Kyle Viljoen’s Beneath the Mediterranean deck said that the world of sailing has yet to fully accept the LGBTQ communitysharing that gay boaters have to work twice as hard to be promoted and taken seriously.
He also responded to anyone who attributed his sexuality to the way he reacted to his injuries after falling down a flight of stairs in Below Med Deck. “I don’t want people to think that I’m just crying or showing pain because I’m gay. That is pure nonsense,” she told Showbiz Cheat Sheet.
“At the end of the day, if you’re in pain, I’d like people to see it,” he said. “So what I’m saying is I hope people don’t see him as, ‘Oh, he’s gay, he’s weak.’ No girl, I had to work from the bottom up and I still haven’t succeeded for who I am.
LGBTQ yachts don’t have the same opportunities, says Kyle
Viljoen said yachtsmen and management companies say they accept the queer community but don’t act on it. “As individuals, it can be said that we accept people. We love gays, we are pro-gays. Bulls***. Where are the promotions, where are the increases? Where is the equal opportunity? he asked him.
“And this applies to other communities like people of color,” he added. “we still have racism all around. We still have cultural differences everywhere. It is obvious.
Yacht captains told Kyle to “play dumb” for a job
At the same time, he is put off when people roll their eyes when he says he’s gay. And that queer yachts deserve acceptance. “I hate that every time I mention ‘gay,’ people are like, ‘Oh yeah Kyle, we hear you, you’re gay, wow.’ I know I’m gay. I accept it,” he said. “But I need the people around us to start accepting that. I need equal opportunity to be accepted and I need freedom to be accepted.”
Viljoen recounted how his former employers told him to change his ways for a job. “I have had captains tell me to simplify it, to be less feminine, to be more masculine. Telling me how to get a job, this is what I have to do,” he recalled.
“And that’s what I did to get a job,” he admitted. “But I think that is correct? And do I think it’s fair to other people within my queer community? I do not.”
Kyle looks forward to using the ‘Below Deck Med’ platform for equal opportunity
“If I had this platform, if I had this voice, I’m going to fight for us,” he said of LGBTQ yachts. “I’m going to do it. And people can say what they want about me. I’m not blaming being gay. I’m saying we haven’t evolved in the yachting industry yet when this opportunity is there.”
The old standards still exist in the industry. “If you’re not skinny, typical always on yachtsthe long-haired blonde, you know, the one who doesn’t really have much of a personality, just great to look at is the one who gets hired first,” he said.
“And that’s really unfortunate. This also applies to people of color in the industry… you hardly hear it,” Viljoen said. “And that’s scary because I feel like I need to break away from this cult ideology that it’s always been this way. We understand that you have been a captain for 50 years. Congratulations.”
Working for Captain Sandy Yawn it was a game changer for Viljoen. “But no, coming on this ship I have never worked with a female captain and individual part of my queer community,” he said of Yawn. “That was minted in gold, right? captain sand he still talks about our freedom within the boating industry, and I will continue to do so too. I’m not crying out for help because I’m gay. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m clamoring to say we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re here to stay.”