Scott Schmidt was wrapping up a long-overdue European vacation with his fiance earlier this month when a Lufthansa gate agent at the Athens International Airport stopped him from boarding a shuttle and insisted he take off his Pride-themed rainbow face mask.
“Put on a normal mask,” she said.
Schmidt was shocked. He had researched Luftansa’s COVID policies before ordering the masks. And he’d already worn a rainbow mask on the outbound flight from LAX without incident.
He considered whether to complain while listening to the public announcements warning travelers: Anyone who fails to comply will be reported to the relevant authorities.
“‘Relevant authorities’ in Germany scare me,” he said. “So I figured it was just easier to get home.”
Schmidt donned an ordinary blue surgical mask and continued on his way.
“I took a couple of photos in the bus and I put them on my Instagram and my Twitter and then on Monday I reached out to Lufthansa through their website just to say, ‘Hey this happened, I wanted to make you aware of it.’”
The Bay Area Reporter saw his post and broke the story.
Schmidt has received only a standard response letter from Lufthansa, but he’s hoping the company will take the opportunity to show greater support for the LGBTQ community.
He doesn’t necessarily believe the agent had ill intentions.
“I don’t want to say that it was anti-LGBT, because it may not have been,” he said. “It may have been that because it was rainbow-colored she thought it was a cloth mask rather than a surgical mask.”
Schmidt says the incident shows why the LGBTQ community must continue to celebrate Pride in a public fashion.
“We’ve made a lot of progress, and a lot of the reason why we made that progress is because of visibility — people showing that they are out and proud and are members of society. It is an important thing to overcome a lot of the stigmas that our community had in the ‘80s and ‘90s and even up until Proposition 8. And so for me when I had to buy those surgical masks I decided I wanted to get the rainbow one just to fly the flag and be proud.”
As far as COVID mask regulations, Schmidt thinks it’s important to follow the rules, even if he doesn’t have full confidence in the rule makers.
“I wear them in businesses and I wear them when asked to, but when I’m outside I’m like, ‘What’s the point?’ I don’t know that people making policy really know what the science is, but especially when you’re traveling abroad, you need to respect the local rules and customs.”
He believes in following the science, but questions the U.S. government’s fluctuating stances on what is and isn’t helpful in staving off COVID infections.
“If you look at the CDC and Fauci, they keep going back and forth and contradicting themselves, and if their directives were based on science — like, real science has been double-blind tested and all of those things — we wouldn’t see this back and forth. And it’s really confusing and frustrating for people. I think we’re having a real crisis of confidence right now.”
I highly doubt they were objecting to a rainbow mask. I was just in CDG Airport in Paris and they make everyone put on a surgical blue mask. They probably have more confidence that the surgical style make is more effective than all the various flimsy masks and bandanas that a lot of people wear. I doubt they were targeting him because it was a rainbow motif.
I wish my problems were this trivial.
Rainbow is overrated
The confusion that is coming from the CDC and Fauci is deliberate and is meant to instill fear and establish total control with the loss of all our freedoms.
Michael Grace’s anger issues are tragic but his irrationality makes for fun reading. He seems to have absorbed lessons in public rhetoric right from Trump himself, i.e., it doesn’t matter if it makes sense, just say it.
I am Gay and worked in Hollywood for 25 years. Nobody is more Homophobic, sadistic, and predatory than liberals… your statement has no merit.
What’s great about Larry Block taking over Wehoville, it is a center of freedom of speech. Congratulations Larry for throwing “Caution” to the wind.
I love how Trump is always mentioned, for ratings, like he’s still running the country. Instead we have that angry old hag Nancy Pelosi, who desperately needs a Go Fund me campaign for new dentures. No wonder she wants everyone to wear masks.
Then there’s the in your face tragedy of having Biden in the White House. Unnamed sources sadly say he spends all day trying to find his box of Depends.
This has the look, smell and feel of a manufactured stunt. We’ve seen it so many times before.
On second thought, I agree and seems a foolish but manufactured risk. He may have felt emboldened to wear the rainbow mask assuming that no one would risk the chance of prejudice and get into an international squabble, That being the case, his insidious actions have a pernicious effect while others are outright hostile and aggressive about it.
“Insidious”? ‘Splain, Lucy…
Subtle under the guise of naivety which may be why he was not detained.
“I don’t want to say that it was anti-LGBT, because it may not have been” – but he took the time out of his life to make this a big deal and shout to the world victimhood. Get over yourself and get a life. Put on whatever they tell you or don’t fly. They’re the one with the plane not you.
Mr. Schmidt appears to be a bona fide resident of West Victimhood joining the throngs of other contrarians. What a nasty little Petri dish West Victimhood has become. It’s leaders believe it is a leader in the eyes beyond 1.9 sq. miles when in reality it is a laughing stock. An experiment gone wrong.
Agree. The major gift from the gods for West Hollywood was being able to have the Sunset Strip. Without that, it would be a tired glorified strip mall going from towhee down Santa Monica boulevard to La Brea.
This Generation and their parents are failures.
Sir, where do you feel the broad generalizations you have made qualify as meaningful information. No one is more homophobic, sadistic and predatory than liberals. Where do you get this. It is neither logical or rational but you could explain yourself if you like.
I agree totally. People will become less scared of the gay community as they see more and more “normal” people wearing Gay pride colors and same sex couples holding hands. I say “normal” because most straight people see us Gay people as freaks. We do like to get freaky at Gay Pride, Halloween, Gay cruises, but we are not like that everyday. As we show our pride in our everyday life we will show that we are no different from others
Schmidt does not know what science is. This *is* real science Scott: testing, peer review, testing, failure, update, more testing, changing methodology, testing, errors, and more testing as new evidence and data is gathered. That’s *literally* what the scientific method is. Science is not now and never has been sticking to your first hypothesis no matter what and getting all 100% right the first time. This is mutating novel coronavirus, meaning it’s new to us and we’re learning more about it daily. As we learn more, guidelines update. It does not take a great deal of intelligence to figure this… Read more »
Maybe Mr. Schmidt should be more concerned about being a former, or current member of the Los Angeles Log Cabin Republican’s group. This group endorsed Trump as “the most pro-LGBT candidate in our Party’s history,”
We saw how that turned out.
Please point me to the evidence that Mr. Schmidt is or was a Log Cabin member. Didn’t see it in his story or your attachment. What are you really saying here?
This was tough to find:
Also, he was the past president:
Its a mask, not handcuffs
It’s American, so best ignored. False as FFP2 is mandatory.