TRAVEL TAILS

Frontier's Travel Blog

Fly With Pride

Posted on Jun 04, 2021|By Rosie the River Otter

Here at Frontier, throughout the month of June, we are celebrating our LGBTQ team members through our social profiles. Join us as we recognize and honor members of the LGBTQ community and allies here at Team Frontier! We truly 'Fly with Pride'!

 

AC Proctor, Flight Attendant/ Line Instructor - 14.5 years with Frontier, Orlando

Tell us a fun fact about you: Fun fact about me. Most people who are Flight Attendants have always wanted to be a Flight Attendant since they were a young child. Not me. I always wanted to be the 'voice' at the airport making announcements. (Yes, I said that in my interview). I also love collecting Frontier Airlines memorabilia from Frontier aircraft models to Frontier matchbooks. The sky's the limit.

 

Why is Pride Month important?  Living in Florida, we are lucky to celebrate Pride twice, nationally in June and in October, as it's much cooler in temperature for a Pride Parade downtown. I haven't been out of the closet long in my life but it's nice to have a month where it's publicly okay to be me with no shame. There's a lot of history with Pride going back to the Stonewall Riots in June 1969. It is good to remember the people who went through hell to get the steps of equality we have today.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? For me, inclusion is all minorities and groups are included as one.  It shouldn’t matter who we love or the color or our skin.  We are all humans and love is love. It makes me sad that our country doesn't appear to be ready for the inclusion of everyone.  It takes a lot of energy and effort to have a heart filled with hate. I am glad I don't live like that. We still have so much to do for full inclusion. Marriage equality certainly was a good start. Being a single person, I'm grateful I will have the opportunity to marry just as any of my straight friends or family do.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? I grew up in the church so that had a strong influence on me. I had much shame and guilt for the feelings I had growing up. So, I fought the feelings and tried to "pray them away." It wasn't until my mid 30's that I came out to my family and friends. I was grateful to work for a company (Frontier Airlines) where there were openly gay people for me to become comfortable around. It was inevitable that people at work would find out even if I wasn’t fully ready to share.  Back then Frontier was very small. I had several male gay friends but didn’t know of any female gay friends. I had to learn to have tough, thick skin. I had lots of rumors about me. Even now, recently, I heard second hand someone asking if I was still a "Bible thumping lesbian."  But I've learned when people spread rumors or call people names, it's about them and their own insecurities. Every day, I am becoming happier to be me. My journey has taught me to focus on me and my goals. I want to make a difference at Frontier. I knew from the moment I went through Flight Attendant Training in January 2007, I wanted to become an Inflight Line Instructor (fly the line and teach part time). I wanted to help mold the new hires. It took 9.5 years for the Inflight Training department to have a need and open the positions. While I waited and flew the line, gained flying experience, I volunteered with Flight Attendant Recruiting. When Inflight Training moved the Initial Training Program to Orlando, I chose to relocate from the life that I knew in Colorado and move to Florida. Leaving my Colorado bubble was the best decision of my life. I took a chance and it has paid off. And I know that my soulmate awaits wherever she is. “She’s the gold at the end of my rainbow.” 

 

Austin Rogers, Flight Attendant, Orlando

Tell us a fun fact about you: I worked in the gift shop on a cruise ship for 3 months. I have been to 7 countries including France, Italy, Slovenia, Montenegro, Greece, Croatia and Spain.

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is important to me because it provides the LGBTQ+ community the opportunity to showcase who we truly are without having any fears; without being judged, bullied, harassed. We can be our true selves. We can be free. Pride Month allows us the opportunity to celebrate the incredible community we are. 

