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Transgender woman ‘misgendered and forced to show breasts’ by airport security

October 11, 2018

(KOEN VAN WEEL/AFP/Getty Images)

A transgender woman has said she was forced to remove her bra by security staff at London’s Luton Airport.

Lilith Keeva Carroll, a 34-year-old transgender woman, shared details on social media about a “traumatic” security check she said she experienced as she tried to board a flight from Luton to Dublin.

In the three-post thread published on Twitter on September 29, Carroll started off by saying “I had a terribly traumatic experience going through security before my 20:05 flight from Luton to Dublin. Tripped the machine so forced to do the body scan.”

(Lilith Keeva Carroll @KeevaCarroll/Twitter)

Carroll, who is from Dublin, said she was then escorted into a separate room where she was quizzed by security and faced with discriminatory remarks from staff members.

She said she was asked to explain what she was wearing—to which she said she responded by saying she was wearing a bra—and claimed she was then told by a member of the security team to “take it off to show him what’s underneath.”

Carroll said that throughout the exchange, the security staff misgendered her repeatedly, despite her corrections.

“He takes me into a room, forces me to take my bra off while repeatedly misgendering me. I corrected him every time,” she wrote.

Following the ordeal, Carroll said she showed the member of staff her passport and asked him to confirm that the document stated she was female.

She added that she “was left shaking and humiliated after the ordeal,” and concluded that “I couldn’t help but burst out crying in departures. I’m so upset.”

Lilith Keeva Carroll (@KeevaCarroll/Twitter)

Luton Airport replied to Carroll’s post on Twitter to say that they were “extremely sorry and disappointed to read” about the alleged incident. The airport staff added they were investigating the allegations.

Speaking to The Irish Sun about the experience at Luton Airport, Carroll said she “felt I had to comply because I was afraid that they might strip search me or detail me for not cooperating.”

When asked about being misgendered by staff, Carroll said: “He apologised when he called me sir, but continued to do it. He didn’t acknowledge that me asserting my pronouns would indicate that I’m female.”

“I am still crying and shaking after the incident. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want anyone to look at me or leave my room.”

Following her posts, many were quick to share their support for Carroll and to apologise for her experience. Other users stated how her experience was a breach of UK airport regulations and that they hoped something would be done about it.

A spokesperson for London Luton Airport told PinkNews: “We were extremely sorry to hear that Ms Carroll experienced distress as she passed through mandatory security checks. We have apologised to her directly and immediately started an internal investigation. In future, we will be working more closely with the local LGBT community to enhance our training for all security staff.”

Ryanair and the UK Civil Aviation Authority, who were both also tagged in the Twitter thread, have yet to issue a public response to Carroll’s allegations.

More: airport, airport security, Dublin, Luton, Transgender

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