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Words Fly

United Airlines Manager Calls Gay Couple ‘Faggots’ Over Minor Dispute

billy-canu

Sometimes we can try to understand why people call us names, even if they’re highly offensive. But this story, set in a Denver airport, defies comprehension on the grounds that the dispute was so ridiculously minor that there was really no reason other than sheer ignorance to break out the “faggot” word.”

7NEWS says that Billy Canu and his partner simply wanted to access United’s Gold lounge—because they are Gold members, as Canu explains in a detailed Facebook post. But blasé agents weren’t giving them any straight answers about whether they were allowed in.

Canu said the agents gave the couple “a very condescending, sort of rude answer. They were trying to figure out who was going to help us.”

When Canu and his partner complained about the handling of their question, a manager approached them and escorted them away from the area. Canu claimed the manager then escalated the situation. “As we were walking away he goes ‘idiots,’ ” recounted Canu.

“So, my partner turned around and started walking up to him and said, ‘I’m sorry. What did you say?'” He [the manager] says, ‘What faggots,’” according to Canu. Canu said the manager even threatened to kick the couple off their flight to San Diego if they continued to complain. The couple returned to their gate, where they began posting what happened on Twitter and Facebook.

Later, Canu found the manager’s LinkedIn profile (hi, Rodney Hill, “Aviation Professional”!) and tweeted it out to the world.

Back in 2000, United targeted LGBT travelers with the tagline “Intolerance Just Doesn’t Fly.” What happened in the past decade? Other shrinking airlines have been smart about wooing the gays.

We’ll update you when we hear whether United will fire this douche or not.

Thumbnail image via Unicorn Booty

By:           Evan Mulvihill
On:           Nov 28, 2011
Tagged: , , ,
  • 87 Comments
    • Wordsmith
      Wordsmith

      I’m sure plenty of LGBT-friendly companies have their share of bigots. The difference here is the consequences which, eleven years ago, would probably not have been as severe as they will be if this case pans out.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ian
      Ian

      Oh Mr. Hill. Sounds like someone needs a little refresher on customer service techniques. I bet Mr. Hill wouldn’t be happy if someone used the “n” word in referring to him.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Observer
      Observer

      It’s not very manly to take his aggression out on a poor gay couple that hasn’t done anything, or to call them idiots under his breath, but the anti-gay crowd is always limited to the effeminate behavior they’d like to project on to us.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kirk
      Kirk

      So not sure I follow – where is the formal complaint filed, etc? The passive stuff has got to stop. As a regular vistor to the AA Admirals club, my partner and I as well as our dogs are treated like royalty. Had someone uttered the word faggot to me in an ariline club, or anywhere, they would meet with a physical response from me which would be totally warrented. Tweeting and Facebooking won’t fly boys….need to take it to the next level.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roger
      roger

      These gay guy cant take a joke and are too sensitive, are you kidding me. wheres the joke? they guy was way out of line and should be held accountable, he should apologise immediately and have to go through extensive training if he wants to keep his job. the airline should comp their tickets. its no joke and must stop

      Nov 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. Enemabag Jones
      Mr. Enemabag Jones

      @roger:

      I think Kev C is mocking the argument T.I. made during a Vibe interview.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • christopher
      christopher

      I have to fly United on Thursday, I wish a bitch would…

      Nov 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roger
      roger

      sounds like geno and kev c work for the airline, they seem a bit to anti gay to be regular queerty readers.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wastnbornyesterday
      Wastnbornyesterday

      Not buying that the girls didnt have a full blown diva moment at that lounge. May not have justified the word but its the only thing that explains why EVERY employee there refused to assist.

