Preferred Pride hotel program caters to LGBT travelers

preferred pride hotelsNearly 100 preferred hotel group members have joined together to create Preferred Pride, a network of independently owned and operated hotels that cater to the needs of the LGBT community. In addition to being “gay welcoming”, these hotels offer equal opportunity employment and are active in their efforts to support the LGBT community.

Certain requirements exist for hotels to be able to join Preferred Pride. Hotels must be either TAG Approved (Community Marketing’s Travel Alternative Group) or be a member of IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association).

The Preferred Pride program was created in order to bring together a diverse group of hotels from around the world who are committed to the LGBT community, as well as a way to learn more about what this community needs in order to have a more enjoyable travel experience.

Thailand’s new PC Air first airline in country to hire transsexual flight attendants

transsexual flight attendantsBeing the hostess with the mostess just got more competitive. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Thailand’s newest airline, PC Air, is raising the bar on airline personnel. It’s the first Thai airline to hire transsexual flight attendants, as part of a pioneering effort to redefine equal rights within the industry. PC Air is slated to debut in April, running charter flights across Asia. The airline has already hired six transsexual crew members, including Thanyarat ‘Film’ Jiraphatpakorn, winner of the Miss Tiffany Universe Transsexual beauty pageant in 2007. Over 100 transsexual people applied during the first round of hiring.

Thailand has one of the world’s largest transsexual, or “third sex” populations, and its surgeons have achieved a global reputation for providing relatively affordable, easily accessible sex change operations (which pertain to the transgender, not transsexual, population). PC Air doesn’t require sexual reassignment surgery; rather, applicants need to meet criteria that include language and customer service skills.

While many Thai transsexuals are involved in prostitution or more legitimate forms of entertainment, PC Air’s president, Peter Chan, wants to provide more opportunity for the trans community. “I think these people can have many careers, not just in the entertainment business, and many of them have a dream to be an air hostess…When it’s their dream job or the job they love, they can do it even better,” he says. “Our society has changed — it’s evolution. I’m a pioneer, and I’m sure there will be (other) organizations following my idea.”

Christians protest transssexual Jesus

A play in Glasgow, Scotland, has sparked an angry protest by local Christians. Jesus Queen of Heaven depicts Jesus as a transsexual woman and is part of the Glasgay! Festival celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered culture.

The festival, which runs through November 8, features plays, music, dance, comedy, and many other events and has drawn artists from around the world. The annual festival has been held since 1993, attracts more than 20,000 visitors, and receives partial funding from national and municipal arts councils.

While gay arts festivals and the inevitable protests against them are nothing new, Jesus Queen of Heaven has drawn special ire. The play, written and performed by leading transgendered artist Jo Clifford, looks at her personal path to faith as a transgendered person.

The description of the play begins, “Jesus is a transsexual woman. And it is now she walks the earth. This is a play with music that presents her sayings, her miracles, and her testimony. And she does not condemn the gays or the queers or the trans women or the trans men, and no, not the straight women nor the straight men neither. Because she is the Daughter of God, most certainly, and almost as certainly the son also. And God’s child condemns nobody. She can only love…”

About 300 Christians, on the other hand, felt differently. They held a candlelight vigil outside the Tron Theatre last night, holding signs protesting the use of public funds for the festival and Clifford’s depiction of Jesus. One read “God: My Son Is Not A Pervert.” It is not clear if the sign was written by the protester or was a direct quote from the Almighty.

If November sounds like a bad time to go to Scotland, there’s always Pride Scotia in June, a ten-day national LGBT event that culminates in a massive parade in Edinburgh. If you really want make sure you’ll be partying in the sun, head south to Madrid, where the Orgullo (“Pride”) festival is held in the toasty months of late June and early July.

Jetstar charges passengers by the pound

The debate has gone on for years. Larger people have had to deal with shrinking plane seats. We all complain, with the svelte arguing that the not-so-trim should have to purchase an extra seat. I have to be honest, here. I believe that you should pay for what you consume. If you take two seats pay for them. Apparently, low-cost Australian airline Jetstar agrees, with much more zeal than I would have ever imagined.

For some, airfare must be purchased by the pound … and I’m not talking about the British currency.

Samantha Scafe, a 350 pound transgender passenger on Jetstar, was forced to pay for a second seat “for other people’s comfort” after twice being assured that this would not be necessary. Jetstar later apologized for the debacle, saying that it doesn’t provide overweight customers with “two-for-one deals.”

Obviously, she’s filing a lawsuit over this.

Now, let’s give Jetstar credit for follow-through. Not only do they offend a passenger, but the two seats they gave her had a slight problem: they were separated by the aisle. If she occupied them, she’d have had the flight attendants all over her for not getting out of the way of the drink cart!


These women should’ve been charged for their “crimes”!


[Via news.com.au, Blackbook]