The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Thursday released a new guidance for transgender passengers who go through screening at airports.
In a video posted on YouTube, the agency says it recognizes that transgender travelers have questions and concerns about screening procedures while flying.
When walking through a full-body screener, a TSA officer will press a button “designating a gender based on how you present yourself,” the video says.
Passengers who choose not to be screened by a full-body screener or walk-through metal detector will undergo a pat-down conducted by an officer of the same gender.
Travelers can always request to speak with a supervisor or opt for a private screening, the video says, and will never be asked to reveal a sensitive area.
Passengers can seek additional information from the “TSA Cares” help line, which provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process.
The agency, which has come under fire for invasive screening procedures in the past, plans to post a series of informational videos focused on helping passengers with special needs.
“TSA is committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy. Screening is conducted without regard to a person's race, color, sex, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability,” a TSA spokeswoman said in a statement. “If passengers know what to expect at the checkpoint, the process tends to go smoothly.”