      Remember ladies of queerty, you catch more flies with honey.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chink change
      chink change

      I smell a lawsuit.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Kev C: Obvious troll is obvious. And even more trite than the preceding sentence.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joseph
      Joseph

      Yes, we’re only hearing one side of the story and I suspect there’s more to it. That said, if the United guy used the word, he does need to be reprimanded; I don’t want him fired — not in this economy — let’s leave the firings to the Academy Awards and security guards who use pepper spray on innocent people.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      “”that there was really no reason other than sheer ignorance to break out the “faggot” word.””
      ____________________

      Can we stop soft peddling everything? This wasn’t ignorance, it was bigotry. Ignorance means that they do not know something. This guy knew what he was saying.

      It’s like when a politician blatantly lies and yet the media says that they “Mispoke”.

      Stop protecting bigots with soft language.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chink change
      chink change

      Is there EVER any excuse to use hate-language like the f-word? What do you think, Evan?

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      Hey, yes I am mocking the TI thread. But it’s actually a common, mainstream argument used against gays who complain about their treatment. “Keep your panties on, gays are too sensitive, drama queens, etc”. You hear this a lot. A LOT!

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      If it were my decision (and it isn’t), I wouldn’t fire the manager without additional evidence. The sad fact of the matter is, when it’s one person’s (or a couple’s, or a family’s) word against another, there’s no way to tell what actually happened–and far too many people today are willing to break out the nuclear option in a dispute, accusing another of bigotry or sexual harassment or even sexual battery because they know that doing so will cause major damage regardless of the veracity of the claim.

      Having said that: With additional credible evidence (or knowledge of any prior history of bigotry on the manager’s part) I’d fire his butt in a heartbeat, bad economy or not. On a national level, the black community long ago stopped accepting apologies and lame excuses for the completely unacceptable use of the word “nigger” as a bigoted epithet, and it’s high time that the LGBT community did the same with words like “faggot” and terms like “he/she”. No one can make me believe that the use of such words to degrade other human beings is the result of ignorance in this day and age; they are used precisely and only because of they are intended to degrade and demoralize, to belittle and cause pain.

      When it can be determined that an employee has used such language the question that should be asked is a very simple one: Do we want a person who thinks and speaks this way representing our business to our customers? If the answer is no, there is only one possible course of action, and that is termination.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Adam
      Adam

      I am pretty sick and tired of reading these stories. I know that the peak holiday season is stressful for airlines and their employees, but this is completely unacceptable.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Kev C: My apologies for not picking up on your intended satire. Yes, the argument that gays are too sensitive is used a lot. Not coincidentally, it’s also been used a lot against blacks who object to racism. It’s all too easy (and incredibly disingenuous) for the majority to whine that they’re not allowed to get away with bigotry because those they’re attacking are “too sensitive”. The problem, of course, is not that minorities are too sensitive–it’s that the majority feels the need to put minorities in their place because they’re scared of losing their grip on power. The central fallacy is that societal power is a finite resource, and therefore if you’re allowed to have some power, there’s less for me.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      @T.I.: Faggot isn’t a joke, it’s a hate slur, just like gook is a slur against KKKoreans.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      I think gay people need to learn to accept the fact that faggot is common-place and acceptable language used as a slur directed straight people AND gay people. I don’t think society is going to allow gays that respect, because, society doesn’t respect gays. Faggot will never be on equal-footing with nigger or kike. Never. Now, if gays fought back, and made faggot unaccpetable, such as with violence, then things will change. Because the tactic they are currently using isn’t working obviously.

      But, until then, faggot is here to stay. But, gays have the power to make faggot unacceptable. The only question is whether gay people care enough or are strong enough to stand up to it. But, they need to care first, and not run from the word.

      There is nothing wrong with violence being used as tactic for self-defence. You ARE defending yourself with fists or bullets.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Henry: Henry, unfortunately, the only ones in this entire world who view “faggot” as hate-speech are gay people. And, that’s it. I hope that pisses you off, because that’s the truth.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Henry: Well, I don’t know, Henry. But, I’m assuming you have issues with Koreans.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      @Kyle: Do you take offense at being called a gook, Charles? Is that only because you’re Korean?