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion to me means acceptance. It means being accepted for who you truly are. Not being outed because you speak funny or look a different way. You are included in life for the true beautiful person you are.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? My life has honestly been a struggle, but I have continued forward and have not let any of my struggles stop me. I lost my dad at age 65 on Oct. 22, 2014 at 5:35 p.m., due to complications from Alzheimer’s. He was diagnosed in 2010. His last two years, his disease accelerated his decline rapidly. I was a senior in high school trying to graduate, deal with high school life all while trying to take care of my dying father. It was the hardest time in my life, but I made it. It took every ounce of strength I had to not give up. I always kept in mind there was a bright big beautiful tomorrow. I never took any day for granted and I made every day count with the little time I had left with him. I had my moments where I broke down, but I had to stay strong for me and for my family. I had no choice but to stay hopeful that my family would get through this and as bad as it may sound, life will go on.

 

Clarence E. Mitchell, Jr., Supervisor, Inflight Training, Cheyenne, WY

Tell us a fun fact about you: I’m a California State Arts Scholar. It’s an award that was given to me by the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, for performing a Shakespearean sonnet (Sonnet 116). I still have that sonnet memorized word for word even after over 10 years has passed. I went to a performing arts high school, like the movie CAMP. I’ve played the clarinet since the 6th grade and have always had a love for anything creative. Today, I enjoy painting and visiting religious sites around the world.

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is important because it’s an entire month that I dedicate to learning how to be outwardly proud of everything I have grown to be. It’s not only about pride in being a gay man, but pride as a human being knowing I have become a good human who understands that love is deserved by all. In loving one another, we can make the world a better place.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion means showing equal respect and kindness to everyone you meet. Each of us, as human beings, have lived our own experiences and formed our own different ideas, but that doesn’t mean that anyone is better or worse than the anyone else. We all deserve the same respect from one another in celebration of our differences.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? I grew up in a single parent household in San Francisco. Even in a liberal city, I was afraid to be truly myself. I fell in love with aviation in 2007 after visiting the San Francisco Airport. Every weekend and days after graduating high school, I began my career in aviation as a baggage handler. In that role I faced personal adversity while growing my career quickly. I began working with Frontier Airlines as a business partner in Fort Lauderdale. I met flight crews, station managers, pilots and others who all worked and treated each other like family, something I was always looking to experience. I knew immediately that I wanted to work for Frontier. In 2014, I applied to be a Flight Attendant for several carriers, and Frontier Airlines invited me for a face to face interview in Denver. I was so nervous when I arrived in Denver, but I left that day with a conditional job offer. Seven years later, I have worked as a flight attendant, full time instructor and now the only supervisor of Inflight Training. I’ve made lifelong friends and family at Frontier. This airline has seen me grow up and become the person I’m proud to be. I find strength in knowing that every class of Flight Attendants that we graduate is giving someone else the opportunity to live the same dream that I have; to find a family. My hope is that Frontier will continue to grow and the work we all do makes us closer to one another as we share in our company’s success.

 

Drew Ground, Flight Attendant, Chicago

Tell us a fun fact about you: I’m very passionate about are the performing arts, animal conservation and human rights.

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is important because it is a celebration of the rights that we have fought so hard to have. It’s a reminder of how far we have come through the years; from the first stone thrown at Stone Wall, to the first legal same sex marriage or the ability to be your preferred gender. These are all rights that should have been a given born right, but instead they were rights that were fought for with blood, sweat, tears, and the lives of so many. For one month out of the year, the LGBTQIA+ community gets to celebrate all these moments in history, and we are seen and validated.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion to me means being treated exactly like any other person no matter my sexual preference or preferred pronouns. Inclusion means being able to walk to my car or down the street and feeling safe no matter my appearance. Inclusion means being treated exactly like any other person because that's exactly what I am.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? My life experience has been just like most, full of ups and downs, good times and bad with much lost and gained over the last 30 years of my life. I've been luckier than most and had a solid support team around me, whether it’s my friends, family or co-workers. I came out as gay when I was 22 and was met with nothing but love and support. My biggest support in life had always been my mother, but unfortunately, she passed away unexpectedly on my 26th birthday. Her death left me feeling empty and alone in life. That moment in life I never would have survived without the love and support from my family, friends and everyone at F9.  After my mother passed, I made a lot of realizations about myself, the main one being that I am Transgender. The last two years, I have slowly been fighting my own insecurities and anxiety to learn to love and accept myself in a world that continually tries to tell me I shouldn't exist. I'm incredibly thankful to the people in my life who continue to love and support me no matter what and I am also extremely grateful to Frontier for allowing me and other's the opportunity to be ourselves without judgment. In the words of Frances Wright, "Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it."

