A transgender woman live-tweeted her embarrassment when TSA agents subjected her to heightened scrutiny after a body scanner flagged an “anomaly.”
“I am being held by the TSA in Orlando because of an ‘anomaly’ — my penis,” Shadi Petosky tweeted Monday afternoon.
According to Aljazeera.com, body scan machine operators must select a gender-specific computer algorithm when they are screening passengers. If a passenger has body characteristics of more than one gender, unexpected body shapes can be registered as anomalies that may be considered potential threats that prompt additional screening.
Petosky, a Los Angeles based writer and producer, was attempting to board a flight to Minneapolis when the TSA agents pulled her aside.
“That’s my penis,” Petosky told a male TSA agent, explaining that she was transgender, Nydailynews.com reported.
Petosky reportedly refused to re-enter the scanner after it was calibrated for a male and was subjected to a 40-minute pat-down, which caused her to miss her flight.
“The TSA at the Orlando Airport told me I couldn’t take photos but this is denigrating,” Petosky tweeted, along with an emotional selfie. “I have missed my flight.”
Petosky was eventually cleared and allowed to leave and rebook another flight.
Michael Silverman, executive director of the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, told Bulletinleader.com his office has received numerous complaints about TSA agents mistreating transgender passengers.
In a statement to The Los Angeles Times, the TSA said that upon reviewing security footage, they “determined that the evidence shows our officers followed TSA’s strict guidelines.”
Petosky, meanwhile, says the TSA needs to revamp their system for transgender passengers.
“The TSA may think they are trained and following strict guidelines, but if the guidelines include flagging my genitals, they need to change,” she tweeted.
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