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Thursday, August 2, 2012

All Aboard the Gay Train

This is pretty fucking amazing, as Metroweekly reports:
J.C. Penney did it and now so has Amtrak. It has launched a promotional campaign that includes gay families.

As part of an effort to market its standard discounted family travel program, for the first time, the national passenger rail company included gay families in its materials. In an online ad sent by Instinct magazine to its email subscribers, a photo of same-sex parents with their child is featured.

Two version of the ad, one with a picture of a male couple and another with a female couple, were distributed. Both versions include the headline: Priceless Family Moments Are Now Affordable. The ad goes on to promote Amtrak's 50% off campaign for children age 2 to 15 who are traveling with an adult, and directs readers to its gay travel website, www.AmtrakRideWithPride.com.

Note: the Ride with Pride website is totally lame and mostly blank. Some of you travel queens out there need to complain about that.

I remember when my first husband and I rode Amtrak from the Deep South up to, first, D. C., where the Quilt was being displayed, then on to Boston and back, in 1992. I love train travel - it's the only way to go - and that was quite a trip.

Since the trip to D. C. took all day, from about 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., we took some naps in our seats, pulling a bomber jacket over us so we could hold hands underneath it while we dozed - and often one head rested on the other's one's shoulder. The old hard-bitten conductor gave us the evil eye every time he came down the aisle, but we didn't give a fuck. There were, understandably, a number of other gays making the trip on that same train - and it was a happy surprise to find that most of the passenger service attendants were gay, too.

Amtrak is not what it could be, should be - mainly because it is forever starved of cash by Congress, which won't let it die but won't let it flourish, either. Sometimes there are delays, and some of the non-gay attendants can be surly. Still, if the trains are going where you want to go at the right times, I highly recommend it - doubly so now.

Amtrak routes; click to enlarge.
Note:  Service between New Orleans and Jacksonville
has been suspended since Hurricane Katrina in 2005


Davis said...

I use AMTRAK at every opportunity as I hate flying if I can avoid it.

Russ Manley said...

I'm the same way. Unfortunately, trains out here in TX are few and far between, and they're never going where I need to go, when I need to go there.

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