Today I met with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a small but important office within the Executive Office of the President, to discuss an upcoming TSA regulation concerning the policies used for the advanced body-imaging scanners. The problem with the scanners is that they are cissexist, starting from their pink and blue button user interface through to their assumptions that everyone’s anatomy is cis.
I emphasized that TSA’s agents are terrible, and ran through some examples of TSA mistreatment I’ve collected informally over the past few weeks. I recited back to them their training statistics, and how poor they actually are (the last numbers I saw, fewer than 10% of TSA agents have received training on gender identity). They cannot train their way out of the problems their scanners create: the best solution is to reprogram the scanners so that they no longer create more problems for transgender travelers.
I closed the meeting with a warning: if this issue is not adequately addressed in the final rule, I will be filing a Petition for Reconsideration on this issue. That seemed to get their attention.