 

Nathan Dang, Flight Attendant, Chicago

Tell us a fun fact about you: I am a foodie and I love finding new places to explore on layovers. I enjoy my layovers with my crews by going out and checking out different restaurants. I like to have a good time with good people.

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is important to me because it allows a chance to demonstrate diversity among all the people we work with and serve. People can show off their individuality and be proud of who they are and know that they have the support of fellow crews and others.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion to me means multiple things such as including those who look different than others but it also can include different lifestyles, financial status and even opinions and views. We all should live together as one – as the human race. There shouldn’t be discrimination due to your race, sex, age, gender or sexual preferences.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? 

My life experience – I live my life to the fullest and I have a positive outlook on life - to be so positive in some of the most difficult times and I strive to be a positive role model to my fellow crew members and others. 

My strength - Being able to use my positivity around my crews and customers to provide a welcoming and enjoyable work environment. I enjoy my job because I can work with senior and junior crews and learn new things that I didn't know before.

 

William Nelson, Flight Attendant, Tampa

Tell us a fun fact about you? A fun fact about me is I got the chance to move to St. Thomas, USVI. Living life on an island and learning a whole new culture was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life and the second fun fact is becoming a flight attendant, of course.

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is important to me because it’s a reminder of how it all started during the Stonewall Riots. It’s about bringing the LGBTQ+ community and our allies together to celebrate everything we have fought so hard to achieve, and a reminder that we have so much more to fight for equal rights. Pride brings all of us together and unites us in love and acceptance with no judgment. 

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion means the ability to never judge someone based on differences, accepting everyone for who they are and who they want to be, supporting each other with every victory and milestone they reach in their life, not bringing someone down or tearing them apart, seeing each other as equals no matter how different our race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, social economic status, or education levels may be and allowing someone to be their truest version they can possibly be.  

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? Growing up knowing I was always “different” than what society always taught me to be was hard and always suppressing thoughts, actions and self-happiness. It came at a point in my life (thankfully when I was young and in high school) that enough was enough. I had to make a choice to finally be true to myself. I had support from my friends; however, my family was not as accepting. It took them many years to come around and understand my life and allowing me to educate them. Now, my mom is always there for me with all the love and support and never judges me when I need to talk to her. For those that have family members that can’t or won’t support you, please reach out to any one of the amazing resources our community offers. Talk to someone who has walked in your shoes before and allow them to help you. If you reach out, you just might be surprised how many people are willing to listen to you. We are never truly alone. 

 

Daniel Cabuya, Inflight Policies & Procedures Specialist, DEN HQ

Tell us a fun fact about you? Something many people might not know about me is that fitness plays a big role in my life. During my free time, I love to teach my Zumba classes right here in Denver!

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is important because it is a time that is dedicated to the uplifting of LGBTQ+ voices, a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and the support of LGBTQ+ rights. It is also important because it commemorates the history and those who have lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? To me inclusion means that you can be yourself, feel welcomed and part of the group. It is taking diverse opinions and incorporating them in decision-making.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? America is a nation of immigrants and immigration is a theme that imitates so much of our nation’s history. My story is no different.

 

I came to this country as an immigrant when I was 10 years old from Colombia. I did not speak any English and my understanding of American culture was very limited. Being a stranger in a foreign land at a young age presented many challenges for me. I struggled in school due to the language barrier and making friends was not easy.

 

My parents worked hard every day, but they always found the time to encourage me to follow my dreams. We lived closed to the observation point in CLT. I would always watch the planes come in and out of the airport. This fueled my passion for aviation.