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kirk
      Kirk [Different person #1 using similar name]

      It’s simple people – somone calls you a faggot, you smack them down!! It may seem difficult for some, but it works; I’ve doen it twice and the ignorant bully was speechless and walked away. It’s the only language an ignorant biggot understands. They all think we are weak and meek, so let’s all show them otherwise!

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Kyle: Are you suggesting that we physically attack people who use the word “faggot”? I’ve only ever hit two people in my entire life: one was a fraternity “brother” I beat the piss out of for taking advantage of a girl with severe learning disabilities (before reporting him), and the other was a guy who kicked me in the head while I was trying to assist a bystander who’d been hurt in a bar brawl.

      In both of the above cases, no one felt sorry for the scumbuckets I beat up. Nor was there ever a legal problem for me, since I acted appropriately in both cases. But when it comes to words, I’d far prefer to respond in kind–not only to save myself the legal consequences of assaulting someone without just cause, but because a bigot who gets the snot beat out of him by a 250-pound gay dude is likely to attract sympathy rather than derision.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gus
      Gus

      Reacting gets your travel plans sidetracked by your new trip to jail.
      If the customer is a gold member, vip, whatever your company calls the people who’s ass you are to kiss extra……then pucker up baby.
      Jumping on social media about the situation is the fastest way to get word out. I am about to make my travel plans for January…..I will NOT be flying United Airlines now.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Dave: “Are you suggesting that we physically attack people who use the word “faggot”?”

      Yes.

      “Because a bigot who gets the snot beat out of him by a 250-pound gay dude is likely to attract sympathy rather than derision.”

      Yet, no self-respect for the gay guy?

      “I’ve only ever hit two people in my entire life: one was a fraternity “brother” I beat the piss out of for taking advantage of a girl with severe learning disabilities (before reporting him), and the other was a guy who kicked me in the head while I was trying to assist a bystander who’d been hurt in a bar brawl.”

      For some reason, I don’t believe this at all based on your final, passive, response.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Kirk: So many gays ARE meek and weak, though. So I don’t think all of them can use violence effectively.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Gus: Gus, I have a feelig you would never “react” regardless of the situation of how “faggot” was used.

      There are gay people out there who will agree with me, and there will be gay people out there who won’t. I speak to those who agree with me.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Malwyn
      Malwyn

      Canu get a payment from the airline out of this? Yes you can!

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @CBRad: You’re right. But, there is that small fraction. I am one of them.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Henry: I find gook offensive. As I do “Charles”, which I have only heard as “Charlie”. Both are slurs against Asians.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eastwood
      Eastwood

      No, Evan, we CAN’T try to understand people who call us names. They hate us and they want us to feel bad about who we are and who we love. It’s not acceptable for them to spread hate, and as anyone who’s been in a hostile situation with a homophobe knows, they don’t learn their lesson without negative reinforcement. You have to really rub their nose in their own stink, like you rub a dog’s nose in its poop when it poops on the carpet.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Kyle: Well….it would be great if all homos were like that, but I don’t think it’s gonna work giving the fisticuffs advice to every gay, in all (unfortunate) honesty. (Even most gay activists are pussies! Only protesting at safe venues where they won’t really be threatened. I’m in NYC and have observed it for years).

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Eastwood: That’s exactly right. These people have zero remorse for their hate towards gays. Zero. It’s different when it comes to hate agaisnt blacks and Jews. But, gays, no. You have to give them a reminder of what their homophobia has done to them, not to the gay person. But, to them. They need to remember that saying “faggot” might get them into severe, maybe tragic trouble. And, you need to remind them however you see fit.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Kyle: If you are incapable of believing that some folks might not try to hospitalize someone who calls them names, then your own problems run far too deep to be addressed by a layman like me.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @CBRad: Well, I’m out there, and those that have called me faggot know what has happened to them.

      And, you’re right about everything else. But, if I’m out there, then there must be another me out there too. And, if not, no big deal. One is enough.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Dave: Dave, good luck to you.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      Kyle said “That’s exactly right. These people have zero remorse for their hate towards gays. Zero. It’s different when it comes to hate agaisnt blacks and Jews. But, gays, no.”

