Some of you may recall my story about a particularly horrible experience I had attempting to board a flight. Perhaps the most frustrating part of it was being told afterward that what happened to me was an isolated incident. As if somehow that made the entire thing OK. Or that I was overreacting.
Well, it now appears I’m not the only one to whom this happened, So please believe me when I tell you that this is the reality that those of us with disabilities face when we want to fly. We are treated as security risks or health hazards.
I now carry with me at all times a note from my doctor stating that I am not contagious and it is perfectly safe for me to fly. I now start any conversation with a TSA agent by pulling out the letter. And yes, I have extra copies in case one somehow never gets back to me. This is my reality when it comes to dealing with the TSA.
So you will perhaps forgive me if I’m not all worked up over full-body scans at airports that somehow “dehumanize” the experience. It’s already dehumanizing enough for me and the family of that autistic boy. We’ve already been singled out as somehow “not acceptable.” And if we actually do manage to get on that flight, we get effusive apologies about possible risks to passenger safety.
Essentially, I’m not having to prove that I’m not a security risk. Just like the Elephant Man, I’m having to prove I’m having to prove I’m a human being.