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Thread: Travelling as a transwoman .

  1. #1
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Travelling as a transwoman .

    I will say from the outset there are several variables in this question , what I'm looking for are some thoughts or better still someone whose experienced the situation I'm about to discuss .

    Setting aside the coronavirus situation I'm considering taking a cruise next year . There are parts of the UK I haven't visited and as I like cruising it would be a good way of combining the two . The ports of call are dotted around Scotland , Ireland , Isles of Scilly but more importantly France and Holland. This is not a specific cruise for the TG community . I wouldn't need a passport for the UK destinations but possibly will for France and Holland , I haven't made an official name change for my passport and so it's still with my male name and picture . I have chosen this particular one because the home port isn't to far to drive to , there's no flying involved so no weight restriction on luggage .

    Initially I was in two minds whether to tell the cruise company or not but then I've answered my own question because I will have to book in my male name if I travel on my current passport . Depite this I will be travelling as a transwoman so I will check in as Teresa .

    The question I was going to ask is if I'd made the name changes would it still be wiser to inform the cruise line I'm trans or as I'd prefer to do it consider myself a travelling female ?
    The real me ,no going back.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Jeri Ann's Avatar
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    I would not think that a cruise line needs to know, or even care, who (as in gender) they are making money from. I can not think of a single reason for telling them.

    If you still have a male identity that you use for legal identification and financial purposes you will need to maintain that identity when checking in, going through customs, etc. It could be awkward. It will depend on the individual you are dealing with face to face.

    I once travelled out of the country with current photo on drivers license and passport but the name and gender had not been changed on the passport yet. In Mexico the customs guy was an asshole and made an issue about my drivers license having my legal name and the passport having my dead name. The photos were current and looked the same. I did not have an issue at any other time on the trip.

    There is no advice other than be legal and hope you deal with good people. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    these days, in europe, trans is open and accepted - there's no worries, no problems in travel or hotels, and i'd suggest also for cruise staff - after all, tips etc depend upon customer satisfaction-experience.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJFyz73MRcg
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  4. #4
    Member Dorit's Avatar
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    I had the experience once of making an international airline reservation and purchasing the ticket on my old name many months in advance of the trip. Some months later I did my legal name change and had a new passport issued. I called the airline to make sure it was OK with the first name change only and they said NO WAY, your ticket is non-refundable and does not allow for a name change! I had to tell them I was transgender and all in the hope for mercy, they became very supporting and understanding, they cancelled my reservation, I received a refund, and they let me re-book on the same flights with my new name. I actually came out ahead as the price of my ticket had dropped!

    Teresa, the lesson here is to make it easy and book the reservation with the name on you ID no matter what it is!

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Dorit,
    I've kept it simple by using the femme version of my name , I'm more likely to use Terri rather than Teresa also my credit card only has my initials being TJ which hasn't changed . I know it's not an official change but my GP's surgery has registered me as Terri as has my dental sugery and blood donation centre . I would therefore be recognised using that name semi-officially .

    Pamela ,
    I'm sure the countries listed wouldn't be a problem , am I correct in assuming they use face recognition technology anyway ? An easy way the problem if there is one is to join an organised trip , usually they only check numbers and don't scutinise the inidvidual .

    Jeri,
    That was exactly my sentiment , they probably wouldn't care if they knew , so why do I really need to tell them ? I'm not ashamed of my gender situation but I hope I reach a point where I don't need to think about it or keep explaining it to people . Besides I doubt very much these days that I won't be the only on board with gender issues .
    The real me ,no going back.

  6. #6
    happy to be her Sarah Charles's Avatar
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    I haven't done much traveling where I've had to deal with customs or airlines but I have checked in to hotels using current ID that fails to match how I present myself these days. In the very few instances where there was a question or a strange look I fell back to my stock phrase "I'm working on a new look." They may not appreciate the joke or the look, but my credit card makes their eyes light up.
    Sarah
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  7. #7
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    I flew"pretty" from NC to Texas and had no problems! My ID (thanks covid 19!)is still male! People were so polite!
    Hugs Lana Mae
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  8. #8
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    I think if you have a biometric passport, you may not have to worry.

  9. #9
    Member manemami's Avatar
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    I think we should fight internationally to wipe out gender identity and only bio-metric recognition to be used. we must be allowed freely to express ourselves as we feel ourselves not as per others perspective. this will allow us to roam around and police will not obstruct us.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Jean,
    My passport is less than two years old so I assume it is biometric , it appears to have something embedded in the pages , the picture is actually so badly printed you would have to look twice even if I was in male mode .

    Manemami,
    Some tour companies are less TG friendly despite official acceptance , oddly more problems have arisen on LGBT cruises as I found when doing some online searching . Personally I don't wish to use that umbrella to travel under .
    The real me ,no going back.

  11. #11
    Member Robin-in-TX's Avatar
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    Teresa and everyone,

    I do have a word of caution. Check the prevailing attitudes on the LGTB community of the ports on any cruise. Some places in Europe can be openly hostile and even physical. I know that is so in the Balkans. I spent two years in Montenegro, 12-14 and a Pride Parade was physically attacked while I was there and a gay friend was beaten one night on his way home.

    Just please be aware of the attitudes and your surroundings.

    Robin
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    A song that I can sing in my own company

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  12. #12
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    Teresa, if your passport is biometric it will have a symbol on the cover at the bottom.

    You can see it here below the word "passport"

    https://image.shutterstock.com/z/sto...1006880161.jpg

    Last time I went to Italy (as male) last November, the photo verification was biometric, by looking into a camera. through an automated double-turnstile.

