American Airlines has apologized after an off-duty pilot used a plane’s PA system to rant to passengers about his struggles with being gay.
The pilot, who works for American Airlines’ subsidiary Envoy Air, told passengers he wanted to “share the love of Christ” with them and ignored demands from “uncomfortable” passengers urging him to stop speaking.
His three-minute speech included mention of being sexually assaulted as a child, dealing with sex addiction, struggling with suicidal ideation, and even marrying a woman to hide his sexuality.
Throughout, passengers tried to disembark the plane, which had recently landed after flying from Washington, D.C., to Chicago.
Video of the speech opens with the pilot telling passengers that he was “raped or molested as a young boy” and “left to deal with it alone.”
“I screamed to God every night that He would take away my sins and thoughts and resulting homosexual tendencies,” he said. “My life kept spiraling out of control. I became a sexual addict and turned to pornography.”
After one passenger told him to stop, the pilot apologized to any who were “uncomfortable” hearing his words, but continued regardless.
“I thought sexual thoughts about both men and women and started messing around with others who had similar tendencies,” he said.
The pilot said “every aspect” of his life was “filled with lies” and he started “thinking of ways to end my life, so that I would not hurt anyone else.”
He detailed his journey to becoming an airline pilot, noting that he was “searching for answers in terms of my sexual trauma and sexuality.”
The pilot said that he married a woman five years ago, but “could not tell her about my pain and struggle with homosexuality.”
“Even though I was in love with her, just over one year into the marriage I began to give into the pressure of being gay,” he continued. “I asked other gay crew members questions about their lifestyle and what led them to becoming gay.
“Pretty soon I was taking part in that lifestyle. I had sex with men and would come home from work trips and pretend nothing had happened.”
The pilot ended his speech by saying, “Ultimately, I want to share the love of Christ with you. If you feel uncomfortable that’s fine, but I will talk to you in the gate area. Thank you so much.”
After the pilot ended his speech, one passenger can be heard asking if there was a lawyer on the plane, telling the pilot if they missed their next flight they would be “suing your ass off,” adding, “Fuck you and your story.”
American Airlines confirmed that the pilot’s speech, which only recently made its way onto the internet, had taken place on June 15.
In a statement to Inside Edition, American Airlines said that he was an Envoy Air employee, adding that the pilot “accessed the public address system upon landing and made troubling comments until a crew member could intervene.”
“To our affected passengers, we apologize for your experience and what you heard does not reflect our values,” American Airlines said.
Steve Cowell, a veteran pilot, told Inside Edition that the speech was “nothing more than a very, very public cry for help.”
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