Queer: September 2006 Archives

I was shocked I was

I went to a presentation by the artists and book signing at Aperture on Thursday night, and this is one of many duplicate posters I found clipped up and down parking signs and light posts along West 27th Street when I left to go home. This particular block is all about commercial businesses and galleries during the day and straight clubs late at night.

The sexy bills are part of a marketing blitz for "A Guide To Recogizing Your Saints" which, regardless of its merits or demerits, is apparently not actually a "gay film".


the airline's straights-only security rules don't fly

I have now heard from our friend David Leisner, who was quoted in the The New Yorker story I wrote about on Thursday evening. David was one half of the couple which witnessed the threats delivered to two other passengers seated in front of them, a homosexual couple, by (successively) the flight attendent, the purser and the captain of an American Airlines flight en route from Paris to New York. Both he and his partner Ralph Jackson were quoted in the magazine, but David has added some perspective and one damning fact which makes the airline's confrontation even more outrageous than initially reported.

David writes, in part:

You can assure anyone that questions the degree of affection these guys were showing that it was very innocent - hand-holding, resting one's head on the other's shoulder and repeated kissing (but not French kissing!). Nothing disturbing about it at all, unless it had been a straight couple :-).

Also, the New Yorker writer got the punchline wrong: what the captain said to one of the couple was that he would divert the plane not if the arguing continued, but if he heard any more reports of such behavior (kissing). [my italics - JAW] It made an increasingly weird situation even more surreal and disturbing.

[image from pedalcarzone]

Terence has two fathers, and that's good

This amazing video excerpt from an ordinary Dutch children's TV show sings and speaks for itself, but following upon the story about the American flight diversion threat appearing just below this post it just about explodes on the screen!

We love the Dutch.

[many thanks to Slava for the tip]


SEE AN UPDATE IN THIS SEPTEMBER 26 POST: "the American Airlines homo scare: even worse than reported"

Shortly after takeoff, Varnier nodded off, leaning his head on Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over to their row. “The purser wants you to stop that,” she said.

“I opened my eyes and was, like, ‘Stop what?’ ” Varnier recalled the other day.

“The touching and the kissing,” the stewardess said, before walking away.

This isn't fiction; It's right there in print, in "The Talk of the Town" section of The New Yorker. The two people told to cut the show of affection while on a transatlantic flight one month ago were two gay men.

They asked to speak to the purser, who denied instructing the stewardess to tell the men anything. She admitted there was nothing inappropriate about the behavior they described and while she initially seemed to be supportive she ended the discussion by announcing that kissing was improper behavior on an airplane. She then said she was busy with meal service and left, promising to come back afterward.

Half an hour later, the purser returned, this time saying that some passengers had complained about Tsikhiseli and Varnier’s behavior earlier. The men asked more questions. Who had complained? (She couldn’t say.) Could they have the stewardess’s name, or employee number? (No.) Would the purser arrange for an American Airlines representative to meet them upon landing at J.F.K.? (Not possible.) Finally, the purser said that if they didn’t drop the matter the flight would be diverted.

After that, [a passenger whom we know who was seated behind the couple] said, “everyone shut up for a while. ”Maybe an hour later, the purser approached Tsikhiseli and said that the captain wanted to talk to him. Tsikhiseli went up to the galley and gave the captain his business card. The captain told Tsikhiseli that if they didn’t stop arguing with the crew he would indeed divert the plane. “I want you to go back to your seat and behave the rest of the flight, and we’ll see you in New York,” he said. Tsikhiseli returned to coach.

This is just one of the reasons why Barry and I are thinking about leaving the country. Such an assault may be worthy of a few paragraphs in a sophisticated New York magazine, on the basis of its outrageousness, but this sort of thing - and much worse - is still taking place all over the country, even on and above international waters. I just don't think there's a future in this country for people who think, even if they're careful to kiss the people they're supposed to kiss.

It's not only about queer terrorists.

[image from Women in Uniform]

This page is an archive of entries in the Queer category from September 2006.

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