Well, I guess this is a sign of the times, but it still amazes me we’re having these kinds of discussions these days. We’ve all gotten used to the fact that our entire bodies are scanned and revealed naked to TSA officials in those airport body scanners. When the carpets match the drapes, it doesn’t spark an alarm. But when there’s an end table behind the drapes… well, that’s a different story.
I never realized full body scanners are stuck in the Stone Age “sexual binary” where TSA agents push a pink or blue button when someone enters the scanner to take into account the anatomical differences between males and females.
But that’s SO old fashioned, because now we must accommodate the tiny percentage of the human population, which is somewhere betwixt and between.
As NBC News reports, “a transgender woman says she was delayed by TSA workers at Orlando International Airport who thought her body parts didn’t match her gender identity.
Shadi Petosky, a writer and producer, tweeted about the ordeal over her anatomical “anomaly” as it happened, saying she missed her American Airlines flight on Monday due to the incident.
“I stepped into the full body scanner, the TSA agent looked at me and pressed the F button,” Petosky said in an interview with NBC News via text message. “The scanner picked up an ‘anomaly’ in my crotch area.”
“I said, ‘I’m transgender. That’s my penis,'” Petosky recalled. “The TSA officer then said something like, ‘If you are a man, then go back in the machine and we’ll run you as a man.'”
Well, I’m sure this will spark some further training on the part of that TSA agent, but to be honest I’m not sure why this story is making the headlines now. After all, we’ve been inundated with accommodation for the transgender community for a while now – in the military, in public restrooms, in high school locker rooms.
Petosky may tweet “trans bodies are not anomalies, but according to a study by the leading LGBT demographer at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law’s Williams Institute, only 0.3 percent of U.S. adults are actually transgender. Do we now need to completely remodel 100 percent of all full body scanners in the United States for the 0.3 percent of American bodies who wish to remodel theirs?
“Told by the agent that she needed to be run as a man or a woman, Petosky said she replied, “I’m transgender. I am a woman, but I have an atrophied penis, trying to make it kind of not a big deal.”
According to Petosky, the TSA officer replied, “If you don’t want to be run as a man, we’ll have to search you. Are you a man or a woman?”
Then he asked her whether she wanted a male or female agent to search her body.
“I kind of froze. I have never been flagged in the groin before and didn’t want to make a female officer touch there, but didn’t want a man to do the pat down,” she said.”
Well join the club, honey. I’m not really interested in a genital pat-down at the airport either.
As a result of the incident, Petosky missed her flight and was later rebooked by American Airlines. She has posted a series of tweets about her ordeal – but I do have to ask, if it was so terribly embarrassing to be singled out for looking like an attractive woman with “an atrophied penis,” why spend several days tweeting about it?
Like I said, this is a sign of our times…
[Note: This article was written by Earl Hall]