Traveling by air enfemme is one of the more interesting challenges that we have as transgender women and the opportunity to do so is often the event of a lifetime. As you can imagine there is a lot of concern beforehand of all the potential pitfalls and possible harassment or embarrassment, potentially by TSA (Transportation Security Agency) or even other passengers. I’m glad to report that neither is likely to happen.
Despite events in the past, TSA is now attuned to the needs of the transgender traveler. You just need to follow the rules for identification (Drivers license or passport must match the names and sex on the reservation). TSA even has a special section on their website for transgender travelers. If you have any concerns about what can be cared aboard your plane, then please consult the baggage rules of your individual airline or the TSA list of Prohibited Items and other travel tips
Should you experience any difficulty from TSA agents, your first line of communication is with the local TSA supervisor. Beyond that, TSA has a process in place for you to register a complaint or ask for further information using their contact form. TSA agents have been trained in the handling of transgender passengers so I expect that you will have a pleasant and enjoyable flight.
Travelers who believe they have experienced discriminatory conduct because of a protected basis may file a concern with TSA’s Office of Civil Rights & Liberties, Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement at: Civil Rights for Travelers. Travelers may also file discrimination concerns with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
In the event that you do experience harrassment, you may also contact NCTE (National Center for Transgender Equality), an advocacy group, and they can assist you further in reporting issues to the TSA.
Dawn Ennis, a trans woman and news editor with The Advocate, provides us 7 Things to Do When Traveling While Trans.
To ease any concerns, read the stories of other girls that have traveled. Some of the stories are amusing
Heather (from Philadelphia to San Antonio to Seattle)
Suzy (Australian – global traveler)
Now we would be remiss if we also didn’t give you some ideas for how to dress comfortably yet stylishly when traveling by air .When going by ship, well, how many suitcases can you carry?