A transgender airline passenger has revealed he felt “demeaned” when he was forced to remove his prosthetic penis when travelling through airport security.
The unnamed man said he was subjected to a full body scan at an airport - believed to be in Australia - during the incident last year and was asked to remove the penis.
When he had handed it over a staff member reportedly put on two pairs of gloves to handle the penis saying “you want me to touch that thing with my bare hands.”
The incident came to light after the man made a complaint through the National LGBTI Health Alliance to an Australian Senate inquiry into airport security, Daily Mail Australia reports.
The alliance said the incident was an example of what they said was a “climate of pervasive discrimination against LGBTI populations” in aviation security.
In his statement, the transgender passenger said he had been going through the full body scanner when it picked up the prosthetic in his underwear.
He said: “I explained to the officer at the scanner that I am trans and that I was wearing a prosthetic, to which he responded that he would need to get his supervisor.
“In full view of other travellers, the supervisor approached me putting rubber gloves on. He seemed more concerned with displaying his authority and making a spectacle out of the situation.
“When I asked him what the gloves were for, he told me that he was going to do a 'private search'.
People who made 2015 a landmark year for LGBT rights
“Not only did this make me feel incredibly uneasy, and anxious, but it was demeaning and unnecessary.”
He said he was then taken to a private room while the search was carried out and was told to sign a form first, and that when the search was over he was forced to put the prosthetic back in his underwear with two officers watching him.
He said the supervisor had “no regard for him as a human being” and felt like he was “treated as a criminal from the beginning”.