 

I worked hard and dedicated myself to accomplishing my dreams knowing that one day I would work for a successful airline. I completed my studies and began my aviation career as a Flight Attendant at Mesa Airlines. I would then go on to become an IOE Flight Attendant Instructor, Inflight Base Supervisor and Inflight Base Manager.

 

I joined the Frontier Airlines Inflight Experience team in 2017. I have served as a Flight Attendant, Base Supervisor and now as part of the Inflight Policies & Procedures team. This line of work has allowed me to meet some amazing people and learn from outstanding mentors. There are good days and rough days like in any job, but in the end, I am proud to be doing what I love!

 

Trevor Freel, Manager, Corporate Recruitment, Denver HQ

Tell us a fun fact about you? I love adventure! Anything that gets me outdoors or increases my knowledge about a certain subject, I am all about!

 

Why is Pride Month important? Pride Month is so important to the world because it sheds light on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion throughout all social spectrums. For me personally, Pride Month did not become an important part of my life until after the Pulse Nightclub Massacre. That horrific event had a profound effect on me and solidified the purpose and mission of Pride Month.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion is beyond acceptance. Inclusion means to incorporate the differences along with the similarities of a person into your respective everyday life. Valuing and honoring these differences in the same light you would the similarities, is imperative to inclusion.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? My story is not unlike many others. I had struggles in the early years; there were bullies I had to endure and a lack of self-acceptance as I became aware of the fact, I was gay. Fortunately, I did not let these struggles define me due in large part to my supportive and equally diverse family and friends. My strength is derived from the love and the potential of love that can be shared around my community and beyond. I believe in the hope for a better, equal and more just world. One that “coming out” doesn’t have to be the norm and “straight” isn’t the default. I believe we have made amazing strides and overcome substantial adversity, but the forward progression should always be on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

 

Rob A. Williams, Captain, Miami

Tell us a fun fact about you?  This is my 4th career. I have worked in healthcare, the trading floor on Wall Street, owned two marketing companies and now, the airlines. These professional journeys have taken me to live in four countries and 11 cities.  

 

Why is Pride Month important? For me, Pride serves two important functions. First, it allows us a time to get together with friends and allies to celebrate overcoming current hurdles to obtain equality. Second, to remember those that came before us and the hard work they did to allow someone like me to be able to hold the job I do without the fear of being fired for who I love.

 

What does inclusion mean to you? Inclusion in the workplace means welcoming each other’s differences, and that you are a team member before anything else.

 

Would you mind sharing a bit about your life experience, strength and hope? Getting to this position as an airline captain was not the usual path. I was born into abject poverty and was adopted and moved around to a few different families before moving out on my own at 16. I really had to carve out a place for myself in this world.

 

There was really no one to help guide me from a traditional standpoint. However, I always seemed to find friends and families who would take me in from time to time and treat me as their own. From that, I took the best from each experience to build myself up to become a strong contributing member of society.

 

People often tell me that becoming a pilot was always their dream. That word carries a very different meaning to me. A dream was all I really thought it would ever be. Flying was for rich kids, not me. Plus, I was gay, and the movies portrayed us as predators in the cockpit. I didn't think I would ever fit in and I was told as such by many people. But I always worked as hard as I could at every job I had with the dream that I would someday prove to myself and everyone that there was a place in the sky for this ward of the state kid from nowhere. It worked!

 

Coming to work every day at Frontier and knowing that I was picked out of a crowd for an interview at an NGPA event means more to me than most understand. It means the world has changed and evolved so I'm able to work here and represent not just my own dreams but a group of LGBTQ+ professionals that want to be part of this amazing career.

 

My strength is having this rare perspective. I know how hard this journey can be. From my now strong position, I can reach out to help people in the LGBTQ+ community as well as the often cast aside low-income community. I always make time to volunteer and donate much needed funds to keep dreams alive and moving forward. I hope to be the person to help their career dreams come true just as so many did for me.

 

My hope is that everyone, in any walk of life or persuasion, will reach out and lend a helping hand to those that are less fortunate. Look at what a few moments of encouragement and a spare room here and there have done for me.

 

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