Transgender Woman Says She Was Detained by TSA Over Body 'Anomaly'
A transgender woman says she was detained by TSA workers at Orlando International Airport after the security scanner spotted an anatomical "anomaly."
Shadi Petosky, a writer and producer, took to Twitter to speak about the incident, which she said caused her to miss her American Airlines flight to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport on Monday.
I would like any help I can get at the Orlando airport.— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015
"I stepped into the full body scanner, the TSA agent looked at me and pressed the F [female] button," Petosky told NBC News. "The scanner picked up an 'anomaly' in my crotch area."
When an officer approached her, she says she told them: 'I'm transgender. That's my penis."
But she says the TSA officer said she would need to be re-scanned. She says he told her he would "run her as a man."
Petosky claims the officer then said: "If you don't want to be run as a man, we'll have to search you. Are you a man or a woman?"
She says another officer stated she could not be rescanned and she was eventually held in a screening room for 40 minutes and told not to use her phone, while officials attempted to figure out what to do, The New York Times reported. She says she was patted down twice and her luggage was searched.
The TSA has left me in a room alone. There is an officer holding the door. pic.twitter.com/aFA0cQxAGx— Shadi Petosky (@shadipetosky) September 21, 2015
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
Eventually she made it through security and had missed her flight. She says she was told there were no other flights to Minneapolis that day and would have to pay for another flight.
But an airline spokesman said they rebooked Petosky onto the next available flight to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport at no extra cost.
Petosky shared an image of her finally heading to Minneapolis.
TSA Spokesman Mike England told INSIDE EDITION in a statement that its officers are trained to properly screen members of the transgender community.
"TSA takes all potential civil rights violations very seriously and conducted a review of the incident," he said. "After examining closed circuit TV video and other available information, TSA has determined that the evidence shows our officers followed TSA’s strict guidelines.
"Supervisory personnel and a Passenger Support Specialist participated in the screening to ensure guidelines were met.”
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