Pointers for hassle-free travel
Transgender and gender nonconforming people travel all the time, usually without difficulty, but new full body scanning technologies used by the TSA put transpeople at special risk. We wouldn’t presume to tell you how to dress while traveling, but we would be remiss if we didn’t warn you of potential hassles for transpeople in transit.
Flying while trans
Prior to 9/11, many male-born Fairgoers flew wearing whatever attire they wished. Many still do. These days, however, access to flight is regulated by the Transportation Security Administration, which looks carefully at identification documents and uses full body scanners in some locations, Many trans and gender nonconforming people have been flagged and subject to search because their scanner profiles were not, in the eyes of the TSA, a match for their gender presentation or ID, or because in the opinion of a TSA agent the photo and name on a driver’s license or passport did not look like the person standing before them. This has resulted and sometimes still results, in delays, full body searches, and humiliation not only for crossdressers, but for gender-nonbinary people and those who have reassigned their gender.
Flying in the twenty-first century subjects all travelers to baggage restrictions and security screenings and prohibits or limits transport of all sorts of materials. It’s a good idea to keep up-to-date on what is allowed and what is prohibited. The buttons above this section will open tabs on your browser to the Transportation Security Administration’s travel page and TSA policies in regard to transgender people.
Bathroom Laws and Other Anti-Trans Legislation
The Federal Government of the U.S. and various states and municipalities have enacted or are considering policies which target and negatively impact transgender adults and children in all sorts of ways. These range from overruling municipalities which have passed nondiscrimination ordinances to enacting laws and policies that limit bathroom access in schools and public places. Bills are constantly being introduced and withdrawn in the various states and contested in court.
The only state to successfully pass an anti-trans bathroom bill was North Carolina, but the bathroom-related portions of that bill were removed. You need not be overly concerned if your travels take you through that state.
The buttons above will help you make sense of the rapidly evolving, or perhaps devolving, legislative attempts to pass anti-trans bills. The buttons above will open tabs to a discussion on Wikipedia about bathroom bills and The National Conference of State Legislatures’ Bathroom Bill Legislative Tracking page.
For a summary of anti-trans bills, visit the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Action Center page (button below).