      I’m not so sure it’s any different. An anti-gay psychopath might sneak in the n-word and the k-word in a reply where he says it’s acceptable to use the f-word. He might even claim to be Jewish despite being the worst anti-Semite most people will ever meet.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Kyle: Well….I do like your attitude. Unfortunately, in NYC, I found out that when I did take definitive action against queer-bashers on the subway one night, most of the gay community either didn’t want to hear it or decided I was the villain, once they discovered the bashers didn’t fit the GayGay (I stll call them GayGays) preferred stereotype of what gay-bashers must be ( they weren’t exactly white boys wearing confederate flag T-shirts).

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Henry: You’re right. But, for some reason, I have only ever heard of stories of remorse from past-rasicts and Anti-Semites. Never gay. But, it makes no difference. Some gay guy out there will make them pay.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Henry
      Henry

      @Kyle: I think that even if an anti-Semite like Charles Rozier admitted he was an anti-Semite, or stopped being an anti-Semite, it would follow him for the rest of his life. After all, there’s really no such thing as a past anti-Semite, at least not as long as he’s pretending to be a Jew on so many different sites, and saying that Jews are degenerates, and what not.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @CBRad: That’s unfortunate. Passivity is common among the gay community. Gay guys like me, and there are more, (Stonewall, ActUp, etc) are out there. We are a minority though. I know that.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • o
      o

      @Henry: That’s true, Henry, there’s no such thing as a past anti-Semite. It’s not as if anyone stumbles into becoming an anti-Semite. It’s something that happens when a person edges himself into it little by little over many years, like Charles Rozier did. He couldn’t accidentally leave it any more than he accidentally got involved in the first place.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Henry: That makes sense. I guess remorse is the correct term to use. Not “past-anti-Semite”.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @CBRad: I like your attitude too. You speak the truth about problems within the gay community. I thought I was the only one who knew about the ‘passivity/meek/weak’ issue.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @Dave: I know there will be people who will not agree with what I say, but, there will be who will agree with what I say. I speak to those people.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Kyle: If you beat up someone in an airport nowadays, you’re likely to end up on the “No Fly” list and never get off it.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 5:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Kyle: said…

      “I think gay people need to learn to accept the fact that faggot is common-place and acceptable language used as a slur directed straight people AND gay people.”
      ____________________-

      So you didn’t even bother to read the post did you? This was in a business setting, and it is never acceptable for people to be named called in a business setting. And the fact that that word was used is a good way for the airline to lose lots and lots of disposable gay dollars.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Kyle: What is the Stonewall group, again ? (I get them mixed up).

      Nov 28, 2011 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Aventura
      David Aventura

      This is clearly not the full story. I fly often, and I can’t imagine United treating gays this way. You can’t even fly 1st class these days or visit an airline’s lounge without seeing a room full of gay men. Also, United Gold status DOES NOT give membership to Star Alliance Gold Lounge. To get into the Star Alliance Gold Lounge, you have to fly first/business in international or domestic. Or, be at a high level in United’s top tier frequent flier program (Primier, 1K, etc.). So, unless these men were the things mentioned OR flying on an international flight (in any class of service) with STAR ALLIANCE GOLD STATUS, i don’t think they could get into the lounge. I’m not sure about this, but these are my thoughts.

      I suspect that they got loud with the United staff and were asked to leave. Gays screaming “homophobia” will soon be ignored as frequently as people screaming racism. The story is not always what the victim claims.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike1987
      Mike1987

      If our complaints are to be taken seriously and with import, then we mustn’t fly off the handle based on one side. We need United to investigate and determine if this happened exactly the way it was communicated. If this turns out to be only half true or even false, we all suffer because when discrimination or bigotry does happen, we won’t be believed. Give United a chance before we hang them.

      PS – that’s a cute couple!

