Have you felt embarrassed or uncomfortable when getting through security at the airport? Whether it is because of your religion, race, sex, the way you dress or even the way you smell? Well this annonomous transgender was an unlucky victum of such incident.
This particular incident happened last year in Australia, where this transgender male passenger was forced to remove his prosthetic penis for inspection. When the transgender went through the body scanner it picked up the worn prosthetic, he explained to the officer who was positioned at the scanner that he was a transgender and that he was wearing a prostheic penis. (I personally thought that the passenger should have mentioned that he was wearing a prostheic, but it may have slipped from his mind then.) The officier replied that he would need to get his supervisor; when the supervisor came back he came back while putting on a rubber glove, puzzled, the passenger asked the supervisor what was the gloves for, the reply was ‘It was for a “private search”.’ (Which in my opinion was totally acceptable, because for all they know I could be hiding drugs or illegal things inside the prosthetic.)
After being escorted into a small room along with the supervisor and two other security officers, the passenger signed the form allowing the supervisor to inspect the prosthetic. The passenger was insulted when the supervisor replied ‘You want me to touch that thing with my bare hands?’ when asked why was he putting on another glove. After the search, the supervisor opened the door, gesturing the passenger to leave, but after telling the supervisor to close the door so he could reattach his prosthetic, the passenger was left in the room with the two security officers watching him. The passenger felt ‘that the supervisor had no regard for me as a human being and treated me as though I was a criminal right from the beginning, even though I had taken all steps to cooperate with him.‘ (I sympathise with the passenger because the supervisor could have approached the situation differently and with respect. I was thinking that even though he might think of transgenders or hermaphrodites as abnormal or just generally looks down on people who are lesser than him in his eyes, he should have seperated his private life from his work life.)