A trans woman has shared am emotional video describing her experience with being detained at an airport before boarding a flight to visit her family.
YouTube star Lilah Gibney was flying to visit her parents for Thanksgiving and was detained for being transgender, as she claims. In a video posted to Twitter, she said, “I know it’s so f**king dramatic to cry over a f**king airport, but it’s so annoying literally trans people have to go through this and get detained… I just can’t.”
last week i literally got detained at the airport for being transgender while trying to go home to visit my family for thanksgiving…i’m sharing this so anyone who has or WILL experience this is not alone 💔 pic.twitter.com/gpINfmr49j
— lilah ❁ (@lilahgibney) December 5, 2019
In response to comments accusing her of exaggeration and lying, Lilah spoke about five security guards who pulled her into a room and patted her down.
After going through detainment on her own, Lilah was eventually let go and broke down crying. On Twitter, she wrote, “I’m sharing this so anyone who has or WILL experience this is not alone.”
Lilah’s experience with airport security is one reflected throughout the transgender community. In October 2018, an Irish trans woman spoke about a male security guard touching her breasts and misgendering her in a London airport. On Twitter, the woman said, “I was left shaking and humiliated after the ordeal. I couldn’t help but burst out crying in departures. I’m so upset.”
In August 2019, a ProPublica investigation highlighted that trans passengers are particularly vulnerable to invasive searches from airport security. As stated in the report, “The TSA says that it is committed to treating all travellers equally and respectfully. But while the agency has known about the problems for several years, it still struggles to ensure the fair treatment of transgender and gender-nonconforming people.”
Under the false name Olivia, a transgender woman spoke to ProPublica about how staff of the TSA pressured her into being patted down by a man. When she refused, the officer told her she could not board her flight. The experience has left her with a fear of airports.
The TSA’s press secretary said that airport screenings are conducted “without regard to a person’s race, colour, sex, gender identity, national origin, religion or disability.” In February, the TSA rolled out a “transgender awareness” training online for its employees after receiving criticism by Congress. However, transgender and gender non-conforming people have seen little improvement.
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.