After the incident that happened three months ago to a transgender woman at the airport from Orlando, Transportation Security Administration changed their policy. TSA from U.S. airports are not allowed to use the word “anomaly” when a transgender traveler go through the screening security procedures and their anatomy does’t match the standard binary. The word “anomaly” was changed with “alarm”.
“TSA has implemented this change in terminology and we have communicated it through various methods to the frontline workforce.”
The former use of the word “anomaly” has been exposed by TV comedy producer and trans woman Shadi Petosky as being denigrating. She has posted her indignation on social media.
“I am being held by the TSA in Orlando because of an “anomaly” (my penis),” Shadi wrote on her Twitter page.
I am being held by the TSA in Orlando because of an "anomaly" (my penis)
— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015
TSA wrote on their official site that the new change, also comes with a new perspective.
“If there is an alarm, TSA officers are trained to clear the alarm, not the individual. Additional screening is conducted to determine whether a prohibited item is present.”
A spokesperson of trans advocates and the broader community confirmed that after they have insisted, TSA finally got involved, “TSA guidance from TSA Headquarters provides that TSA officers may no longer use the term ‘anomaly.’ As with any institutional change, while the new term has been launched, it will take time for the change to fully socialize.”
However, this is not a solution as Shadi Petosky highlights. “Being alarmed by my body isn’t any better,” Petosky said. “They are still disproportionally flagging trans, intersex, and gender-nonconforming bodies because we are excluded from their system. They still need to take me in a private room and touch my genitals,” she continued.
We hope that this is only the beginning of a process that will end difficulties trans people face at the airport and wherever they need to go.