Shock: TSA expects people to use the name and gender on their ID


A transgender woman who says she was subject to a lengthy and humiliating search at Orlando airport has said TSA agents were “treating me like I was a real risk”.

Shadi Petosky, a writer and producer, told the Guardian that her crotch was highlighted on a screen following her body scan, she was continuously asked whether she was a man or a woman, she was asked to go back through the scanner with the guard identifying her as male instead of female, she was detained and left alone in a separate room, her luggage was unpacked and searched, and she was patted down twice. In addition her hands were swabbed and a bomb expert went through her belongings after a trace of explosives was detected. The entire process took approximately 40 minutes. No explosives were found.

“During the second pat-down, I just lost it and started crying,” Petosky said. “I just felt distraught that we have to go through this sort of stuff, just standing there as someone puts their hands all over my body.”

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The Transportation Security Administration disputes her account.

A spokesman for the TSA, Mike England, said a review of the incident – including examination of CCTV “and other available information” – showed that “our officers followed TSA’s strict guidelines”.

“Supervisory personnel and a Passenger Support Specialist participated in the screening to ensure guidelines were met,” he said in a statement.

The TSA’s website clearly outlines the screening procedures for transgender people.

“Transgender persons should use the name and gender that appears on their government-issued ID when making flight reservations and at the security checkpoint,” the website reads. “You may ask that carry-on bags be screened in private if a bag must be opened by a TSA officer to resolve an alarm. Screening can be conducted in a private screening area with a witness or companion. You may request private screening or to speak with a supervisor at any time during the screening process.”  More

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