A transgender passenger says he was required to remove his prosthetic genitalia during an airport search, calling the experience "demeaning," Yahoo in Australia reported.
At an ongoing Australian Senate inquiry into airline security, the passenger’s written testimony, provided by the country’s National LGBI Health Alliance, was used to urge greater sensitivity in the screening of transgender travelers.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the passenger said the prosthesis was detected by scanners. He then was approached by an agent who put on rubber gloves and informed him publicly that he was subject to a "private search."
The passenger noted that a supervisor was called in to help, saying as he applied gloves, "You want me to touch that thing with my bare hands?"
Inside the private room, security personnel placed the prosthetic in a tray, patted the passenger down, and left him to re-insert the prosthetic in his underwear with the doors open, according to the testimony.
"I asked him to close the door so that I could have some privacy," the passenger said. "He closed the door and both men stood watching me as I put it back in place."
The passenger, who was not identified, was quoted in several outlets as saying: "I have had to deal with some very confronting situations in the past so have developed a thick skin, but this experience overshadowed what was meant to be a holiday and it has left me feeling incredibly degraded and has made me anxious about traveling."
The airport was not specified.
The skies have not been friendly to transgender travelers. In September one transgender woman live-tweeted her "denigrating" detention by TSA agents that caused her to miss her flight.
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