The L-Word’s Leisha Hailey kicked off of Southwest flight for kissing girlfriend

If you love Leisha Hailey from The L-Word like I do, prepare to fume. Southwest Airlines, the airline company that loves to discriminate based on size and what you’re wearing (not to mention harass some women in the process) kicked the actress and her girlfriend off of their flight yesterday for kissing, with the reason being that Southwest is a “family” airline.

After tons of tweets by Leisha demanding an apology and a ton of news coverage, Southwest issued a public apology claiming that the flight attendant was responding to passenger complaints “characterizing the behavior as aggressive,” claiming the actions made weren’t based on the fact that they were gay, but because they were making out.

Which I call bullshit on. The airline has way too much of a reputation of discrimination — not to mention against a lot of celebrities, which also gives the impression that the airline is guilty of discrimination not just because they’re assholes, but to garner more attention (and hence, more business). It’s like they’re the PETA of the airline industry.

Pic via.

Join the Conversation

  • Liza

    I don’t really have anything deep to add, just, seriously, WTF is wrong with this airline?

    I know, I know. Attention = business. But not my business. The things they are getting attention for have made me vow never to fly Southwest.

    • toongrrl

      If they go apeshit over two people of the same-sex kissing, hate to imagine what would happen if they caught some members of the Mile High Club.

  • kathy

    We’re not going to know what happened until someone trustworthy says “they just kissed” or “they were making out”. Regardless of sexual orientation, making out is not acceptable on a plane, or for that matter in my opinion anywhere in public. But a kiss is just a kiss and should of course be allowed.

    The point is we just don’t know. Yes, Southwest has created themselves a reputation as an intolerant airline, so of course the tendency is to view them as the bad guys, but still. We can’t know if it’s homophobia (obviously unacceptable) or not (seriously, don’t freaking make out on a plane).

    • regazzadilupo

      Whether it is your opinion that making out should be allowed in public is totally irrelevant. Kicking a person off a plane for kissing OR making out with someone who obviously consents to it is ridiculous. And this would most likely never happen to a straight couple unless they were being extremely, extremely disruptive, and even then they would get a warning, What happened here was *wrong*.

      • Smiley

        And how do you know that “[...] this would most likely never happen to a straight couple unless they were being extremely, extremely disruptive, and even then they would get a warning”?

        If the airline can point to instances where they kicked off a heterosexual couple making out, then the airline has a pretty good defence against that argument.

    • Napoleoninrags

      Says who? Dear Abby? The manners guy for the Times?

      You can believe something is “acceptable” or not, but that is purely your opinion and has nothing to do with the case at hand. Further, if you honestly believe that a heterosexual couple would be kicked off a plane for “making out” you are a very naive person.

      As a straight white guy, I can tell you that I’ve passionately kissed my wife on a plane before, probably even a Southwest plane. Do you think I got kicked off? Do you think anyone would even deign to say something to me about it? Of course not.

      This story is about homophobia, pure and simple. And I have to believe that the attitude that we should “wait for the real story” to come out is either naive, disingenuous, or represents the blindness that can come from unexamined privilege.

      • honeybee

        Sorry but that’s not how society works. It doesn’t matter if you find it acceptable, as with MANY FEMINIST CAUSES, if even one person is being offended by something their opinions do matter.

        In this case, if they received legitimate complaints from passengers, and the complaints are deemed reasonable by overall society standards – which I think in this case they clearly would be – they have to take them seriously. Doesn’t matter if the complaintants are right or if 90% of the people on the plan don’t care.

        If the issue was telling someone to stop making rape jokes, we wouldn’t be saying it’s unfair to stop them since a majority of people don’t mind them. We’d want them stopped. It’s no different here regardless of if you agree with the people.

        • Napoleoninrags

          Thank for your nuanced and compelling account of how “society” works.

          At best you are playing devils advocate here, at worst you are a troll (and on that note I’m confused as to why Feministing bothers to moderate comments and then lets something like this through).

          But for the sake of argument, let’s take your comment at face value. By your reasoning if some passengers complained about a black man kissing a white woman on the plane then Southwest would be within their rights to kick someone of the plane.

          See what I did there? The purpose of “rights” within our constitutional framework is to protect the minority from the majority – not to protect the majority from being offended.

          But if you get your kicks from defending homophobia and the corporations that practice it, by all means continue.

          • honeybee

            You really didn’t bother to read or understand my post at all. I was arguing the exact opposite.

            It’s so frustrating, especially on sites like this, to see legitimate comments dismissed as “troll” because someone can’t be bothered to understand the point or doesn’t agree with it.

            Society exists as a collective. Our goal should be to make everyone feel comfortable, regardless of how much in the minority they are.

  • Rachel

    I don’t care if they were half naked and covered in foam!!! Actually, I’d be REALLY into seeing some pics if that were the case. I CALL BULLSHIT!!! All this devil’s advocate well maybe they would have kicked a het couple off for kissing…SRSLY?!?!? NO. Discrimination plain and simple and I for one would like to say to Southwest: you’ve gone too far! Now its personal! When you mess with Leisha Hailey, you’re messing with cute femmes everywhere!

  • blueeyes90

    What is wrong with Southwest Airlines?!

    • feminister

      It’s also important to ask what’s wrong with their passengers who keep complaining? What is it about low fares and frequent departures that brings out such intolerant people?