I attended the National Black Trans Advocacy Conference 2017 (BTAC 2017). I had a great time and it was affirming to be in a space where it was ok to be me and tell people about me. In fact, this event was the main event for the Black Trans Community.
The exciting experience was while I was there. Traveling while Trans was not so affirming. Processing through security at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas was not an affirming experience. It was a disrespectful, Transphobic experience that allowed me to see how blessed I was to experience the love at #BTAC 2017 conference.
After I was frisked by a TSA agent, she asked my name again and then asked if I was male or female. If I hadn’t already been frisked, I may have not felt so emotional but once she rubbed under my breasts and between my legs, she lost the right to ask me anything sexual about me. I later realized that this was a major issue at Dallas Love Field Airport. I flew out on Tuesday. I found out later that on Sunday, a group of Trans women missed their flight because an airport customer service representative typed the wrong name on a ticket and could not change it because the representative did not remember the name they entered. Because of an airport employee these women missed their fight and had to be rerouted to another airport.
It angers me when anyone within the cisgendered community assumes they have the right to emasculate me or project intolerance upon anyone, especially within the Trans community. I am a Trans advocate. I write this so that others may become more aware of the issues Trans individuals face on a daily basis. I did not choose Trans. After an intense period of extreme gender dysphoria and thoughts of self inflicted harm, I accepted that I am an Openly Identified PROUD Black Trans Male. I do not give anyone permission to take that away from me.
All I wanted to do was board my plane on time. If the agent wanted to hear about my story and the work I do to advocate for my brothers and sisters within the Trans community, she should have viewed my page, Min Grace-Neal. There is work to do and I’m going to do my part. Will you stand with me?