I recently heard about one of my transsisters having a less than pleasant experience going through TSA security on a recent flight up to being ridiculed and then subsequently searched by a male TSA officer.
Both actions are against TSA rules.
Since many of us will be traveling by air in the near or not too distant future and the TSA ain’t going away any time soon, time for the Air Marshal (my old activist nickname) to remind you about what your rights are as a trans air traveler
*Private Screening: Screening can be conducted in a private screening area with a witness or companion of the traveler’s choosing. A traveler may request private screening or to speak with a supervisor at any time during the screening process.
*Travel Document Checker: The traveler will show their government-issued identification and boarding pass to an officer to ensure the identification and boarding pass are authentic and match. Transgender travelers are encouraged to book their reservations such that they match the gender and name data indicated on the government-issued ID.
*New Advanced Imaging Technology Software: TSA has upgraded all millimeter wave advanced imaging technology units with new software called Automated Target Recognition to further enhance privacy protections by eliminating the image of an actual traveler and replacing it with a generic outline of a person.
*Pat-Down: A pat-down may be performed if there is an alarm of the metal detector, if an anomaly is detected using advanced imaging technology, if an officer determines that the traveler is wearing non-form fitting clothing, or on a random basis. If a pat-down is chosen or otherwise necessary, private screening may be requested. Pat-downs are conducted by an officer of the same gender as presented by the individual at the checkpoint.
Travelers who believe they have experienced unprofessional conduct at a security checkpoint are encouraged to request a supervisor at the checkpoint to discuss the matter immediately or to submit a concern to TSA’s Contact Center at: TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
Travelers who believe they have experienced discriminatory conduct because of a protected basis may file a concern with TSA’s Office of Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement at: Civil Rights for Travelers.
Travelers may also file discrimination concerns with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
The Transportation Safety Administration are there in the nation’s airports to keep us safer when we fly, not to dehumanize transpeople as we simply try to get from Point A to Point B by airplane across this country and around the world.
So if you experience less than professional treatment from a TSA agent when you fly, report it.