Lena Dunham Calls Out Transphobic American Airlines Flight Attendants

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Because the younger generations are so vocal about equality, it's easy to forget that hate comes from the most unexpected places. Lena Dunham got a rude awakening Wednesday night when she heard two American Airlines employees talking about transgender children.
The American Horror Story cast-member was having a typical airport experience while dealing with a four-hour delay at JFK. That chaos, to her, was totally acceptable. What wasn't okay was the transphobic conversation two flight attendants from another airline were having nearby.
According to Dunham, the flight attendants were discussing how "trans kids are a trend," "they'd never accept a trans kid," and that "transness is gross," all of which is wrong on so many levels. Dunham recognized this and took to Twitter to air out the issue.
The Girls creator ended up direct messaging the airline and giving them more info about the incident.
In her message, Dunham asks the question: "What if a trans kid was walking behind them?" It would be devastating to be stuck on a plane with flight attendants who denied your existence. To expand on Dunham's point, it's also harmful if cisgender people overhear. Openly discussing transphobic, homophobic, or racist ideas makes others think it's okay. That can cause a lot of pain and suffering for these marginalized groups. This is especially true for transgender citizens, who have been the victims of the president's most recent pronouncement.
Many people responded negatively to Dunham's exchange because they feel the flight attendants shouldn't be punished for having a "differing opinion." But when the opinion is that some people do not deserve basic human rights and kindness, it is dangerous and unforgivable. Luckily, so many more people understand that and support Dunham's decision. Dunham understands that American Airlines can't really control what their employees' believe, but they can certainly "set standards of practice" for when the attendants are in uniform.
Lena Dunham has made some mistakes, but she stands up for what's right and that's what matters.
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