Flying the Bigoted Skies

A Mother's Reaction

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Dear Southwest Gate Agent,

Remember that young man from this morning? The one who had a female name on his plane ticket? The one whose name you just had to announce loudly so that everyone in the entire boarding area could hear? You must know the one, because you didn’t feel compelled to announce anyone else’s name to the world.

That young man was my transgender son. 

And what you did was not only bigoted, transphobic, horrible and cruel, it was also dangerous.

Why dangerous, you ask? Well, let me explain. 

Outing a transgender person in public can literally put their life at risk. Because, like you, there are far too many bigoted, transphobic people in the world. Like you, there are people who simply think that my son should not exist. And, hopefully unlike you, there are people who would rather see a transgender individual dead. 

In fact, since January 1, 2017 (a mere six months) there have been at least 11 transgender murders in the United States. And according to, 2016 was the deadliest year on record, with a total of 27 senseless, transphobic deaths. To be honest, it’s likely that the number of transgender murders was significantly higher. Unfortunately, like you, the media and police are often transphobic and misgender the victims. Sometimes the deaths aren’t even reported.

There must be some rule at Southwest that tells you not to mistreat people in the LGBT community; some training on working with LGBT customers; something? And if there is no rule, there should be. Because obviously your parents did a piss-poor job of raising you. 

And here is the real rub – because of the way airlines have been mistreating all marginalized people, my son did not feel comfortable attempting to interact with the gate agent. He couldn’t use it as a “learning opportunity,” because he feared not being allowed on to the airplane. And what does that have to say about the state of air travel? Not much.

Let me say, for the record, “HOW DARE YOU!” How dare you make my son go through pain, embarrassment, and possible danger to satisfy your transphobic mind. You little person.


Anonymous Mom


P.S. What a shame that I can't use my name. Even using a name can make it gravely dangerous for people like my son.