‘Are you sure it wasn’t your girl name?’ Transgender woman outed by airline crew member
A Canadian woman has said she felt “unsafe” after a WestJet crew member outed her as transgender to other passengers on the plane.
Lenore Herrem presented her boarding pass and ID when flying from Calgary to Saskatoon in Canada, but the crew member became “upset and confused” at the male ID photo, reports CBC.
“She got upset and said, ‘They don’t match,’ but her colleague said, ‘Yes, they do, it’s fine, go ahead,’” Herrem said.
Herrem then explained to the crew member that she was transgender and was allowed to board the plane. She was seated for approximately 10 minutes when the same crew member approached her again and demanded to see her ID.
The woman was insistent that there was a different name on the computer when she looked at it, and then started reciting other women’s names.
Herrem alleges that the crew member then said: “Are you sure it wasn’t your girl name that was on the computer?”
“She outed me in front of the whole airplane.”
Herrem has never had any issue with her ID in the past and went on to describe the experience as “traumatising.”
GLAAD warns against outing people as transgender, noting: “Not only is [outing a transgender person] an invasion of privacy, it can also have negative consequences in a world that is very intolerant of gender diversity.”
In a statement to CBC, WestJet said they had apologised to Herrem for the incident, and said their goal is to foster an inclusive environment for everybody.
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“We have extended our apologies to the guest and are reviewing the matter as we are continuously assessing and evolving our practices and policies to maximise inclusiveness and celebrate diversity.”
LGBT+ people can experience discrimination in a number of ways when travelling, and more members of the community have been speaking out about these experiences.
Recently, American businessman David Cooley made international headlines after calling out the actions of a crew member with Alaska Airlines, when he and his partner were separated so a straight couple could sit together.
He was told that one of them would have to move, or they would have to leave the plane as a result of a double booking of seats.