Transgendered Halifax man upset by new travel ID rule

Tucker Bottomley has been questioned at airports about his gender.

A recent regulation introduced by Transport Canada has some people in the transgendered community worried.

The regulation states that a passenger can be denied entry to board a plane if they don't appear to be the gender indicated on the piece of identification they present.

Tucker Bottomley, of Halifax, has had some pretty awkward moments at the airport.

"I was going through the metal detector and I beeped and they pulled me aside and they thought that I was a boy," he said Friday. "So, the guy body guard started to pat me down a little bit and then he sort of stopped for a second and asked me if I was a girl."

Before changing his first name to Tucker, Bottomley used to go by the name Anna. That's still the name on his passport.

He's concerned about Transport Canada's new rule.

"It's kind of worrisome because no one wants to be judged in a public place on, you know, what their identification card says as opposed to what they look like in person," Bottomley said.

Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project spokesman Kevin Kindred said transgendered people often have to travel with medical documents explaining their situation.

Kindred said the new rule isn't fair.

"I think it's clearly evidence of the government overshooting the mark for security purposes without thinking about the impact it has on minorities, and we've seen that in any number of ways since 2001," he said. "But here's the most recent example and it's impacting the transgendered community."

Transport Canada insists the new rule will not prevent transgendered people from flying.

It said it isn't aware of any situation where a transgender person with a medical document was barred from boarding a plane since the rule was introduced last July.

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