Jamii Erway was just 15 when she tried to board her flight at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. She was flagged as she passed through security, a problem for many transgender passengers. A new lawsuit says she was told her genitals would need to be inspected in a private room. Her mom decided they would drive instead of submitting to that humiliation, and she has now filed a lawsuit.
Via the Charlotte News-Observer:
On its website, the TSA advises transgender passengers that a security officer will press a button designating male or female “based on how you present yourself.”
“The machine has software that looks at the anatomy of men and women differently,” the TSA site said. “The equipment conducts a scan and indicates areas on the body warranting further inspection if necessary.”
But transgender passengers frequently face “false positive” results in such screenings because agents set the scanner to detect a woman, but the machine finds genitalia typically associated with men.
Erway explained that she is transgender, but the scanner operator would not repeat the scan.
About 43% of trans passengers in one survey reported problems with airport security, and Jamie was not the the only one asked to lift or take off their clothing. A ProPublica survey found that trans people disproportionately deal with these issues compared to their estimated population size.
Rose Montoya recently explained the kind of anxiety that can arise as trans travellers pass through security:
Good luck, Jamii!
Image: Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels