Airport Security Tried To Forcefully Search Trans Woman After …
A transgender woman was accosted by airport security this week in Abu Dhabi. Abheena Aher was flying home to Mumbai from Kenya when the incident occurred. She wrote on Facebook of how, after setting off the security sensor, she requested a female officer pat her down.
The [male] officers were suspicious as to why I was not letting them touch my body and insisted on a woman to do it, she recalled.
The women refused to check me because another officer said I am half man, half woman. Finally, two men forcefully tried to check me physically. Aher refused, claiming it would be a violation of her human rights.
After another officer asked her to remove her jewelry and she walked through the detector again without setting it off, she was cleared to board.
The UAE recently lifted the prohibition on gender confirmation surgery, but obviously awareness is still an issue. Ironically, the guards began quizzing Aher after seeing a T on her passport. India has recognized a third gender since 2014, but the demarkation can draw unwanted attention in less LGBT-friendly countries.
It s gross discrimination by ground staff based on gender for having a transgender passport, said Aher, who works at Global Action for Trans Equality. Airport officials stood by the guards conduct in a statement.
It is unfortunate that this passenger was uncomfortable with the screening process. Abu Dhabi Airports places the safety and security of our passengers as our top priority and detailed searches have to be carried out where necessary.