      Nov 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • btseven
      btseven

      I nominate the bastard to be a participant on the website ” Straight Hell.net”

      Nov 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      There is no way an airline employee would do such a thing that would obviously jeapordize his job without some type of provocation. I don’t think the girls are totally without fault here.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chadboy
      Chadboy

      Sounds suspicious. So not one, but several employees were rude to the couple? I travel a lot for work (about twice a month) and I have encountered a cold or rude employee here and there, but never several. I wonder if the inappropriate slur came after the couple acted enttitled (or diva as someone said). Based on how they were quick to go on Twitter and FB it doesn’t seem that this couple knows how to handle situations effectively. When I have a bad customer service experience I simply take the person’s name down and send a follow up letter or e-mail.

      As for the word “faggot” I guess I was called it enough as a child that it has lost it’s power on me. I could care less what you call me because I know it is coming from a place of ignorance.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James [Different person #1 using similar name]

      I think there is more to this story

      Nov 28, 2011 at 10:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C
      Kev C

      I tend to believe them. It’s too specific to be made up. And Colorado does has some of the laziest, unhelpful counter people I’ve ever met.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mel Gibson
      Mel Gibson

      @Cam: yes, I read it. Faggot is a very loose, very common word used in a business setting or not. Most do not consider faggot a hate word, except for gays. Most do not consider faggot the same as nigger or kike.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @CBRad: Stonewall was a bar that was raided in NYC back in the early 70s. The gay people within that bar fought the cops.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mel Gibson
      Mel Gibson

      @Cam: Gay people will still use that airline. Trust me.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Kyle: Oh, I know about that, dude, I just thought you meant it was also the name of a current activist group I didn’t know of.

      Nov 28, 2011 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Milo
      Milo

      The manager was wrong, wrong, wrong, but I’m pretty confident that these two were trying to throw their weight around like a couple of entitled queens. Yeah, it’s easy to go back and act like they’re innocent, but people in service jobs don’t have to put up with attitude all day and like it.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 12:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Milo
      Milo

      Also, I travel United via Denver on a regular basis. I’ve gotten pissed a couple of times and tried to take it out on the staff, but they’ve always been (regrettably) gracious. Homophobia needs to be called out and the use of the word ‘faggot’ isn’t acceptable; however, I honestly think these two guys were behaving like entitled pricks and they escalated the situation. I don’t get middle class gay men who think they’re Madonna every time they fly.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 12:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris
      Chris

      I don’t want to be that guy. But I seriously doubt he called them faggots. I work in a similar field and after dealing with difficult bitchy people, I have heard the CRAZIEST SHIT that they claimed I said, just to get me fired. It’s ridiculous. And after how many times it has happened to me, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if these two were just being entitled and bitchy and pissed that they didn’t get their way.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 1:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kasnar
      Kasnar

      @Milo: Hey Milo: I’m in your court. As always, there are two sides to every story. I’m trying to imagine why what should have been a simple query and response — like “The Gold Lounge is to your left, right after the Southwest check-in counter”- would have escalated to vitriol. Usually there’s one service person who prompts a complaint yet the couple called the whole staff of agents “blasé”. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder about their credibility. While I cannot condone what the airline manager might have said — something bordering on a hate crime if he, in fact, said it — you have to wonder what the couple did to prompt this. Having worked in the hotel and airline industry for many years, I’m all too familiar with how the public can behave and how condescending and downright disrespectful they can be towards service workers. And so their response to being called idiots and faggots was to blow up Twitter and Facebook?? That’s really grown-up. Did writing a complaint letter to United and/or to this manager’s superior ever come to mind? If not, I cannot take their situation seriously.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 1:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ed M.
      Ed M.

      The moment you called him a “douche”, you lowered yourself to his level!

