The airline — which operates out of the Toronto Island airport — offers free computer and internet access in its passenger lounge. However passengers using the computers are unable to access sites with queer content, including Xtra.ca, or to search for sites using phrases like “gay Pride.”
“I was surprised that Porter would set those blocks,” says Lynn Pyke, a Toronto corporate manager. “Intentional or not it’s homophobic. Lots of gays and lesbians and not homophobic people are flying Porter.”
Pyke was flying Porter to Ottawa on Aug 15 when her flight was delayed by weather.
“There’s no bar,” she says. “I was looking for something to do. I knew that Ottawa Pride was the next week. I googled something as simple as ‘lesbian Pride event Ottawa.’ It wouldn’t even conduct the search
I’ll have to remember to bring stacks of gay porn magazines with me on the return flight and lay them out beside all the computers.
A friend who took Porter last week said that he tried to go on Facebook when he was in the lounge and the flight attendant told him that they have heavy filters on the computers that limit service to a dozen or so bookmarked sites. So maybe Porter doesn’t hate gays.