Tag Archives: TSA

Concerns For Transgender Travelers

This new TSA nekkid booty-scanner/German pat-down policy may have an impact on the lives of transgender people that a ninja like myself didn’t even anticipate. How would you feel if every secret about your genitalia were suddenly revealed, or worse, if you were outed against your wishes in front of co-workers or friends?

The new policy presents transgender travelers with a difficult choice between invasive touching and a scan that reveals the intimate contours of the body. Unless and until NCTE and our allies can get these unreasonable policies fixed, NCTE encourages transgender travelers to think through the available options and make their own decisions about which procedure feels least uncomfortable and less unsafe. (Source – complete with travel tips)

Unfortunately, someone’s genitalia and/or chest not matching up with their gender presentation and/or marker may be enough to raise an inspector’s suspicions. A trans person is then put in the position of having to explain their situation, which is not something most of us enjoy doing, particularly those living stealth. But really for any of us, it is uncomfortable and opens us up to the possibility of judgmental reactions from these strangers who have authority over us in that moment. Explaining to someone why I have a vagina, or why there is an elastic band around my waist with a pouch and a fake dick sounds like something really triggering.

Also, pat-downs are “conducted by same gender officers.” Obviously this could lead to awkward and even dangerous situations for trans people whose appearance may not lead to an obvious perception of male or female, or whose gender markers haven’t been changed, don’t match, etc. (Source)