality isn't written on our passports and it doesn't change the way we work as a crew," said the petition, entitled 'Gay stewards from Air France don’t want to fly to the death penalty in Iran'. "But it is inconceivable to force someone to go to a country where his kind are condemned for who they are."
He adds that minors can receive up to 74 lashes for an infringement of the law, and adults may be executed.
The appeal comes only a week after hostesses and female pilots from the airline refused to fly on the Paris-Tehran route because they didn’t want to be forced to wear a veil and loose trousers. Air France has since agreed to allow female staff the chance to move to a different route if scheduled to fly to Iran.
The route to Tehran is the first since Air France suspended flights to Iran since 2008, when relations with the Islamic republic and the West deteriorated. But with improved diplomatic talks and a landmark nuclear agreement, airlines, including British Airways, are resuming flights this year.
However, Islamic law is strictly enforced in the country, including dress codes and behaviour. The Foreign Office warns that women, especially those traveling alone, should take extra care.
“Homosexual behaviour, adultery and sex outside of marriage are illegal under Iranian law and can carry the death penalty,” its advice reads.
Some human rights groups claim that as many as 6,000 gay men and lesbians have been executed in Iran for crimes related to their sexual orientation since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Air France has pointed out that Saudi Arabia, where the airline also flies, has similar rules, and is also a country that can impose the death penalty for homosexuality.
Telegraph Travel has contacted Air France for its response. The airline has not yet commented on the new petition. – telegraph.co.uk
So I throw it back to you. What would you do?
Are you a Bruce, a Cyndi?
Would you or would you not fly the not so friendly skies?
What do you do if you feel your employment may be at risk because of your sexuality?
What do you do if your life may be threatened because of your sexuality?
Have you had such an experience?