      Nov 29, 2011 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elias Meeks
      Elias Meeks

      It’s really rather odd to me. On my friend’s Linkedin account Rodney Hill (“Aviation Professional”) shares many of the same LGBTQ connections with him. One of those friends is a major-market TV news person. Was Mr. Hill having a really bad day or what? I guess I need more information.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 2:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • o
      o

      @Kyle: If Henry disliked Koreans (which Korean?), he wouldn’t have fallen in love with one. Do you understand?

      Nov 29, 2011 at 2:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Good Old United
      Good Old United

      The same airline that, 11 years ago, had a gate agent helpfully suggest I “go fuck myself” when I asked what I should do after they stranded me in NYC for days.

      United always sucked. United always will suck. Everyone who works there hates their job and is seething with resentment because they have to work at that shitty airline — the worst of the worst.

      They’ll break your guitar. They’ll scream racist, homophobic or sexist slurs at you. They’ll cuss you out. They’ll cancel your flight and strand you while insisting it’s their right to do so. They’ll charge you fees for “premium seating” they don’t deliver.

      The lesson is never, EVER fly United. EVER.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 3:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Guyliner
      Guyliner

      If this story is true, then obviously I have massive sympathy for the couple involved. BUT there is no justification for posting details of the employee’s LinkedIn profile to social networks, creating yet another angry mob and trial by Twitter. You’re angry, sure, but complain through the proper channels; don’t look for justice on the Internet where there’s a ready-made pitchfork-wielding mob in waiting. I think that’s absolutely grotesque.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 3:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Not buyin it
      Not buyin it

      Their story is just absurd. That everyone in that lounge refused to assist and that a manager then tossed an epithet at them. Unreal. I gather this manager doesnt have a single blot on his record, no complaint from anyone over anything. They’re lying.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @Dave: you say

      “On a national level, the black community long ago stopped accepting apologies and lame excuses for the completely unacceptable use of the word “nigger” as a bigoted epithet, and it’s high time that the LGBT community did the same with words like “faggot” and terms like “he/she”. No one can make me believe that the use of such words to degrade other human beings is the result of ignorance in this day and age; they are used precisely and only because of they are intended to degrade and demoralize, to belittle and cause pain.”

      But, I fear there is little hope for that ever happening. Just look within the LGBT community and see the disrespect we use when referring to each other. A perfect example is post number 9 here referring to this gay couple as “girls” and “divas”. And, that same type of language was used throughout many of the comments made here. Every incident of that name calling coming from withing the LGBT community was also intended to degrade, demoralize, belittle and cause pain.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 8:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gigi
      Gigi

      @James: There’s “no way” an employee would say something like this in case is jeopardized his job? What rock have you been living under? It happens every day!

      Nov 29, 2011 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gigi
      Gigi

      @Not buyin it: What’s going on here? I know that we shouldn’t blindly accept something as truth just because someone says it happened, but to flat out reject that something like this is even possible is simply absurd. We’ve got a bunch of quacky queens on this site or we’ve been invaded by trolls. Either way, me no likey. Why don’t we reserve judgement until we have more information. I’ve been on the receiving end of such vileness, having done nothing at all to provoke the thrower of epithets, other than dare to breathe the same air as him. Guess I deserved to be called a FAGGOT.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ostracario
      ostracario

      @Mel Gibson: “Most do not consider FAGGOT a hate word.” REALLY? Where, Uganda? Rwanda? I gotta stop reading the comments on this site. You people have lost your minds!

      Nov 29, 2011 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      This is a definitive case of everybody guessing what probably really happened, either because of their own experiences, or because they PREFER it to be one way or the other (the couple is at fault, or the airlines employee is at fault), and we really just have to wait for more info., if there is any, to really be able to say.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 11:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • uu
      uu

      Not ignorance: bigotry. Why do people keep making up excuses for their enemies? That doesn’t help.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kyle
      Kyle

      @ostracario: Interestingly you omitted “except gay people”. Nobody else considers faggot hate speech. Ask any 14 year old who uses it often, along with “that’s so gay”. Ask anybody of any age who uses it often.

