PrideFlight2018 is about Goodwill, Friendship, Education, Understanding and it’s about Aviation. The PrideFlight2018 project was born out of a late-night idea of what we could do to make a difference in a world that seems to full of misconceptions and hostility toward LGBT communities. The concept seemed simple enough, fly around the world fostering friendship and goodwill between LGBT people and our allies from every corner of the globe while flying a beloved WWII era DC-3.
This flight will be by no means an easy task for the aircraft and the crew and both will be pushed to the limits of their endurance as we fly legs over sometimes treacherous terrain, expansive oceans, and hostile countries. There will be so many unknowns that it would be impossible to list them all here such as the availability of fuel, anti-LGBT countries that could potentially deny us safe passage or services, and of course just the normal challenges every pilot faces, mechanical failure and weather.
So why do this? Why take the risk? Why try at all? Because in the end, PrideFlight2018 is about bringing people together, it’s about unity, not divisiveness. It’s about recognizing that we have much more in common as human beings than we do differences and it’s about helping others regardless of sexual orientation, religion, gender or race whenever and wherever we can. And of course, it is about flying the legendary DC3.
PrideFlight2018 is an around the world goodwill journey of a restored DC-3. The flight is a show of support for LGBT communities, organizations, and groups worldwide who are still fighting for basic human rights. Our goal is to provide a spotlight as a result of The Bag Lady landing that they might not otherwise receive. The Bag Lady will carry an inspirational message of friendship and goodwill from LGBT Americans to governments, organizations, and people across the globe.
The Bag Lady will also break barriers by setting a record of having the first LGBT aviator successfully circumnavigate the globe while bringing a positive focus to our community through aviation.
Our Kickstarter Goal:We'll need international support to help us meet our goal! On May 1st, we will begin our Kickstarter Campaign with a goal of $100,000 USD to purchase the plane. Be a part of history by supporting the first LGBT pilot to circle the globe. Our contributors can expect a wide variety of rewards, from dog tags, t-shirts, and even a chance to fly on the Bag Lady herself!
Check us out on Kickstarter HERE
Acquire the plane and relocate it to Indianapolis
Complete funding process for flight/Mission Planning
Overhaul the aircraft engines, systems, interior and exterior
Depart Indianapolis - PrideFlight 2018 begins!
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Our project is live! Check us out on Kickstarter HERE
Why is the plane called the Bag Lady?
When it came time to find a name for the plane we did not have to think too hard or too long before we knew what we wanted the name to be. We work with and support an organization right here in Indianapolis that raises money for LGBT organizations that provide support and services for people afflicted with AIDS and HIV and have been doing so selflessly since 1981. The Indy Bag Ladies are a group of men who have been dressing in drag and putting on shows to raise money for several worthy organizations here in town for over 35 years. I am honored and privileged to have their permission and blessing to bestow the name " The Bag Lady" on the plane that will bring hope and inspiration to LGBT communities across the globe
The Bag Lady NameThis organization got their name from an article in a New York City newspaper that described the New York “Bag Ladies” as being fun and campy with lots of “Chutzpa!” When we first started organizing this project we came up with the idea of partnering with this group of Drag Queens because they represented the spirit of what this whole project was about and that was giving back. We decided to put the Founder and Queen Mother, Coby Palmer aka “Blossom” on the nose of the plane and bestow “The Bag Lady” as her new name. For more information, check out the Indy Bag Ladies on Facebook: The Bag Ladies Facebook
Want to learn more about the Bag Ladies? Check out their Facebook by clicking the badge below.
Pilot in Command
DJ is currently the owner and CEO of Doran OmniMedia LLC which publishes The Eagle, the Midwest's Largest LGBT Newspaper since 1991 which covers 7 Midwest states and Gaycation Magazine, a premier LGBT quarterly travel publication established in 2014 distributed in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Doran OmniMedia LLC also owns and operates the LGBT travel booking website www.gaycationtravel.com which is the first LGBT booking and review website in the market. In addition to its print and digital platforms Doran OmniMedia LLC also launched the KWIR Radio and KWIR TV networks which provides high quality LGBT focused radio and TV programming across its internet based platforms. DJ is an experienced private pilot with over 10,000 flight hours in several aircraft types and holds several endorsements. DJ served with distinction in the USAF on C-130's and his passion for aviation continues to drive his love of flying. DJ and his husband Joe have a daughter and 2 grandchildren and families on both coasts and in 2010 sold everything and bought a 61' sailboat based in San Francisco. They lived aboard her for 3.5 years where they taught themselves how to sail and manage their small ship with only themselves as crew members. After they sold their boat they bought and restored a vintage 1981 Bluebird Wanderlodge motorhome and drove it across the United States for almost a year meeting LGBT people in many communities and from all walks of life along the way. Now based in Indianapolis, DJ wanted to do something using his flying skills that would inspire people around the globe while promoting a positive message of friendship and goodwill through aviation. He always wanted to fly a DC3 and the PrideFlight2018 project seemed like just the thing to accomplish both goals.
Allen is an innovative mechanical whiz! If it breaks he can fix it. His motto when it comes to anything mechanical is ("An ounce of prevention..."). His job is to anticipate and avoid mechanical failures on the airplane before they happen, but on the occasion that they do, he is the guy to figure out the best way to quickly , but safely get us back in the air. Additionally, Allen's role as flight engineer is to manage primary systems such a fuel flow, hydraulics and engine performance just to name a few.
Writer & Blogger
Joe is an accomplished travel/dining writer for Gaycation magazine and The Word Newspaper and is also a Chef in training. Joe has traveled the world exploring different destinations, cultures and attitudes and will be blogging about our flight during the mission. He will be posting photos and stories about PrideFlight2018, the destinations we visit and the people that we meet along the way.
Managing the logistics of the project is a hefty task. Clinton Jones is a former mission commander from his time deployed to Afghanistan. He will assist in coordinating meetings between international LGBT groups and act as an ambassador of PrideFlight back stateside. His main duty is to ensure that the crew has everything they need to circumvent the globe should problems arise.