5 questions with Randy Pauer
Randy Pauer recently retired from his position as district sales manager for Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in Dallas and has opened his own, cruise-specific travel agency.
How long did you work for Scandinavian Airlines?
I had been with them 30 years when I retired, and I worked out of Dallas all that time. I was hired in Dallas, and I retired in Dallas. That never happens in the airline industry. But I loved my job, and I love Dallas. I traveled everywhere, but I didn’t want to move from here. In fact, they wanted to close the office in Dallas several years ago. But I said I didn’t want to move, and so they let me stay here. It was very nice of them.
What does a district sales manager do?
I called on corporate accounts. I covered seven states Texas and all the states bordering Texas, except for Louisiana, and the “four corners” states, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. I worked out of my home since the 1970s, so I had a virtual office before anyone thought that was cool.
Was it difficult to be openly gay while working for SAS?
I came out in 1975 and was out at work almost from my first day there. But believe it or not, SAS is quite conservative. I thought for the longest time about making an issue out of it. Finally, a woman who was leaving the company told me I should do something for the GLBT community. So I talked to them, and I ended up being the one to set up their GLBT marketing program. I created the first GLBT marketing brochure for SAS, and it is still the model today that the airline uses.
Do you have a partner?
Yes, my partner is a Belgian citizen. We’ve not been able to get him over. He is in the lottery for a green card. But up to a million people apply each year and they only give about 50,000 green cards, and he hasn’t gotten his yet. I could move to Belgium, but I would have to give up my U.S. citizenship, and I don’t want to do that. I also thought about moving to Massachusetts, but their marriage law is a state law, and immigration is a federal matter.
What organizations are you involved in?
I worked with Immigration Equality for awhile, but my new business keeps me too busy to be very involved anymore. But I have been active in the community since 1978. I was active in the Dallas Gay Alliance when it first started. And now I am a member of the DFW Federal Club, the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, ACLU, PFLAG and Cathedral of Hope. I counted up and I am a member of 16 social or political organizations. I am a big joiner!
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the GLBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, contact senior editor Tammye Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 23, 2007