By Daniel Reynolds
Originally published on Advocate.com October 14 2013 1:07 PM ET
An Australian airline is apologizing for the defacement of a passenger’s luggage, which was branded with an antigay message last weekend.
Jetstar officials said they were investigating the matter involving the words “I Am Gay” stamped upon a suitcase with airport barcode stickers. The passenger Tweeted an image of the luggage Satruday after his flight from Perth to Brisbane in Australia.
"Utterly disgusted to find my luggage front and center on the @JetstarAirways luggage carousel looking like this," Twitter user @aaronpp wrote.
“I know nobody there. It was after midnight and the flight delayed over an hour ... idle hands, perhaps,” he later posted, clarifying that he did not know any of the Jetstar staff who may have been playing a practical joke.
As of this article’s posting, the image of the lettered luggage had been retweeted 247 times. Many major outlets had also published the photo, including The Huffington Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, and International Business Times.
"We are taking this matter very seriously and we have contacted the passenger to apologise for any distress caused," a Jetstar spokeswoman said in response to the media uproar.
The passenger, who identifies as straight and is a married father of two, followed up his tweet with a blog post detailing his reaction to the incident.
“For me, this was only a few minutes of one day of my life,” he wrote. “If what I felt for those few minutes is extrapolated out every day over a lifetime, then I can fully understand why our gay friends feel persecuted and why they have such high rates of suicide. It is unacceptable.”