Shadi Petosky is a successful TV writer and producer from Los Angeles, and also a trans woman. On Monday, she was attempting to make a flight from Orlando to Minneapolis when she ran into some trouble with the Transportation Security Administration. As she stepped through the body scanner, which was calibrated for a woman, an agent noticed what he called an "anomaly" in her scan, and asked her about it. Petosky told him, "That's my penis," and that's when the shit hit the fan.
In the ensuing 40-minute interrogation, Petosky explained that she was a transsexual, but that didn't spare her from a humiliating series of pat-downs, luggage searches, and explosive materials investigations. It's still not clear what the TSA expected to find – she immediately confessed what she had on her, and while penises are explosive, it's not in a way that's dangerous to an aircraft.
By this point, Petosky was in tears. She volunteered to go through the scanner under the male setting, but was refused. She had registered a false positive on the explosive test, which only complicated matters. The agents asked her flat-out whether she was a man or a woman, which she refused to answer. When she asked the agents if they had been trained in handling transgendered passengers, she got the same stubborn reply over and over: "I know what I'm doing."
The TSA at the Orlando Airport told me I couldn't take photos but this is denigrating. I have missed my flight pic.twitter.com/PHwBLiJ0cB— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015