The Outside Project, who work to support homeless people from the LGBTIQ+ community, have today reported on their instagram account that Attitude Magazine (‘The UK’s best selling Gay Magazine’) has used its platform at this time, to call on the government to financially support Virgin Atlantic as an ‘LGBTQ ally’.
Their publisher, Darren Styles, has written a letter to various members of the UK government, using the struggles of LGBTQ+ people and Virgin’s past financial support of LGBTQ campaigns to argue that the government should be especially bailing out this private company against coronavirus-related financial hardship. Virgin Airlines has in the past been complicit in the deportation of migrants – a practice that it stopped only after pressure from groups such as Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, who target airlines specifically for taking part in deportation flights as it often affects LGBT+ deportees especially, who struggle to have their status as vulnerable and persecuted people recognised by an immigration system with stereotypes and problematic notions of ‘queerness’.
Particularly pertinent, given the current national health emergency, is that Virgin’s founder, Richard Branson has a long and problematic relationship with the NHS surrounding private provision of public services via Virgin Care (as well as with paying his taxes).
On instagram, Attitude appear to have turned off comments to their post on this one, in the face of heavy criticism from the community.
It is still possible to report it as a ‘scam or fraud’ if you think rainbow washing a billionaire and his problematic private enterprises in a time of stress on national public services is damaging and disingenuous.
Also, follow, support and donate to @lgbtiqoutside to *actually* support homeless queers…