TikToker Discusses the Difficult Reality of Navigating Airport Security as a Trans Woman

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A trans woman has gone viral after she detailed the “humiliating” experience she had while navigating through airport security.

Here’s the full story…

Rosalynne Montoya has had enough.

Rosalynne, who goes by Rose, is an Arizona-based, Hispanic, bisexual, non-binary transgender woman who uses the pronouns she/her or they/them.

Speaking to BuzzFeed, she introduced herself:

“I’m a public speaker, model, actor, makeup artist, and content creator. My goal is to spread love and education about my community as I share my story.”

Rose has accumulated a vast online following across various platforms…

Such as Instagram and TikTok, where she shares and discusses life as an openly transgender woman.

But this week, she opened up to her followers about a “humiliating” experience she endured while navigating airport security.

In her TikTok video, Rose explained what happened while she was traveling from Phoenix to Los Angeles to visit her boyfriend.

People were horrified by her story…

via TikTok

via TikTok

via TikTok

via TikTok

via TikTok

via TikTok

via TikTok

​She began by posing the question:

“Can we talk about how horrible it is to travel while being transgender sometimes? I always have immense anxiety leading up to going through security. And this means that I totally recognize the privilege of having all of my documents correct. So, the gender marker on my license, for example, says female.”

She then explained that, when it comes to going through the security scanners in an airport, things can become a little complicated.

“Going through the scanner, there’s a male scanner and a female scanner in the TSA checkpoint. And, looking at me, you know, I look like a woman and I am a woman. So, that’s great… But, going through the scanner, I always have an ‘anomaly’ between my legs that sets off the alarm.”

“And so she [the TSA attendant] asked me if I had anything in my pants and I told her ‘no’ and she’s like, ‘Well, maybe it’s just like the metal on your shorts, so let’s scan you again.'”

But, after going through the scanner again, Rose set off the alarm — again.

With this, Rose told the attendant that she is transgender, and that is why the alarm keeps going off.

However, the attendant’s response was:
“Do you want to be scanned as a man instead?”

Of course, Rose felt incredibly uncomfortable by this, and obviously didn’t want to be scanned “as a man”…

But she did it anyway.

However, things got even worse.

“I ended up doing it and then my boobs set off the scanner because, of course. So, I tried to make a joke out of it. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, there’s a lot of plastic in there! It’s fine.’ So then she was like, ‘okay, well we have to pat you down. Do you want a man to do it?’ I said, ‘NO! Absolutely not.'”

Rose then explained some of the other challenges trans people face when traveling.

“Many states require trans people to have bottom surgery before allowing us to change our gender marker. I changed my documents in Washington state — which is luckily more trans-friendly than most states. I feel incredibly thankful and fully recognize this is a privilege many trans people do not have.”

She touched upon some of her own personal experiences…

“Earlier in my transition, I had to experience much worse treatment in airports, from being asked invasive questions about my body, to being inappropriately touched, and sexually assaulted.”

“There needs to be training in all businesses about transgender people. We are real and we have always existed.”

“I am not a second-class citizen. I’m deserving of the same rights and the same respect as cisgender people. The TSA security machines should account for trans and non-binary people. And the agents should understand that misgendering me and outing me as a trans person in public could be potentially dangerous. Trans people are attacked at alarming rates when we are outed – especially Black trans women,” she said.

You can watch her full video below.

What do you think? Are the TSA transphobic? Or were they perfectly reasonable in their handling of the situation?