On Tuesday afternoon, the retired transgender Navy SEAL was bound for Kansas City to give a speech to federal employees about gender sensitivity. It's what she does, ever since she stopped going by her birth name, Christopher Beck, and wrote a book about her life as a member of SEAL Team 6. She was featured in the CNN series, "Lady Valor."
She arrived at Reagan National Airport with enough time to spare, but not too much. Beck told CNN she entered the security checkpoint, put her bags on the conveyor belt and stepped into the body scanner, as she's done countless times before.
When flagged for secondary screening, she took it in stride. She said she waited for one of two Transportation Security Administration agents -- a man and a woman -- to step forward and pat her down. Instead, they turned their backs to her and started whispering.
But to Beck, it was clear what was happening. Despite her makeup, long hair and low-cut blouse, the agents thought she was a man. It wouldn't be the first time since she began publicly living as a woman.
"These are my real boobs, he's not going to pat me down," she recalls telling agents.
"This is wrong. I'm a female, it says female on my Maryland driver's license. This is the real me."
According to TSA guidelines, when passengers go through a full body scanner, the TSA agent selects a button indicating man or woman, depending on how the person looks. The equipment conducts a scan and alerts areas of the body warranting further inspection, which is often the case when a person's anatomy is inconsistent with the body type selected.Read More: CNN.com