Taking a trip? Whether you’re travelling to experience other cultures and try new things, taking a beach vacation, or visiting relatives in another province or country, it’s important that you’re free of harm.
To ensure you have safe travels, check out our five travel tips below:
Research: You may live in Toronto or another big metropolis where people are more trans accepting, but not every place is as welcoming. Look into the trans law of the place you are travelling to. Unfortunately, places in the American South and some European and African countries have laws in place that prove challenging to people in the trans community. If you are travelling to one of these places, for instance, to visit relatives in Mississippi, do your best to stay under the radar in order to be safe. For information about travel warnings, visit the Government of Canada’s advisory page here.
Packing: If you are undergoing hormone replacement therapy and need to travel with medical supplies (medications, syringes etc.), keep them in the same bag, in its original packaging. If you don’t need them on the plane, keep them in your checked bag. If you are travelling light and your medical items are coming with you in the air, get a note from your doctor that shows what you need the items for and that you are authorized to have them on your person. For prosthetics, bindings, and other products, you can wear them on the plane as long as they have no metal parts.
Documents: Whether you are flying to Montreal to visit a friend or driving to Buffalo for the day to take advantage of the sales at American stores, you need to have ID with you. For international travel, this would be your passport. For domestic travel this would be a piece of government issued photo ID (driver’s license, health card). If you haven’t legally changed your name on your IDs, that’s ok. As long as you look like your picture and the name on your ID matches the one on your boarding pass, you should have no trouble.
Security: When going through airport security, you may be selected for additional screening after going through the walk-in scanner. If this happens to you, you can ask for a private screening. Furthermore, you can request a male or female screener or a split screening, in which a male pats down one side of your body while a female pats down the other.
Reporting: You may encounter rude flight attendants and fellow passengers who act in a discriminatory manner towards you. Should you feel like you have been treated unfairly by the airline, mistreated by security staff, or that your safety was in question, you have every right to report the incident. For domestic flights you can file your complaint online here. For complaints against the TSA in the United States you can file your complaint here.
Being transgender is your right and no one should stop you from living and travelling as your true self.