The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) this week curiously tweeted an video from 2017 explaining the screening process for transgender passengers.
“Learn what to expect the next time you fly,” the tweet caption reads.
According to a report by VICE in August 2019, despite how TSA implemented online “transgender awareness training” for its employees in February after some urging by Congress, “some trans and non-binary people say they have yet to see any improvements.”
The main complaint was that TSA’s screening software scans “based on cis anatomy” – a.k.a., based upon whether the passenger is male or female. Those who are "non-binary" or "genderless" take issue with the process.
The “TSA Cares” video provides that the TSA officer “will press a button designating a gender based on how you present yourself,” male or female.
If a transgender passenger chooses not to be screened by advanced imaging software or a metal detector, they can opt for a pat down by someone of the same gender that they identify with.
The video also indicates that at any time during the screening, the passenger can request to speak with a supervisor, and that at no point in time, even if there is an alarm detecting an issue in a "sensitive area," will TSA require a passenger to reveal that area.
The video was published on YouTube back in April 2017. What motivated the agency to share the video on social media not once but twice within a 24-hour period this week is unclear, but TSA did write that the agency “understands that members of the transgender community may have questions about the screening process.”
TSA receives feedback and complaints via its website and Facebook page entitled Ask TSA.