US remains a “No-Fly Zone” for transgender riders

822

editorial. 

We welcome News Profile Editor Thomas M. Basgil to Out In Jersey.

A large portion of my holiday was spent cramped on a train car next to people of dubious hygienic practices. I had no trouble convincing the conductor that I was the person pictured on my license. Luckily, there are few (unwanted) pat-downs while traveling on the ground.

Support our Business Partners

Amendment One Editorial Cartoon by Michael Pettyjohn for Out In Jersey February-March 2012In recent years, we have seen rights for gays, lesbians and bisexuals spread by leaps and bounds. Sure, our transgender brothers and sisters have seen extensions to a few of their rights in some parts of the country, too. But what must it be like to be transgender and travelling by air?

The Transportation Security Administration’s pat-downs and full-body scanners are supposed to protect us. According to the TSA, agents are supposed to respect your gender identity. Only female-identified agents should be examining female-identified passengers and the same goes for male-identified passengers and agents. They say no one is supposed to be outed to the public.

According to a report by the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in three transgender people experienced discrimination in airports or by TSA agents.
The issue achieved national attention this summer when Ashley Lang was fired from her position with the TSA at Los Angeles International Airport. Lang identified and presented herself as female for quite some time. She was forced to pat-down male passengers who would make rude comments to her. In the end, she was fired because she used the women’s restroom. Luckily, her court case resulted in mandatory sensitivity training for TSA managers at LAX.

As a community, we need to make a concerted effort to protect the rights of our transgender and gender non-conforming family members. Allowing them to travel in peace, without reams of paperwork or invasive security checks, is one way to keep us from becoming Nazi Germany. In this political climate, we need all the rights we can get.

editorial. 

We welcome News Profile Editor Thomas M. Basgil to Out In Jersey.

A large portion of my holiday was spent cramped on a train car next to people of dubious hygienic practices. I had no trouble convincing the conductor that I was the person pictured on my license. Luckily, there are few (unwanted) pat-downs while traveling on the ground.