Shadi Petosky, a transgender woman, author and executive producer at PUNY Entertainment, was detained at an Orlando Airport. A Transportation Security Administration agent pulled Petosky aside for screening, calling her penis "an anomaly". She was on her way home from a visit with her mother when the ordeal began.
T.S.A. agents alleged that there was an "explosives alarm" from her hands, using it as a reason to detain her, take her phone, and, eventually, expel her from the airport.
Petosky was able to explain her experience in her own words by live-tweeting most of the incident. Her ordeal lasted hours, starting at approximately 4:00 p.m. when she tweeted that she was being held "because of an 'anomaly' (my penis)".https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646053501055987713?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Less than half an hour later, Petosky was being detained, alone, in a room. She was told that she would have to "get back on the machine as a man" if she wanted to avoid further problems.https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646058488062476288?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646058899628519424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Eventually, the T.S.A. agents and the police took her phone from her, allegedly for screening.https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646060597042380800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646061367452127232?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646061869036388353?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
The entire incident caused Petosky to miss her flight, and she was told she would have to rebook, meaning she could be flagged for screening all over again. The T.S.A. recognized that this might be problematic, and opted to simply ask Petosky to leave the airport altogether.https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646069796161867776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646071048102932480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Apparently, the T.S.A. thought it was unreasonable for Petosky to be upset under those circumstances, and asked that she get herself "together". Despite the request, Petosky was told she would have to pay nearly $1,000 to "for sure fly out of Orlando" that day. While the price wasn't the issue, Petosky wanted to highlight the financial cost of the T.S.A.'s ignorance.https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646078754637410304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646080593755774976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Petosky maintained her sense of humour throughout the entire incident, responding comically to a customer satisfaction survey at one point, and requesting that the media leave her line open for Kyle Chandler at another.https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646064796853473280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646081524891299840?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
Eventually, Petosky was able to get another flight, on another airline, and made it home in time for work.https://twitter.com/shadipetosky/status/646493202762067972
For their part, the T.S.A. defended their response to the situation, claiming to have examined the "closed-circuit TV video and other available information". They came to the conclusion that their "officers followed T.S.A.'s strict guidelines". Even if their agents did follow their "strict guidelines", Petosky's ordeal, and the many other similar stories, are proof that those guidelines need to change.