Humiliated flyer ‘forced to show breasts’
A TRANSGENDER woman claims she was left "shaking and crying" after she was allegedly forced to show security her naked breasts at Luton Airport, north of London.
Lilith Carroll, 34, said that she was ordered by male staff to remove her bra, leaving her shivering and clutching at her exposed chest.
She was travelling from London to Dublin when she set the metal detector off as she was going through departures. After being body searched by a male staff member, who according to Lilith ran his hands along her breasts, she claims she was made to go through a more invasive check.
Taking to Twitter she wrote: "I had a terribly traumatic experience going through security before my 20.05 flight from Luton to Dublin. Tripped the machine so forced to do the body scan. A guy then searches me and touched my breasts in the public area."
She said that after he felt the bra under her top he asked what was underneath the bra - to which she replied: "My breasts."
Lilith, who is from Dublin, was then apparently escorted into a separate room and quizzed by security, who told her that they would need to see what was under her bra.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun, she said: "I couldn't look at him in the face. I opened my shirt to show him the bra. I think they thought I was hiding something.
"He ordered me to remove it, which I did, trying to cover my breasts. I felt I had to comply because I was afraid that they might strip search me or detain me for not co-operating."
As well as the sheer humiliation, she claimed the guards kept referring to her as male, which Lilith had to keep correcting. She was mis-gendered so many times that she was driven to show her passport to prove she was a woman.
She said: "I don't think he realised the distress he was causing. He apologised when he called me sir but continued to do it. He didn't acknowledge that me asserting my pronouns would indicate that I'm female."
Despite her gender, she said that she was not asked if she would like a woman to be present during the intimate search.
She added: "I was already anxious about my body being scanned. I had no bodily autonomy. I felt I wasn't given any choice and if I refused I would be punished.
"I am still crying and shaking after the incident. I don't want to be seen. I don't want to eat. I don't want anyone to look at me or leave my room.
"I will now look at future flights through the UK with dread."
She has said that she has had to have therapy to cope with her ordeal.
After sharing her experience on Twitter, she was comforted with sympathy and support.
Many shared her outrage with how she was treated, with some other members of the LGBTQ community empathising with their own experiences.
A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: "We were extremely sorry to hear that Ms Carroll experienced distress as she passed through mandatory security checks.
"We have apologised to her directly and immediately started an internal investigation. In future, we will be working more closely with the local LGBT community to enhance our training for all security staff."