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National Center for Transgender Equality issues guidance on new TSA airport screening procedures

SAN FRANCISCO -- The new airport screening procedures implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have caused concern among many groups of people, especially the transgender community.

The new procedures include full body scans by X-ray-like machines and full body pat-downs at airport security checkpoints.

"While these procedures, designed to prevent passengers from sneaking explosive devices onto airplanes, are uncomfortable for all travelers, for transgender travelers, the new procedures can be harrowing," Immigration Equality noted in a blog post.

The TSA says that the new procedures are one of many layers of security designed to keep the traveling public safe.

"Pat-downs are one important tool to help TSA detect hidden and dangerous items such as explosives," TSA said in a statement released in late October.

"Passengers should continue to expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams, among others."

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has released a guidance on TSA policies and their impact on transgender travelers.

"As transgender people and our families prepare to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, many have expressed concern about the various new invasive equipment and procedures at the airport announced by the TSA," notes NCTE, which opposes the routine use of full-body scanners and the new invasive pat-down procedures.

"We want all of our members and friends to have safe and uneventful travel this season; and we have some ideas and information to help you do that."

To view the guidance and tips, click HERE.

The American Civil Liberties Union has also issued a guidance, "What to Expect When Getting a New TSA Pat-Down".