Although I have nothing to hide. But it’s the one moment of my everyday life where my humanity of a person is stripped. I am going to be judged. If I win, I continue through to my gate. If I lose, I will be subjected to questions that I think that I will know the answer but in reality I do not. I will be pushed out.
Granted, I look like a low risk. Female. An often innocent face, especially I stupidly struggle with my bulging bags. Asian of Chinese descent. American.
But it’s because I opt out. I submit myself to a patdown—partly to protest the way TSA does things, but also that…what if it actually affects my fertility? Personally, I am not afraid of being seen nude—I mean, I have nothing to hide under there. I’ll happily trapeze through the airport nude. I have no shame. But it’s the rules and the regulations. It’s the moment when the spotlight shines on me and I have to answer what seem to be basic answers: my name, my address, my birthday. What if my mind slips? What if I accidentally include something in my bags that I am not supposed to bring—a small cup of yogurt, a bottle of water, a corkscrew? One too many bags? My things slipping beyond my grasp?
There’s no other part in my life where I suddenly am dependent on one person. A gatekeeper. “Please let me through,” my eyes say everytime to the TSA officer as he or she studies my boarding pass and id. “This time.”