      No, don’t stop reading the posts, but yes, stop editing them to fit your opinions.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • NowMyButtHurts
      NowMyButtHurts

      Fire the dumbass who said it. Why? because there are plenty of other intelligent people ho are capable of doing the job and NOT insulting their customers. At the end of the day the guy should be fired because his job is to provide customer service and he insulted a customer. If he called a woman a cunt or some other insulting term the same action should be taken. Firing the guy is a completely appropriate response for not performing your job competently.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 79 · NowMyButtHurts wrote, “Fire the dumbass who said it.”

      The problem is determining if he did say it (which probably accounts for United’s
      silly tweets). Supposed he was about to say something and muttered to himself,
      “forget it”, and the customer heard it as “faggot”. That’s a possibility and
      United probably does not want to risk a wrongful termination suit if it fires him
      without sufficient proof.

      The manager seems to have been a real jerk. The only question is whether he was
      enough of a jerk to be fired for it, and that depends on what he actually said.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chadboy
      Chadboy

      @timncguy:

      Get over yourself miss thing. You sound like a mysogynistic prick. There is nothing wrong with being referred to as a “she, “diva” or “girl”. You think because you have a penis you are better than women? You are not. There is nothing degrading, demoralizing, belittling or painful about being referred to with feminine terms. Sounds like you aren’t comfortable in your skin.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 9:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Chadboy: It seems to me there’s quite a lot of space between what timncguy said and being a misogynistic prick. I don’t want to speak for another person however, so here’s my own opinion:

      Many adult females find “girl” degrading; those who do feel the term implies lack of maturity or an inability to handle their own affairs. When applied to either sex, “girl” sometimes implies frivolousness or shallowness that anyone *might* find offensive.

      While I don’t see anything wrong with using a feminine pronoun such as “she” to refer to a man, I do think that the *assumption* that someone won’t mind being referred to that way is fairly thoughtless. When gender (as opposed to biological sex) is apparent, the gender-appropriate pronoun should be used until you know the other person well enough to know what they are comfortable with. Why? Because only individuals have the right to define gender for themselves–no one else has the right to re-define gender for another person. Some men like being men, and want to be referred to as men. Some men live life as women and want to be referred to as female. Some men don’t care. Sometimes men choose to have sex changes so that their sex and gender are in alignment. In any of these cases and in many others, intentionally referring to someone as the opposite of their apparent gender can be (and often will be) construed as rude or even hurtful. It’s not about either sex being weaker; it’s about showing concern for others and how they’d like to be referred to.

      As for “diva”: For a great many folks, a “diva” isn’t merely a female pop star. The word can also carry connotations of vanity, lack of discipline, or being difficult. When it’s used in *that* sense, “diva” itself is a misogynistic term synonymous with “prima donna”. A man who is vain and difficult is often thought of as appropriately assertive, while a woman who displays similar characteristics often gets labeled a “bitch” or a “diva”.

      For all the above reasons, calling a gay man a “diva” or a “girl” CAN in fact be problematic. It can even betray misogynistic feelings, insofar as a *straight* man behaving the same way probably wouldn’t be getting called a woman or a diva. Such language can in fact be used to paint both females AND gay men with the same brush–both as creatures who have no right to be uppity and assertive.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chadboy
      Chadboy

      I call straight men diva and girl as well. It hasn’t ever been a problem. Good night.

      Nov 30, 2011 at 12:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • roggenite
      roggenite

      I know I’m a bit late getting into this conversation but I would like to set the record straight on this matter. There were 3 customer service agents and 1 manager present during this episode. These 2 guys were asking why they were not allowed into the United Club. It was clearly and professionally and politely explained to them in many ways what it takes to enter a paid for membership club. We also explained the various other access routes all of which they were also not qualified. As they turned around to leave one agent very sincerely said “I’m sorry”. It was not said to be condescending nor rude. It was a simple “I’m sorry”.

