TSA staff at LAX undergoing transgender training
Saw this on Breitbart this a.m. and definitely had some thoughts about it!
San Francisco (AP) – Transportation Security Administration managers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) are undergoing mandatory sensitivity training after a transgender employee alleged she was ordered to dress like a man, pat down male passengers and use the men’s restroom. (There’s a pic of the lovely “woman” here).
Ashley Yang, 29, who spent two years as a security checkpoint screener at LAX, was fired last summer after co-workers observed her using the women’s room, according to a copy of her termination letter obtained by The AP. She contested the firing, resulting in a settlement that mandated the training.
“Ashley lives her life as a woman. Her co-workers recognized her as a woman. Passengers recognized her as a woman. But her employer didn’t,” said attorney Kristina Wertz of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, which helped her file a civil rights complaint. “She was asked to hide who she was just in order to earn a living.”
The settlement, reached in December and completed last month, also called for Yang to receive five months of back pay and a five-figure award for pain and suffering.
TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said, “It’s part of the world we live in today,” he said. “We need to be aware of transgender issues not only for our co-workers, but for passengers.” LAX, with a staff of 2,500 security officers, could have as many as 100 managers, according to Melendez.
Yang started living as a woman and taking hormones to feminize her appearance in 2006, two years before she applied to work for TSA. Her interviewer never doubted that the delicately featured candidate with artfully applied makeup and finely arched eyebrows was a woman, she said. Her California driver’s license identifies her as female.
She informed the agency she was transgender before a background check revealed the name she used when she was a man. The agency reminded her that agents had to be the same gender as the passengers they search and asked whether she had gone through sex reassignment surgery, which she had not.
When she showed up for training, Yang was told that according to TSA regulations she would have to pat down men and was offered a position working with baggage instead of passengers. She insisted that part of the job’s appeal was working with people.
Yang said she was not trying to be impertinent about the bathroom issue. She said she informed her managers that since California law prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and includes employment protections for transgender workers, she understood that using the women’s room was her right.
A TSA screening director said her behavior constituted a failure “to comply with the instructions given to you by management.” Her supervisors told her they would research the issue, but did not change their position. She was fired.
There’s just a whole lot of wrong in this story. First, let’s start with the fact that physically this person is a man. The AP author ignores that little fact and uses the words “she”, “her”, “woman” continuously throughout this story. I would have preferred the word “it”.
Secondly, “Ashley” refused the position working with baggage because “part of the job’s appeal was working with people“. So it’s appealing to want to interact with passengers, patting them down and feeling them up? I would rather be a sewer inspector than a groping-TSA agent.
Next, it’s just so wrong for a man to be in a women’s restroom (are they going to provide “it” a urinal as well?). When I lived in Portland the parking lot attendant at my office was a man pretending to be a woman. One day it started showing up in the women’s restroom – right in the stall next to me. I absolutely freaked out. I told my boss that I couldn’t take it. Guess what he said? “Well, at least it’s out of my bathroom!”
Lastly, because of “its” personal choice to be confused, it creates havoc within an agency that has strict guidelines specifically designed around gender. Throwing in a transgender just makes the issue as confused as “it” is. I’ve got a simple solution to end the confusion: profile.