Travelling While Trans

I was 18 when I moved over 600 miles away from home for college. I was terrified, excited, anxious, and in disbelief that it was happening. I thought 600 miles was lightyears away and could not wrap my mind around how far I was actually moving.

Four years later, I feel silly for being anxious about 600 miles as I sit in an airport waiting for a flight to take me over 4,000 miles from home to start graduate school. Moving overseas is daunting, to say the least. Millions of questions run through your mind and you don't know where to start. How do I physically move my belongings there? How do I open up a bank account in another country that I'm not a citizen of? How do I transfer money from my US bank account to the one I'll open up without paying an arm and a leg? What phone plan should I get? How am I supposed to get from the airport to my flat? The list goes on, but the internet is an amazing thing and gives you numerous different answers to these questions and more that you didn't even think of, making the preparation manageable. 

Moving abroad is challenging for everyone. It's even more challenging when you throw being trans into the mix. 

Will TSA confiscate my needles and testosterone or stop me for additional inappropriate screening? How do I find a trans-friendly healthcare provider that can continue my prescription? Will there be issues going through customs and immigration? Can they deny me entry into the country just because I'm trans? How many times will I be misgendered or get stared at by strangers? 

Now the reality is, as a white trans masculine person with a U.S. passport the chances of something significant happening is pretty low. But these fears and others still run through my head and microaggressions are still common. Traveling while trans isn't a walk in the park.

When I was going through security, they were only using the body scanner for the two long lines of passengers. I was waiting anxiously to go through this infamous transphobic technology. There was one person in front of me about to go through the body scanner when a TSA agent had me and a few other passengers go through the traditional metal detector to help speed up the growing line. Most people would just be grateful to get through security a little faster. I was grateful for a screening process that didn't rely on a TSA agent guessing my anatomy so they could determine what gender to select.

Now that I'm through security without issues, I can finally relax and let the excitement sink in that I'm moving to England. And watch a little Grey's Anatomy because #priorities.