      At that point one of them turned around and started getting loud and saying “you don’t have to be so condescending”. Then the other guy turned around and began his own litany of attacks at the agent. The rest of us were taken aback at what suddenly exploded from these two. Both of them yelling at the one agent, not the rest of us. It was at this time that Mr. Hill approached the counter. After a few seconds he stepped in and told the two guys that’s enough. They then started into him and that’s when he told them they are done here and to leave the area.

      It was later on the following Monday that a friend asked if I heard the news about the manager that called two passengers fagots. He then showed me the interview on the internet. Later when I returned to work I was amazed at the level this story had risen.

      What really pisses me off is how fast the gay community has sank in their claws into Mr. Hill and United Airlines even before United was given the chance to respond. And when United did, what were you expecting? Full admission without investigating the incident? Just take the word of these two guys and make restitution? All of you who have sent such hateful attacks pisses me off!

      I have worked for this airline for 21 years and I am also gay. At no time in my career have I nor my husband of 20 years have ever been made to feel uncomfortable or prejudiced in any way. When I later found out these two are gay I was shocked. Even more so to learn that they claim to be partners. during this time they sure didn’t act like partners or couples I’ve seen act together. None of us had any clue about their sexual orientation nor the fact they’re a couple. Mr. Hill is a friend of mine and well aware of my orientation. Yes, being a black man in a customer orientated job he is aware of his actions and has consideration for others regardless of who they are. What he is concerned about, like me, is the hateful uncalled for attacks on our fellow employees. We simply answered their questions and explained the situation to them. They obviously didn’t get what they wanted and have started this hateful revenge of no merit.

      Dec 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bobby
      Bobby

      I am very disappointed in the reaction to what these two young gay men have said!

      Let me just say that there is absolutely NO HONOR in lying! These 2 guys are without HONOR and sadly are social media junkies who need attention and just because they didn’t get their way, seem to think it is ok to tell a BOLD-FACED lie and try to ruin an innocent man’s reputation in the hopes they will get something for NOTHING! Pathetic!

      For those of you who automatically side with these 2 poor excuses just because they claim this happened without hearing the truth, are just as bad as the accusers! I am gay man and know and work with Rodney and would stand up for his character without question. There are always two sides to a story and I can tell you that that Canu’s version of what transpired is FALSE and makes me sick to hear! There are witnesses that heard and saw everything that happened. Shame on you Canu, and your boyfriend for behaving the way you did. You are a blemish on our society and the gay community! Shame on those of you who, without proof, judged another human being.

      Its not your right or your place!

      Dec 7, 2011 at 9:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bobby
      Bobby

      I am very disappointed in the reaction to what these two young gay men have said!

      Let me just say that there is absolutely NO HONOR in lying! These 2 guys are without HONOR and sadly are social media junkies who need attention and just because they didn’t get their way, seem to think it is ok to tell a BOLD-FACED lie and try to ruin an innocent man’s reputation in the hopes they will get something for NOTHING! Pathetic!

      For those of you who automatically side with these 2 poor excuses just because they claim this happened without hearing the truth, are just as bad as the accusers! I am a gay man and know and work with Rodney and would stand up for his character without question. There are always two sides to a story and I can tell you that that Canu’s version of what transpired is FALSE and makes me sick to hear! There are witnesses that heard and saw everything that happened. Shame on you Canu, and your boyfriend for behaving the way you did. You are a blemish on our society and the gay community! Shame on those of you who, without proof, judged another human being.

      Its not your right or your place!

      Dec 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IheartRain
      IheartRain

      @roggenite: Sorry, I find YOUR whole story hard to believe…that these two young men just fabricated homophobia on the count that YOU seem to be trying to save face for your company. United has had prominent complaints about their staff, the staff’s behavior, and the staff’s actions toward LGBT. Your track record speaks for itself and it’s due to that track record that I’m inclined to believe the gay couple in question. Your company has a stain on it, and many of us refuse to use it’s terrible services.

      Jan 1, 2012 at 2:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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