In a TikTok video posted on Monday, a transgender and disabled man described being discriminated against by Transportation Security Administration agents at Milwaukee Mitchell Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.
The alleged incident occurred at the Milwaukee Mitchell Airport on May 19 and at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on May 21, reported The Daily Dot. August Rocha explained in his TikTok video that TSA agents at the Milwaukee Mitchell Airport forced him to stand up without his mobility aids for 20 minutes despite him telling them that he was unable to do so. He currently suffers from Behçet’s disease, a rare disorder that causes inflammation in the blood vessels.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
He added that he and his girlfriend, Christine, who is also transgender, were misgendered while the TSA agents yelled at them: “We are not wheelchair people, ma’am. We do not deal with this.”
Rocha also claimed the agents broke the brake on his walker and that a male TSA officer at LAX sexually assaulted Christine after ignoring their requests for a female TSA officer to conduct the search. The male officer alleged commented on Christine’s breast size and said he was “good with the transgenders.”
After being told that “no one could figure out my gender and therefore they did not want to touch me,” Rocha was forced to wait for over 20 minutes.
Rocha and many TikTok users tagged TSA while demanding an apology and compensation for the broken walker.
“This is inexcusable. The least they are owed is an apology, a new walker, and proof of what steps are being taken to prevent this again,” one user wrote.
Rocha responded to a comment saying that he reached out to the American Civil Liberties Union and plans to contact the Human Rights Campaign.
The TikTok video has garnered over 109,000 views and 27,000 likes since being uploaded.