Question: Security Problems

Someone asks…

Has anyone had problems going through, say, airport security? I’ve come to expect some “sir-ma’am” nonsense and raised eyebrows over conflicts in my name, appearance and listed sex, but I was surprised to discover that body-scanners don’t like my binder. I was patted down twice, which I found even more invasive than anything else.

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on May 21st, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 5 comments »

5 Responses to “Question: Security Problems”

  1. radical/rebel

    oh god this story really upsets me. I frequently find airports one of the hardest places to be trans*, and often after the stares, comments, and treatment by TSA officials I’m nearly crying. I wouldn’t be able to handle it if I got patted down twice. I wonder if there’s something trans and gender non-conforming people can do to change the environment at airports!


  2. Joss/Ames

    The thing about the scanners is that they have to tap a “male” or a “female” button before you walk through; it’s apparently so they can measure against a standard body type and check for anomalies/deviations. Which is BS for a wide variety of reasons related to gender, intersex conditions, body-shaming, etc, but oh well. I’m not super bothered by being patted down, so it mostly amuses me–this past week I was passing as male, so they hit the “male” button, but then had to scan me a second time and addressed me as “ma’am”, presumably when they noticed my binder and that I was menstruating…I wouldn’t have found it funny except it clearly told me I was passing, which was pleasant enough to make up for it. But I agree that overall it’s a problem. I think I’d be down for a petition and/or a letter-writing campaign to the TSA bigwigs, let them know all the reasons the current standards of treatment are unacceptable.


  3. Girl with a Hoop

    I understand fully. Scanners may not like binders, but they positively HATE corsets!


  4. Ponder Stibbons

    Once I got “accidentally” patted down by a male officer in Frankfurt. Halfway down my body he got confused and asked “are you man or woman?”. (Personally, I don’t care about the gender/sex of the person patting me down, which is why I didn’t raise any objections when they sent me to a male officer to be patted down.)

    Another time a male TSA officer IDed me as female and passed me on to a female TSA officer to be patted down. She looked shocked and asked “really?”, then let me go after gingerly touching only my wrist.


  5. Steph

    I had a similar/oppisite issues in Jamaica where everyone of the cruise ship passengers were being funneled to male or female local security. Just being a dyke (clearly female but with masculine clothes and style) in appearance left the first man questioning himself and finally sent me to the female line. Once there she refused to touch me. Me being obnoxious I stepped through the gate onto the pier and then kept asking them why no one wanted to feel me up, or get a piece of the action. I was younger then and don’t think I’d want to play that game with the US TSA as things are now.


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