After working for the Transportation Security Administration for two years Ashley Lang was fired for being herself - and using the women's bathroom, according to the termination letter obtained by the AP. Lang's superiors knew about her gender identity, but because she did not have gender reassignment surgery, they forced her to perform pat-downs on male passengers, wear men's clothing, and use the men's bathroom.
Some of the male passengers would make innapropriate, sexist comments to Lang as she patted them down. Her coworkers, unaware of her biological sex, would call her over to pat down female passengers. And the passengers? Well, no one checks their genitals before assigning someone to pat them down.
Ashley Lang went to court to fight her discriminatory treatment at the hands of the TSA. Her settlement mandates transgender sensitivity training for all Los Angeles International Airport managers.
Although a positive start, the settlement is only a baby step in the struggle to secure equal rights for the transgender and gender-nonconforming community. Make sure the TSA gives transgender sensitivity classes to it's security personnel all across the US - not just the managers in LAX.
Ashley Lang's settlement with the TSA rightfully mandates transgender sensitivity training for all LAX managers. However, this is not enough. Transgender employees, and the general public, have the right live openly and honestly. It's important for all TSA security personnel in the US to get this vital sensitivity training. The TSA exists to protect the public - and that includes transgender people.
Please instate mandatory transgender sensitivity training for all TSA security personnel.