From a fabricated kidnapped lesbian blogger to a hysterical Jet Blue flight attendantturned media darling, these five sensational gay travel stories madeinternational headlines!
5. Air New Zealand’s'anti-gay' safety dance
Following criticism from the gay community, Air New Zealanddecided to yank a scene from an in-flight safety video depicting footballerRichard Kahui turning down a peck on the cheek from a male flightattendant. The scene was part of a CrazyAbout Rugby video which involved members of the All Black team, including coachGraham Henry and captain Richie McCaw. Despite the initial success of the video, critics worried the scenecould lead to gay male suicides.
4. Anti-gay activistbusted vacationing with a Rentboy
In 2010, psychologist, ordained Southern Baptist ministerand vocal homophobe George Alan Rekers was caught with a male escort while on atwo-week vacation in Europe. The escorttold CNN he gave Rekers sexual massages while accompanying him on histrip. Following the scandal, Rekersresigned from his role as “scientific advisor” for the National Association forResearch & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).
3. Gay US touristsattacked in St. Lucia
The attack of three gay Americans in St. Lucia was acautionary tale for LGBT tourists traveling to the Caribbean. Robbers brokeinto their cottage in Soufrière, beat them and tied them up. During the attack, the robbers reportedlymade homophobic slurs and threatened to kill the men if they didn’t leave theisland. Police say the robbers made offwith about $1,800 and some personal items. Saint Lucia’s tourism minister apologized to the men for the incident,but many gays and lesbians are still hesitant to visit.
2. The gay girl inDamascus who wasn’t
The world took notice when Amina Arraf a.k.a. “Gay Girl inDamascus” was kidnapped in Syria. Theworld noticed again when a 40-year-old American man admitted to making up thestory and Amina. For six years, TomMacMaster convinced thousands of people he was a half-American, half-Syrianlesbian writing from Damascus. Why didMacMaster make Amina a lesbian? He toldThe Guardian he “liked the challenge.”
1. A Jet Blue flightattendant’s unexpected departure
Former JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater became aone-man media circus. On a flightlanding from Philadelphia to NYC in August, Slater announced over the plane’sloudspeaker he was quitting. He thengrabbed two beers, deployed the evacuation slide and exited the plane. Slater’s outburst was reportedly sparked byan altercation with a passenger over the use of an overhead compartment.