FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2017
Contact: Monica Roberts BTWI Media Chair
Carmarion Anderson BTWI Founding National Director
855-255-8636 Ext 11
Black Transwomen, Inc along with Black Transmen, Inc, the Black Trans International Pageantry System (BTIPS) and Black Trans Advocacy are dismayed to learn that several trans masculine and trans feminine attendees of our just concluded BTAC 2017 Conference were harassed by TSA security at Dallas Love Field as they were returning home on April 30.
Seven of our attendees from Birmingham, six trans feminine, one trans masculine told their local Birmingham media in a television interview they were harassed by TSA agents when an identification issue arose with three of them at the DAL Love Field checkpoint. The Birmingham group missed their flights because of the issue and had to fly out of DFW to get home.
We were subsequently advised this morning by another trans masculine attendee from Baltimore that he was harassed and subjected to additional screening while transiting the Love Field checkpoint earlier that Sunday morning.
Black Trans Advocacy has since discovered while investigating these reports that the Dallas Love Field TSA checkpoint has a negative history with transgender travelers. Even more disturbing to us, the Dallas TSA at Love Field when confronted about those incidents has been uncooperative and tone deaf when it comes to getting the obvious TSA transphobic travel issues resolved.
BTA has already contacted Congressmember Eddie Bernice Johnson’s office this morning asking for assistance in resolving this matter. We also contacted Dallas City councilmember Adam Medrano, whose district includes Love Field. We will be reaching out in the coming days to other Dallas area officials to do the same.
The just concluded BTAC 2017 conference now in its sixth year, ran from April 24-30 and set an attendance record with over 300 people. Those attendees from around the Unites States, Jamaica and Brazil spent several days in the DFW area not only attending our event and experiencing our BTAC hospitality, but spent their hard earned money outside the conference host hotel with area businesses.
#BlackTransPeopleTravel, and sometimes we do so by air. We deserve and demand the same dignity and respect that other travelers receive when they transit Love Field’s TSA checkpoint.
Harassing our conference attendees transiting through Dallas Love Field or any TSA security airport checkpoint is unacceptable to BTA, and we demand that TSA Dallas take immediate steps to educate and train their local employees about the existence of transgender travelers and our travel issues so this doesn’t happen again.