by D.F. Savage
By now I’m sure everyone’s heard the fuss about the TSA’s new regulations. In case you haven’t, the TSA is basically the airport police. It stands for transportation security authority or some such. And in the never ending Paranoia Race, they’ve stepped up security again. No longer do you merely need to show up five hours early and not come into contact with any fluid ever. Now you get the delightful choice between being groped by a totally-friendly-and-respectful-I’m-sure security guard or going through a fancy new scanner which takes a naked picture of you and, like everything else these days, gives you cancer.
I am not happy about this. In fact, I’m so unhappy I canceled a vacation to Machu Piccu with my family. It’s not like I have a problem with people seeing me naked. I’m a goddamn porn star. In fact, I’m somewhat frustrated that most of the reason people are making a big deal about this is simply the being-seen-naked bit. I mean, of course we all have a right to our privacy! Our bodies are not public property! But, at the same time, most of us have been brainwashed into hating those bodies by the media and all that fun stuff, which is sad. Being ashamed of our bodies shouldn’t be so standard that a stranger seeing you naked is automatically the worst thing ever and everyone must feel the same about it. It’s also very telling that, while such invasions of privacy and violations of human rights have been common place for women, trans folk, and people of color for centuries, it’s only one a straight, white, cis man gets upset that the whole thing comes to public attention.
So, yeah, I don’t theoretically care if some TSA dude sees me naked. I also don’t care about the radiation. I’m perfectly happy to put all kinds of carcinogens into my body, although I certainly don’t think anyone should have to. No, the reason I’m not setting foot in one of those scanners is a little more complicated. First, I’m trans. I identify and present as male, but I have these massive and inconvenient breasts hanging off my chest. They’re G-cups. Because they’re so enormous and I bind them as flat as I can, they’d probably look a little funny on the scan. It’s also quite likely that if the scanner somehow can’t see through a menstrual pad, it can’t see through a few layers of top-of-the-line binding material. And then I get hauled off for a strip search.
Then there are the scars. I’m a kinky bastard with some mental health issues, and those have both left some marks. Now, I’m not sure how this scanner can magically get very clear naked pictures of you and yet fail to see through a GladRag, I’ve seen examples of the scanner images online, and they are detailed. They will show the definition of nipples quite clearly. Not just the three-dimensional-ness of the nipple itself, but the differentiation in skin tone of the areola. If they can see that, they can see my scars. And the state of mental health policy in this country is such that if you get outed as a cutter, you can be involuntarily committed for days, at least. We shall probably post about that sometime.
Alright, fair enough, those are some good reasons not to go in the nudie scanner. Why not opt out and have one of those “enhanced pat-downs” instead? Well, opting out is a pretty good plan, actually. Most people have just been going through the scanner because, much as they hate to be seen naked, at least they can pretend it’s not happening. No one’s getting into their personal space and reminding them how they’ve been violated. For exactly that reason, I recommend you opt out. Remind them how they’ve violated you. Make them look at your face.
But, again, in my case, this isn’t much of an option. First, boobs. Again. I’ve had my own doctor baffled by my strapped-down tits during check ups. If a medical professional can’t figure out why by chest is shaped all funny and it’s hard to get a listen to my heart through all the layers, what do you think the chances are airport security is better informed? Secondly, those mental health issues? One of them is autism, and one of my symptoms is sensory defensiveness. For me, that means most of my body is hypersensitive to physical contact, sometimes to the point of agony. If I can barely stand to have a lover touch me, there’s no way I can stand a thorough grope-down by a TSA officer. I freak out and suddenly it’s strip search time for me!
If you feel up to flying, do it. Wear some 4th Amendment undies into the scanner. Take a page out of FurryGirl’s book and fake orgasm while the security guard molests you. Pull a Penn Jillette and take them to court. If you can’t deal with these regulations, drive up to Canada and make use of their airports. If you can’t put up with gaterape and you don’t have to fly, just fucking boycott the airlines. Despite the viral uproar that Don’t Touch My Junk Guy caused, most people are just taking it lying down, and if you stay the course that way, these regulations will be here to stay, and more will follow.
So, please, disarm your rapist.
(Oh, yeah, and TSA policies make a child molester’s job a whole lot easier.)