Wednesday, October 4, 2023

No fear of flying

By Tami Knight

For some years, I would read in disbelief Kimberly Huddles stories of traveling. Her trips seemed to be too easy to be true!

I had long been comfortable going about and doing just about anything as Tami. The thought of security at the airport was a hurdle I never thought I could overcome. But like everything else in life, I had to try.

So I did and it was a breeze.

One never knows once you arrive at the airport if you will depart on time. I never check my bag and I am prepared if my connection leaves me stranded for hours. I dress to fit in – jeans with a stylish top and sweater or jacket; or a casual midi dress or skirt and jean jacket, depending on the weather. Comfy sneakers or loafers that allow for a long walk are a must.  Dressing nicely (I think) earns points when you sit in first class.

My best advice to all is that TSA has seen it all before. You hand them your ID, your picture pops up on their screen and they look you in the eye to compare. They really don’t care if you are trans. I once had the agent take my ID, ask another agent to compare the ID and me to be sure it was me! There is one TSA agent who I have seen multiple times and he is very friendly.

Of all the times through the TSA scanning machines, I have never set one off until just recently. On a flight to Arizona, the scanner showed something on my back side on the female screen image. So the screener asked me to stand aside. He called for a female agent to assist.  Everyone was busy. Another agent saw me waiting, “I will get you an agent, ma’am.” In a bit a nice woman came over, gave me the standard back side pat down and gave me the “All set, ma’am.”

As Kimberly has written, it is easier than you may think.  

I can’t count the many flights I have taken, but all have been stress-free. On one of my earliest flights as Tami, I took my seat in row 20, aisle. Just before takeoff, a stewardess came down the aisle looking for a male. She had an upgrade for me to first class. She came directly to my seat, looked at me and showed a very puzzled expression. She turned, walked back up front, turned and came back to me again. She asked if my last name was X (formerly Twitter) and I said yes. She offered me the upgrade and since the flight was so short, I suggested she give it to someone else as I was comfortable. (I get upgraded a lot, which I usually jump for.)

If your ambiguity is minimal like me, you will not miss a beat with TSA, stewards or passengers. Know that each airline agent has access on their phones to identify each passenger in every seat. Your status with them and likely lots of other data, is readily available. That being said, no one from ticket agents, to TSA, to passengers, to stewards
has ever been anything but helpful and kind on all my flights.

Source: Altuzarra
Wearing Altuzarra

Kimberly Huddle
Kimberly Huddle, who inspired me and so many others to travel pretty.


  1. Kimberly inspired me too. Too bad that she has little to write about these days, as I haven't seen her post anything in years. Since all her "Flying Pretty" was done for work, I have to assume that her job duties have changed, and that she no longer has much of a chance to fly pretty, or has nothing new to contribute to us all. Golly, I miss her dearly!

  2. Great post Tami

    I’ve never flown enfemme however Kimberly inspired me to start going out and about on business trips

    Kim if you’re listening we miss your posts

    Tami kudos for excellent article and pulling the veil away from a daunting topic

    Paula G

  3. Way back in 2010 (prehistory), before I had ever heard of Ms Huddle and "Flying Pretty", I decided to take that plunge and started my blog to document that single trip. The airport bit is at

    It is easy!

  4. I have also traveled may times enfemme. I wear my Dresstech hip-pads and breast forms and have only had my shoulders patted down a few times. TSA has never given me any issues.

  5. Tami, thank for this reminder to all that we can travel effortlessly. Kimberly also inspired me to want to travel pretty. These days the fact that the information about me is on a government/corporate database bothers me the most. I wish there were better data privacy laws, because I live only part time as a woman and don’t want to become anyone’s target. Yet, I haven’t let that stop me from traveling pretty. Lisa P

  6. Kimberly has inspired many of us -- but I only know of a few that have followed in her sandals. One day, I hope to join those ranks.

  7. I absolutely ADORE Kimberly's travel blog. I read it from the very beginning to the present. An amazing read. I hope she is doing well these days and maybe grace us with a blog post again in the future.

    Thanks for your travel tale, Tami!

