Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Pilots and Homophobia

This morning I dropped Bf off at the airport at 7am. He was off to do a bullet Long-Haul trip (a trip where you fly there one day, and return the next without a clear day’s rest. This means that 3 pilots are required for the trip home instead of the usual 2, to allow for the fact that they haven’t had time to acclimatise to the time zone).

I have to say, that Bf has become quite homophobic since he started working for the airline. He has gay friends that he trained with, and isn’t actually homophobic… However, there is quite a culture with the ‘trolley dollies’ to camp it up; and its this over-the-top, in-your-face campness that irritates him. Apparently a lot of the scandal and bad behaviour on trips can be sourced to a young queen who cannot handle his drink and has let his bitchy tongue loose.

However, on this trip, there happens to be a young gay FA who he finds quite amusing. He is completely over-the-top; but apparently you cannot help but like him. He is very funny and very open without being fake. I’m going to refer to him as Brian

After they landed, the crew had to get on a light aircraft for a 30 minute positioning flight to a different part of the island. Bf had sat down next to Brian, and the crew were in a light mood. The conversation somehow turned around to the subject of ‘coming out’. Brian said that he had always known he was gay, that whilst his brother had been out playing football and ‘manly games’, he liked to sit inside and paint or draw…

Apparently it didn’t come as much of a shock to Brian’s parents when he did come out, and they took it in their stride. Bf’s words were that they’d always known that there was something ‘wrong’ but I’m sure that these were not actually Brian’s words!

Bf and Brian appear to have struck some kind of rapport, and Bf was, I think, trying to convey this (rather badly) and told him that

“I’ve never really been exposed to a gay community before, and it’s just alien to me. I think you’re okay, I just don’t like it when some of them are OTT”

(I think he meant fake). Then Brian came out with a fantastic OTT one-liner:

“Oh it’s okay, I’ve left my heels at home today!” (PMSL)

I wonder if he was deliberately seeing how far he could push the boundaries? Bf thought it amusing enough to tell me though, so he cant have felt too stupid.

I seem to have noticed a trend though… The longer a straight pilot works, the more homophobic they get… Or maybe it’s a generation thing-I’m not completely sure. Tho older Captains definitely seem to be a lot more discriminatory though.

Apparently Brian took his stilettos on a trip with a very ‘old school’ captain.  The captain commented snidely to Brian at the bar that he seemed to have grown suddenly… Brian said,

“Oh no, it’s my high heels, you can borrow them if you like?”

and with that he stepped out of them, plonked them into the hand of the Captain, and trotted-off bare foot, leaving the red faced Captain with his stilettos! I can just visualise the old boy’s over-inflated ego and macho pride being dented… Quite funny.


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