The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made a landmark decision to stop using the world “anomaly” when describing transgender passengers.
Related: TSA Humiliated This Trans Woman At The Airport, Told Her To “Get Back Into The Machine As A Man”
The issue became a national talking point last month after Shadi Petosky, a transgender television producer, complained on Twitter about her experience at an Orlando airport.
I am being held by the TSA in Orlando because of an "anomaly" (my penis)
— Shadi Petoscary (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015
Author and trans activist Jenny Boylan (among others) jumped to Shadi’s defense.
.@JennyBoylan TSA takes all potential civil rights violations very seriously. We are looking into the situation now for further information.
— TSA (@TSA) September 21, 2015
“Our officers are trained to properly screen members of the transgender community. TSA takes all potential civil rights violations very seriously and conducted a review of the incident. After examining closed circuit TV video and other available information, TSA has determined that the evidence shows our officers followed TSA’s strict guidelines. Supervisory personnel and a Passenger Support Specialist participated in the screening to ensure guidelines were met,” Mike England, the national spokesman of the TSA, said in a statement.
While that verdict might have stung for many who viewed this particular instance as symptom of a much larger disease, transphobia, the agency proved their commitment to bettering the situation by stopping use of a word that does not, never has, described the trans men and women who like everyone must endure the headache of airport security.
“Going through security at airports can be really unnerving as a trans or gender nonconforming person,” explains writer/activist Tiq Milan. “Being singled out is humiliating and can be potentially dangerous. It’s definitely a step in the right direction when a government agency public ally insures that’s it’s Trans specific policies aren’t just on paper but will be implemented across the board. And kudos to Shadi for speaking out about it.”
A new drop-down on the TSA’s website dedicated to screening procedures for trans passengers states that “transgender persons will be screened as he or she presents at the security checkpoint,” also noting that “TSA regularly meets with organizations representing the transgender community and works with them to improve the screening process for transgender travelers.”
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 16, 2015