Last Monday a lot of us got insight on what a transgender woman had to deal with in terms of complete ignorance and lack of knowledge from the general public as well as from huge corporations’ rude employees.
Shadi Petosky was detained by TSA at the Orlando airport because she was pre-surgery and this happened to show up on the pre-flight scanners. She was then pulled to the side and inspected for weapons and or explosives.
When Shadi explained that the “anomaly” in question was actually her penis and she was transgender they simply told her she was to pass through the male full body scanner. After being detained and finally released, she missed her flight, but was then explained to re-book would cost her $955. At this point, twitter had begun to follow her situation as she continued to live tweet her situation and a proposal was made to set up a GoFundMe page to raise the money and get her out of Orlando and this situation.
Petosky, however, declined stating that the problem was not the money and posting the price was not her initiating help from the public to pay it, she was simply “…to show cost when the TSA detains trans bodies (Plus time, denigration)”
Then as if to further prove American Airlines incompetent attempts to handle of the situation, they suggested next time she request a private screening to which Petosky responded on her twitter with “I literally want no lectures from American Airlines on how to travel while trans. I want the same privileges as cis people.” This resulted in the hashtag #travelingwhiletrans, and an influx of people shared their similar stories on Twitter.
“Yes. People who bind their chests have as much trouble as trans women with “crotch anomalies”. System is broke. @TSA ” — Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen)
The TSA released this statement in response:
“Our officers are trained to properly screen members of the transgender community. TSA takes all potential civil rights violations very seriously and conducted a review of the incident. After examining closed-circuit TV video and other available information, TSA has determined that the evidence shows our officers followed TSA’s strict guidelines. Supervisory personnel and a Passenger Support Specialist participated in the screening to ensure guidelines were met.”