In her new vlog, transgender YouTube star Julie Vu talks about some of the issues trans individuals face when they are traveling overseas, which include being publicly out-ed at a security checkpoint, having problem filling immigration forms, and being interrogated about one’s identity.
For those who have traveled overseas, we all have had that experience of feeling nervous as we walked through the airport security checkpoint. Or when we had to explain to an immigration officer the purpose of our travel and then they gave us a scrutinising look.
Imagine how much worse it might be like for a trans person.
On top of dealing with the usual anxieties of traveling — like making sure you have all the important documents such as your passport with you, making sure that you don’t have any contraband on you or in your carry-on, and etc. — trans people also have to be ready to deal with transphobia.
Just take YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous’ ordeal in Dubai for example. She was reportedly detained at the airport and denied entry into the United Arab Emirates, all because she is transgender.
For Julie, she had an incident which involved the medical dilators which she had to bring with her on the plane.
Dilators are doctor-prescribed instruments needed for a trans woman after her gender reassignment surgery.
Julie said that the security personnel who found her dilators did not spare her any privacy and other travelers around them were made aware of the situation.
Essentially, she was out-ed as a trans person in public, which could put her at risk of being harassed or worse.
‘Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s totally fine that they need to take extra precaution for the safety of others and the airport,’ Julie said. ‘But I felt they could have handled it a little bit better… they basically made me out myself to the people around me, and I just don’t think that’s fair.’
The YouTuber added that airports and the staff working there should be more educated and aware of transgender people so as to not embarrass them in public.
She also encouraged other trans persons to be honest about themselves at security checkpoints to prevent stickier situations from happening.