If you are planning to use a driver’s license as your ID when you fly, you need to know that if that license was issued prior to the issuing state being certified for Real ID, it may not be valid even if it’s good for driving or cashing checks, and you may not be allowed to board your flight after 22 January 2018.

I’m transgender, so TSA tends to assume, although they claim they don’t,  that I’m a criminal or a terrorist. (Right, terrorist organizations recruit trans folks because we never have problems with airport security or have odd things show up in our background checks!)

The last time I flew—I had gotten through the regular screening with no problems, but got picked for an extra-special, random look-see and got clocked–I got taken back to a little room, patted down repeatedly, and had my purse and luggage carefully gone through.

I had made very sure that my documents were immaculate, and I had carefully followed the rules about what I was carrying, so I was held by TSA for only about an hour.

Compared to some of my peers, I got off lightly. I know of one case where, after holding her for hours and repeatedly searching her and her luggage and quadruple-checking her documents, the local TSA couldn’t find a legitimate reason to prevent a trans woman from boarding her flight; so they simply ordered her to leave the airport. I think there is a pending lawsuit on that one.

In some airports, mainly in the South and farm-belt Midwest, they will intentionally delay trans folks long enough to make sure we miss our flights.



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