A man who now self-identifies as a transgender woman is upset that the TSA detained him/her for a while because of an “anomaly” with their scanner. That “anomaly” was the man’s penis. But he’s upset the TSA wanted him to go through the scanners as a man. Because it was embarrassing and all that. And he missed his flight:
In her tweets about the situation, [Shadi] Petosky said that TSA agents calibrated the scanner for a woman, and the machine flagged an anomaly — “my penis.”
She said she “disclosed [her] reality immediately,” but the situation quickly escalated: Over the course of 40 minutes, Petosky said, officials patted her down twice, “fully disassembled” her luggage and put her in an empty room with an officer holding the door.
At one point, she said, an agent told her to “get back in the machine as a man or it was going to be a problem.”
The ordeal caused her to miss her flight, she said.
In a statement released early Tuesday morning, the TSA defended its officers’ actions. After reviewing security footage, the TSA “determined that the evidence shows our officers followed TSA’s strict guidelines.”
As you probably already know, I’m no fan of the TSA. This story interests me, however, because it outlines the stark difference between reality and fantasy, especially when it comes to questions of gender. We have this idea that merely by changing something’s label and outward appearance, we have changed the nature of a thing. That’s fantasy thinking.
The electronic scanners the TSA uses don’t know politics. They don’t change results in deference to political correctness. They merely function according to reality. No matter what “Shadi” wants to say about her gender, and no matter what he has convinced other people to call him, the machine saw a penis and said “man.” That’s the reality of the situation.
Even Shadi admitted as much. When he said that he “disclosed my reality immediately,” he spoke more truth than he knows. What is a transgender label but a costume and a fantasy? Nothing. I want to be kind and I want to be respectful. But I don’t think that the only way to do that is to play along with every childish fantasy our childish culture concocts. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is firmly hold to the truth and reality.