Gender Confusion On Government Forms (#gender, #government, #security)

I went to my appointment to sign up for TSA Precheck yesterday. It’s not that I have tired of being groped, interrogated and cajoled by the goon squad when I “opt out” the few times I fly each year. It’s more that I enjoy paying $85 for a “service” which solves a problem that wouldn’t exist if the government wasn’t so intent on providing me with another “service”, first, TSA-controlled security.

To get approved for Precheck, you have to pass a background check. It seems like if the airlines were in control of their own security they’d already be doing this. I don’t know about you but if I ran an airline, for example, I wouldn’t want convicted felons or those who have spent time in a mental institutions (two questions on the self-administered portion of the process) being transported on my aircraft. That would seem to pose a safety hazard. But under the TSA and government security, they’re fair to fly, they just can’t speed through the security screening process at the airport. I guess they can’t hurt anyone without bringing guns, knives and bombs on board the planes?

Another field you have to fill out is, uh oh, “Gender”. I didn’t ask the clerk because I didn’t want to jeopardize my application processing by making light of a Really Serious Idea that’s currently popular, but I assume that the only options are “Male” and “Female.” The idea here is that whichever you choose should correspond to the background check records which will be referenced, which draw from government identity databases (Social Security/birth certificate, credit bureaus, etc.) Someone trying to steal someone’s identity would quickly be flagged if they put “Male” but were trying to get a Precheck number for someone registered as “Female.”

So what is a transgender person to do here? If they started out “Male” but at some point began to identify as “Female” and they insist this is their true identity, they’re going to fail their background check and not get issued a Precheck pass to avoid the TSA harassment procedure. Is that discrimination?

And if, to make sure things go smoothly, they admit they are still a “Male” despite identifying otherwise, is this oppression?

Thankfully, this isn’t a problem I had to deal with personally, but it did make me wonder! I wonder how long it’ll be before government forms reflect this “new reality”, and how much longer until the first terrorist takes advantage of this new loophole caused by gender confusion by assuming a fake identity in the ambiguity it creates?

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