  8. Melissa RobertsOctober 04, 2023

    I too used to follow Kimberly and her travel adventures in disbelief, awe and jealousy. I was pretty much to the point where I was seriously considering giving it a go. However, on my way home from a business trip I was walking through ATL to make my connection and literally bumped into my next door neighbor making my way through the crowd. We both said excuse me, eyes locked and laughed like crazy. Her name was Brenda. Well, that killed the idea for me. I know that if I was enfemme as Melissa and bumped into Brenda she would have known it was me. So that plan went out the window. But who knows, I older now and am more confident and quite frankly don't give a damn so maybe Melissa will be flying high in the future.

  9. I've flown many times since transition. Having proper ID and even a passport with my name and gender marker helps. I also have TSA PreCheck, which I got before my first business trip to Boston, which was followed closely by a trip out to Los Angeles for an event I was participating in. Since then, I've decided I don't hate flying, and have taken a number of other trips by air. (Enough so that people at DIA, at the Southwest ticket counter and at the PreCheck security checkpoint, started recognizing me!)

  10. Flying pretty.
    My last two round trip flights from Harry Reid airport (formerly McCarran) in Las Vegas to Bradley in Windsor Locks, CT have been en femme. I've worn the same skirt on both flights with diffferent tops. Leaving Las Vegas, I didn't really have any problem aside from the case holding my prescriptions in my carry-on. My first flight out of Bradley, the TSA agent was a bit brusque, asked me how I wanted to be scanned. Um, what? I went through without any real problem but my carry-on had breast forms and they were red flagged by the scanner machine. Aside from the person ahead of me having a carry on carton filled with what seemed like a million smaller boxes that needed to be checked... No big deal. I had dealt with Mister Brusque before, I was wearing a sports bra and cotton bra stuffing pads and he poked at one for whatever reason he thought was necessary. My second trip out of Bradley, the scanner saw an extra part where my legs join my torso, a female agent did a pat-down and away I went. My airline ticket and photo ID are in my given name. Someday, I'll update my ID. But I highly recommend flying pretty. The minor hiccups are more than worth living in the world as Heather on a daily basis.

  11. Indeed, Kimberley's Flying Pretty stories have inspired many of us - as has this post, thanks. 3 weeks ago I flew pretty again from Florida to Reagan National and was treated wonderfully by TSA. I was worried about the facial recognition system they have now at DCA ... "No worries, Hon, you're fine." Not to mention that men offer to help with the overheads! There is one downside ... the lines at the ladies' rooms!

  12. I guess I would have no problems dressing pretty as I have the appearance but NOT the voice of a woman.

  13. I am another avid reader of Kimberly's blog, and like others, it inspired me too.

    I have flown pretty three times now, with my next time two weeks from now to Diva Las Vegas. I fly business professional; i.e., a dress. The last time I had other fliers complimenting my heels, patterned hose, and had a matronly woman walk up to me and say "You look very nice."

    As to voice, I have a guy voice but that doesn't stop me.

  14. For Tami -

    My first flight after the Covid-19 shutdown was done en-femme, and I had no problems with my gender presentation. (I consulted with Kim beforehand, and she made me more comfortable doing this.) If anything, I had more problems with my flights, as I needed customer service several times - First, at Newark airport, when my flight was scuttled for mechanical issues. Second, in Los Angeles, to make sure that my bag (being routed through San Francisco) would make it to Honolulu as expected. (It did, and was there before me. I chronicled this in my blog.) And lastly, in Honolulu, as the problems caused in Newark affected my booking and wouldn't allow me to check in without assistance. (The system recorded duplicate bookings for me, and didn't know what to accept.)

    I have friends in Texas who were amazed that I flew to Hawaii and back in female presentation. And soon, I'll be meeting up with them in Chicago - on a trip where I'll be en-femme from the point I leave my house to the time I return. If it weren't for Kim, I'd never have done this.

    Thanks again, Kim!

  15. If Kim does read this site, I wanted to say thanks for the years of excitement living through her

  16. I shared this post to Kimberly's Facebook page ( The following is her comment.

    Welp, I tried to comment on it over and over but it wont let me. It wont let me sign in through google and wont let me comment anonymously. Please feel free to let her know that I am thrilled that she is living her life to the fullest. One of the things that made me the maddest was how many years I had wasted - how many years I had let slide by without living life. I'm glad that she is not making that mistake. So fly - be free my friends!
    Kim Huddle