TSA Video Seeks to Reassure Transgender Travelers

Credit: skift.com

Elaine Thompson  / Associated Press

The TSA published a video to educate LGBTQ travelers, but still doesn't seem to understand non-binary gender identity. In this Jan. 4, 2010 file photo, TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. Elaine Thompson / Associated Press



Skift Take: Sadly, it seems the TSA is still far away from recognizing that its policy requiring travelers to assume a gender when passing through security causes distress to many members of the LGBTQ community.

— Andrew Sheivachman

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a video on YouTube this Thursday that walks transgender travelers through the airport screening process and potential steps they can take if they become uncomfortable or a security alarm is triggered.


If a transgender traveler, for instance, would rather not receive a full body scan using a body imaging machine or metal detector, they can request a pat-down by a TSA officer “of the same gender.” The video also claims that if a security warning is triggered by a prosthesis, the situation can be resolved without a passenger having to expose a “sensitive area.”


The TSA has come under fire recently from the transgender community for its policies, which require TSA workers to select a traveler’s gender before receiving a body scan. Critics say this practice codifies discrimination against transgender flyers.


“Transgender people are regularly harassed and humiliated by current screening procedures, which treats transgender people’s bodies as ‘alarms’ and thus subjecting them to physical and emotional mistreatment,” said Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan, Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force, in March. “Current policies create a situation where transgender people are dehumanized and placed in harm’s way by constantly outing them and forcing them to disclose their personal lives with TSA agents in front of everyone in order to travel by airplane.”


You can watch the video below:



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