OTF March Message from the Board

Happy Women’s History Month, friends and family!

As I have had this chance to reflect on the importance of this month, and its impact on our lives and careers, I think of some people who have opened doors for us. Many could not live as their authentic selves, and we did not learn about much of their actual lives until after their deaths. Sally Ride is the person that always comes to my mind first. She was the first American woman to go into space in 1983. While she was alive, it was only known that she had been married to a man for five years. It came out after she passed in 2012 that she had actually spent 27 years in a life partnership with another woman.

I’m hopeful that as more time goes by and we all continue to show up as our authentic selves in our daily and professional lives, those days of having to hide our most essential relationships (both with others as Sally did and with ourselves) will be in the rear-view mirror. Visibility matters. It creates a safer environment for everyone in the aviation sphere.

As an airline pilot, I haven’t had many role models that fall into the same identities as me: bisexual, queer, non-binary, polyamorous, and probably many more identities that I have yet to discover or that our world has yet to find language for. There are intersectional nuances of how these identities impact our aviation lives.

This is why it’s important to find our chosen family so that we can lift each other. Filled with the confidence to be ourselves, we permit ourselves to exist unadulterated, empowering each next occupant of the flight deck seat and every other area within aviation to do the same. Each year as I’ve watched our membership grow and change, my heart soars with inspiration to see those leading the way in breaking through more and more glass ceilings. As one of the newest members on the Board of Directors, these voices are the ones I hope to champion.