Trans TikTok model describes her harrowing experience with TSA official
Trans TikTok model describes her harrowing experience with TSA official

Traveling can be a nightmare. For model Rose Montoya, it’s an experience that often leaves her feeling exposed and violated.

Montoya, who is a trans TikTok model, garnered the attention of over 20 million people after sharing her experience going through TSA in the airport recently.

In the video, Montoya outlined her experience while being scanned at a TSA checkpoint during a recent trip.

“Can we talk about how horrible it is to travel while being transgender sometimes? I always have immense anxiety leading up to going through security. And this means that I totally recognize the privilege of having all of my documents correct. So, the gender marker on my license, for example, says female,” she said.

Montoya explained how an officer asked if she had anything in her pants, after she set off the alarm while going through the female-designated scanner. Montoya replied “no,” and underwent a second scan, only to set off the alarm again. Montoya explained after she informed the officer she was trans, the officer asked if she wanted to “be scanned as a man instead.”

Wanting to get the entire situation over with, Montoya said she “ended up doing it,” despite not wanting to.

Read more:

While going through the “male” scanner, Montoya set off the alarm, which was when the officer told her she needed to be patted down. When the officer asker her if she wanted “a man to do it,” Montoya responded, “absolutely not.”

After posting the video to TikTok, TSA reportedly reached out to Montoya to discuss her experience. In the YouTube video, Montoya explains to the TSA official that the officer who patted her down “stared at her groin uncomfortably” which made her feel “so unsafe in that moment.”

In the past, Montoya mentioned she was forced to do “private screenings” and was “groped inappropriately” by both male and female TSA officers. It was during one of these private screenings where Montoya said she was forced to take off her pants.

“This includes but is not limited to to trans people, intersex people, people who are not skinny, people with thicker/curlier hair, people with extra skin, people with disabilities, etc,” she wrote. “I hope that my story serves as a reminder to all people especially the transgender community that you should stand up for what’s right and stand up for yourself.”

When Montoya asked the TSA spokesperson whether or not the scanners are gendered, Montoya said the spokesperson explained the scanners use “binary technology.”

“When someone goes through the full body scanners at the TSA, the TSA agent has a split second decision to decide whether to scan that traveler as a male or a female,” Montoya explained after speaking with the TSA spokesperson.

Although Montoya said she’s signed up for TSA pre-check, and will continue to provide feedback to TSA, she’s not done advocating for the community.

“I’m done for standing up for what’s right, and for what I believe in because transgender people deserve better treatment from the TSA,” Montoya added. “I’m fully committed to making that happen in whatever ways I can, in my own power, with my own platform, and with the privileges I have.”

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)