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TSA question


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I am transitioning, not on hormones yet, and my identification cards have me as male. I even did TSA Pre-check yesterday, and have like a 5 day unshaven face for the picture. I am going to Minneapolis next month, and I found a cute Athleta 👗 dress on that I plan on wearing for the flight (from Newark NJ). I expect to start hormones very shortly before the trip. We are flying first class, so I want to look nice as well being comfortable. How is like going through security when you are really early in the transition? Will i have a hard time going through security trying to present female when you have male identification?

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I've found that most TSA agents are well trained and used to seeing transgender people.  You will probably need to explain to the agent your status, but if your ID is OK and matches your ticket you should not have a problem.  You may be able to avoid the pat down search if they use the old fashioned scanner.  With the new ones you will almost certainly be hand-checked, but it's been my experience that the agents are respectful and don't try to abuse their authority.  They don't want to be sued or have a complaint on file.


Good luck and happy travels!


Carolyn Marie

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The security people aren't fashion police.  So, if they are at all professional (I know not all are, but most are), their concerns are (1) are you the person your ID says you are; (2) are you carrying any weapons or prohibited substances? 


The unshaven face in the photo could be a problem.  I presume you don't want to make the reality match the photo when you travel.  But if it is recognizably you, you should be okay.

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8 minutes ago, KathyLauren said:

The security people aren't fashion police.  So, if they are at all professional (I know not all are, but most are), their concerns are (1) are you the person your ID says you are; (2) are you carrying any weapons or prohibited substances? 


The unshaven face in the photo could be a problem.  I presume you don't want to make the reality match the photo when you travel.  But if it is recognizably you, you should be okay.

I didn’t have a beard, but I hadn’t shaven for like a week either. I am sure that it still looks like me. My passport picture taken in 2019 is clean shaven. Same with my drivers license, granted that picture is from 1998 when I was in high school. 

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You should be fine.  There are more of us traveling with fewer fears of official problems than ever before.  There are certainly no laws about fashion from men or women at this point. Shave a settle back for a comfortable flight.

Let us know about your journey.





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Question solved. My wife has severe anxiety about flying, and the potential hassle at TSA would be too much for her. No sense aggravating her anxiety. So I will wear pants and shirt through security and change into the dress from my carryon luggage when we get into Minneapolis. On an unrelated topic, pictures from Minneapolis will be how I come out to my parents. 

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I know the case is closed but let me clarify something:  She says she has TSA pre-check.  At most airports that automatically puts her in the metal detector rather than body scan, and a pat-down follows only if the metal detector will not clear you even after you get a 2nd chance to empty the pockets.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry late to this message. 

But I want to add that if your ID says male, don’t be surprised if TSA squeeze your fake chest thoroughly.  Right in line in front of everyone else. 


This happened to me - and my ID says female …(and I usually pass) 

Should’ve charged them both admission;)


Hasn't happened since I stopped needing to pad my chest. 

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I went through TSA at both Newark and Minneapolis and had no trouble getting through. I presented as a woman and had modestly sized breast forms/ push up bra (maybe like 40B), and they didn’t even flinch that my passport has me as male. They didn’t even ask me to take my mask off; oddly my wife was asked to remove hers. They didn’t even make me remove my shoes. We had TSA pre check if that had any bearing. 

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