We all love to travel. We also love to dress and be the girls we love to be. So what happens when you want to combine the two and travel as your femme self? Luckily as our community finds more acceptance and the world around us continues to change, flying En Femme is becoming something that we can do without any real worry, as long as we are prepared in our own mind to make the journey dressed.
When flying as our male selves, it is important to realize that if you have a suitcase full of women’s clothing and accessories, there is a good chance your bag will be searched. In some cases, breast forms could be a trigger for security to check your bag. Since you are not doing anything wrong obviously, there is no need to worry. Just know that you may need to explain why you have a suitcase or carry on with all of these feminine items inside. One suggestion we always make, if you are nervous about this scenario, is to ship all of your femme items to your destination ahead of your trip and pick it up at the hotels front desk upon arrival. In fact, here at Glamour Boutique, we often ship packages to our customers destination when they purchase items for a trip.
Now for those of you traveling dressed as a female, we have all heard horror stories about the TSA, that are not just regarding the CD/Trans community but toward just about anyone. With that being said, let’s navigate the best way to get on the plane hassle free.
When packing, if you are taking hormones or any other medications or if you need syringes to administer your hormones, make sure they are in their original packaging. If you do not need to administer a shot while on the flight, it’s best to put all of these supplies in your checked luggage and not a carry on. If you do need to put it in your carry on, it doesn’t hurt to have a doctors note as well to explain the need to travel with your syringes. Items such as liquid hormones and gel breast forms do not have to meet the required limits on liquids as they are deemed medically necessary items. So don’t sweat it if you do need to carry on any of these items.
At the Airport
First and foremost, wear comfortable clothing to travel. You will still have to remove your shoes, so wearing knee high boots or shoes that are hard to slip on and off can draw more attention to you from fellow travelers which is something we usually try and avoid anway. Plus, when navigating airports, it is much better to be comfortable than having your feet killing you during a long day of travel.
When it comes to your boarding pass and ID, make sure when you purchase your ticket, that you fill it out to match your government issued ID (Driver’s License, Passport, etc.). The law states they must match, plus the TSA has a file of you from the moment you purchase a ticket, so if there are any discrepancies with your ID and boarding pass at the security line, then you will have an issue. But do not worry. It doesn’t matter if you are standing in line as a woman and your ID says you are a man. The TSA is well aware of the Trans community and have rules in place to work with us to make everything go smooth. They won’t hassle you nor will they be shocked at the way you are presenting yourself.
We cannot stress enough, DO NOT try and fool the TSA with your gender. That is asking for trouble. So as long as you are comfortable with the agent knowing who you are, then you are golden. They will be respectful to you and if they have any questions, they are trained to do so in a discreet manner.
Since we don’t always travel En Femme, it is easy to forget the limit on liquids and gels in a carry on. Make sure to see what the limits are and to have all makeup and liquids in a clear ziplock bag and make sure to put it through the X-Ray machine and not left in your bag as you will be flagged and taken aside for searching.
Be aware of what you are wearing as well. A corset may set off the body scanner. Our breast forms may or may not be flagged due to their gel contents. If they do set off the scanner than once again, it is a simple conversation that will be done discreetly or if need be, TSA will take you to a private area to do a pat down. Again, this is not always the case, but make sure to be prepared for certain items setting off the scanner.
Lastly, remember any large jewelry will have to be removed and put in the tray for scanning as well. So if it’s not necessary, try to avoid large flashy jewelry while going through security.
If you would like any more info, the TSA has a page dedicated to Transgender Travelers and you can check it out here.
Once you are through security, the next hurdle is the bathrooms. I suggest finding a gender neutral bathroom like a family or handicap restroom which most large airports have available. If there are no gender neutral bathrooms available, then it is up to you. If you don’t have a need to use the restroom, the planes bathrooms are always gender neutral so there will be no worry there.
Once it’s time to board the plane, all your major hurdles are over and it is time to enjoy your time in Femme Mode. Remember, even if you are nervous or scared about the airport experience, the most import tip I can give is to have fun and be comfortable as your femme self. After all, that’s what vacations and getaways are all about.