Archive for the ‘travel’ Category
TSA recognizes the concerns members of the transgender community may have with undergoing the security screening process at our Nation’s airports and is committed to conducting screening in a dignified and respectful manner. These travel tips will explain the various screening processes and technologies travelers may encounter at security checkpoints.
From Preparing For Travel and The Screening Process through to Reporting Travel Issues Or Concerns, the TSA website has all the information you’ll need when travelling into and around the US.
It’s still unclear to me from the various press reports whether or not the victim of Tuesday’s tragedy at Kings Cross station was a transgender woman. The only new piece of information that I’ve seen since the story broke is that the woman who was with the victim has now been charged with murder. Via The Telegraph:
A woman, Nina Kanagasingham, has been charged with murder, after a man wearing women’s clothes was pushed in front of a Tube train at King’s Cross station.
The 34 year-old, of Cricklewood, north London, will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday [...]
Those “newspapers” continuing to push the line that the victim was “a man wearing women’s clothes” include the Press Association, BBC News, The Independent, The Guardian and The Sun, which oh-so-helpfully adds that the victim “was wearing a dress and make-up“.
Those using the term “transvestite” include The Telegraph, The Mail and The Mirror, which adds that it’s unclear whether the victim was “a transvestite or simply wearing drag as a party costume“. I must admit that I don’t entirely understand what relevance that fascinating titbit of information has, but then, my mind clearly doesn’t function in the same way as that of a tabloid “journalist”.
Either way, the victim is being positioned as male, regardless of what hir own self-identification may eventually be revealed to have been. It’s obvious to me that the opportunity for the media to make its various hysteria-infused assumptions – based, it seems, entirely on the personal prejudices of the “journalists” – has arisen from the disparity between eye witness reports of “two women” and the words of Detective Superintendent Ashley Croft, BTP’s senior investigating officer, who was adamant that “The deceased has been identified as a male, believed to be middle-aged“. In keeping with the general obfuscation of the victim’s identity, it’s unclear who carried out the identification and what criteria they used to make their value judgement.
I’ve seen this misgendering of TS/TG women so many times now that it’s hard to keep track; the most recent parallel – (I’m not saying that one case is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than the other, just pointing out what I see as a similarity in one aspect) – being the ongoing case investigating the murder of Victoria Carmen White in the US where, even though the County Prosecutor’s office knew that Ms White was female – physically, legally, socially, everything – it still insisted on misgendering her. That the prejudiced fools who call themselves “journalists” then decided to build a bigoted and hysterical story around the tragedy of her death was almost an inevitable outcome – and I begin to wonder if a repeat performance is being engineered here by the UK press.
As I said before:
The hypocrisy is breathtaking: our identities are not recognised until/unless our documentation and our bodies match – and even when they do, the authorities are apparently still at liberty to ignore the physical evidence on which they insisted before they would change our documents. And then, they will proceed to ignore the documentation itself. We are damned if we do and we are damned if we don’t. We don’t even have the choice not to play their sick and twisted mind games.
Sending my condolences to the loved ones of the still-anonymous victim of Tuesday’s tragedy.
Ms Burgess, 63, was described as gender variant by her family, who said she was known to friends, family and work colleagues as both Sonia and David.
She was a solicitor who lived on Shaftesbury Avenue in central London and had two daughters and a son, all adults.
In a statement, her family said: “Sonia (David) was a loving and wonderful person and will be missed deeply. We would appreciate being given space to come to terms with our loss.”
Additionally, via the Press Association I understand that Nina Kanagasingham appeared at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning accused of murder.
There was no application for bail and Ms Kanagasingham, of Chichele Road, Cricklewood, was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Monday.
This article in The New Mexico Independent seems to offer good news for the state’s trans people:
The New Mexico Motor Vehicles Division in July established a new form to help facilitate changing a person’s gender designation on a drivers license. In doing so, the MVD clarified that gender surgery is not a requirement for a person seeking to change their gender. All that is required is the signature of a medical provider or clinician, stating their opinion that the person will not change their gender again in the foreseeable future.
Alicia Ortiz, deputy director of the MVD, said this week the new form should make things like traffic stops less of a problem for transgender people, who might not have changed their gender marker before due to lack of standard procedures at the MVD. The new form standardizes the process by which gender can be changed throughout the department.
Although the MVD looks to be playing it down as a simple administrative change to make bureaucrats’ lives easier, it seems as though there will be a very real benefit to trans people. OK, so it doesn’t sort out the problems of SS no-matches, but it certainly seems like a step in the right direction.
“Many [trans people] can’t afford surgery, so to require that is discriminatory economically,” [said Adrien Lawyer, executive director of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico]. “This new policy relies on a person’s own interpretation of their gender, whether they are living their life as a male or female.”
“Document mismatch is a big problem for transpeople,” he continued. “For instance, I have a beard now so if I have an identification saying I’m female, it’s difficult.”
Jordan Johnson, interim director of Equality New Mexico adds:
“We have some of the best laws when it comes to gender identity expression [...] and many people move here from outside because there’s a sense of protection … you see more people comfortable about being able to express they are a transgender person. This is a really progressive thing that is happening for this community.”
Examples of laws that protect transgender people in New Mexico are an employment non-discrimination law that protects a person from losing their job while they are transitioning from one gender to another. Additionally, a hate crimes statute that increases penalties for people who target people for characteristics like race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. A law that Equality New Mexico would like to see pass is a “safe schools” bill that would establish anti-bullying procedures within the schools.
I don’t know if there are any drawbacks to this change regarding gender markers in drivers’ licenses, but superficially at least, it seems to me like a definite move forward; one which I can only hope less progressive states will follow.
The New York Daily News, CNN and many others seem, at last, to be waking up to the privacy concerns around the Transportation Security Administration’s implementation of body scanners in various airports around the U.S. following the revelation that:
The U.S. Marshals Service is confirming that it has stored more than 35,000 “whole body” images of people who had entered a U.S. courthouse in Orlando, Florida. [Via CNN]
The hardly surprising, but no less worrying, news came to light following a Freedom of Information Act request from the Electronic Privacy Information Center:
[...] EPIC has obtained more than one hundred images of undressed individuals entering federal courthouses. The images, which are routinely captured by the federal agency, prove that body scanning devices store and record images of individuals stripped naked.
Apparently the 100 images are a small sample of approximately 35,314, the rest of which the Department of Homeland Security has refused to release.
Although the images were captured by millimeter wave technology and are apparently “far less detailed” than those produced by backscatter machines commonly used by the Transportation Security Administration at airports nationwide.
Marc Rotenberg of EPIC said this experience highlights the necessity for prohibitions on the U.S. government’s use of backscatter technology, which can capture far more revealing images by using X-rays to provide detailed images in or under a person’s clothing.
“The only thing that is preventing the TSA from [storing images] is that we keep raising this with them,” Rotenberg said. [Via CNN]
By anybody’s standards this is a huge privacy breach; the fact that this is just one machine in one location really makes me wonder if this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. How many more thousands of images are also stored on other machines – and what exactly do the authorities need to keep these records for?