    If you have an iPhone that has face recognition, set it up in male mode then see if it still recognizes you en femme. I bet it does

  13. #13
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Robin,
    I've travelled most parts of Europe so I know how easy it is , basically they all want tourist money . As the trip only incudes a few brief hours in Holland and France I can't see those two countries being a problem . As I mentioned sticking with a group makes it easier still , they only count numbers without checking individuals ( we're just bums on seats , " bum " having a different meaning in the UK ) often passports aren't checked in those circumstances .

    Jean,
    Just checked mine and you're correct it does have the symbol on the cover .
    The real me ,no going back.

  14. #14
    Member Sara Olivia's Avatar
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    Hi Teresa, I encountered a similar situation to what you are describing in 2018. We had booked a Mediterranean cruise and all associated flights prior to my legal name change taking effect. I still had my old male passport at the time. The cruise line required a copy of the passengers passport at the time of the bookings and so I was booked under my male name. Similarly all flights were booked well in advance of the actual departure date but again in my male name because that reflected my passport. Then my legal name change came through but I did not have a new passport and time was running out before the cruise. By that time I had decided that I would travel on my old (male) passport because everything had been booked under that name and there appeared to be insufficient time to get a new updated passport anyways. I hated the idea of travelling as a woman with a passport that reflected my previous name and gender but I felt I had no other option as time was running out. This is when I learned that the moment my legal name change happened, my current passport was null and void. It would not have been legal for me to travel on it. It was then a huge scramble for me to get a new passport to match my now legal name and gender. Then I had to have my travel agent contact the cruise line to change the ticket which also came with a lot of obstacles and hurdles - and I seem to recall a change fee. The same problems happened with changing the name on my already purchased flights. Several hundred dollars in change fees had to be coughed up. In the case of a flight that we had booked from Naples to Rome, Italy, I was required to buy a new ticket under my new name because they refused to permit the change of the name. So Teresa, be aware that if you make a legal name change your current passport will be null and void and also there are definitely challenges in getting cruiselines and airlines to update passenger information. I learned the lesson the hard way and had many sleepless nights wondering if my family would be partaking in this Mediterranean cruise without me.
    Last edited by Sara Olivia; 06-09-2020 at 05:52 PM.

  15. #15
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Sara,
    Many thanks for that , I hoped someone would relate to the situation . I assume you would have been fine without the official name change even though you were travelling on a male passport but presenting as Sara ?

    The only problem I'm likely to encounter is stepping foot on Dutch or French soil but I would still have the option of staying on board as the rest of the trip is in the UK .

    I hoped you enjoyed your trip despite the problems , I love Italy , the highlight for me was being on the deck and watching Venice come into view .

    Only yesterday a TG friend nagged me to make my name change official , I intend to travel more after the lockdown is over , perhaps she's right but I will heed your words
    The real me ,no going back.

  16. #16
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    I have taken two cruises since my passport changes. Going into Holland or France is not a problem, generally you require your passport when re-boarding the ship. How you present is irrelevant, you can dress as a camel if you want, all they want to see is an official document stating who you are, that is your passport. In the UK only your birth certificate is accepted as your "legal" gender.

    During my initial transition, I changed my name by Deed poll and my Title, although I was still "male" in the eyes of the law. No-one questioned my name etc as my deed poll was my official proof of who I was.
    Listen carefully to what is said, quite often you can hear what is not being said

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
    The question I was going to ask is if I'd made the name changes would it still be wiser to inform the cruise line I'm trans or as I'd prefer to do it consider myself a travelling female ?
    If you change your name on all of your identifying documents then that is who you are.

    Who you used to be is irrelevant.

    I don't understand why so many people feel the need to explain they are trans to every person they come in contact with.

    It's nobody's business!

  18. #18
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Roberta ,
    I agree but not the point of my thread , it's considering the formal implications of travelling as a tanswoman while still having official male documents .

    Nigella ,
    I've taken several cruises , from past experience I would think Egypt and Jordan might have given me more problems but then I was the dutiful husband travelling with my wife .
    Last edited by Teresa; 06-10-2020 at 02:17 PM.
    The real me ,no going back.

  19. #19
    Aspiring Member Eemz's Avatar
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    I have had no problems travelling internationally with my legal male name passport and old man-photo. Immigration only care that you are allowed to be in this country. The person who owns this password is allowed, you are that person, have a nice day.

    They don’t care if you gained or lost 200lbs, grew a beard, shaved it off, or are wearing a dress. This is your passport and you are allowed to be in this country, that’s it.

    They might need a few seconds to examine the photo and decide that yes you are that person. You do look quite different after all. I used to have a stock comment ready “that’s an old photo obviously, ha ha”. I had one agent think about it for a few seconds and then reply: well if I may say so ma’am - you look a lot better now.

  20. #20
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Eemz,
    I'm pretty certain I should be OK but Sara's, experience is food for thought . I agree a person can change so much in 10 years aside from gender issues . My wife was pulled over and questioned because she didn't have biometric passport , it is an unpleasant experience , she was taken to an interview room without any explanation , I was left waiting after checking through OK not knowing what to do .
    The real me ,no going back.

  21. #21
    Member Sara Olivia's Avatar
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    Hi Teresa,
    I did not travel, presenting as Sara, with my old passport, ever, so cannot speak to that but I agree with the other women here that there would be no reason why that couldn't be done. I suspect that you would have problems in neither France nor Holland so, in my opinion, its unlikely that you could not go ashore. Enjoy your cruise it sounds amazing. I did really enjoy our cruise as well and agree that sailing into Venice was an amazing sight to behold. Venice was the termination point of our cruise so we spent an entire week there just exploring the city and its many sights. A wonderful city. Other highlights for me included Rome and especially the Coliseum. We visited the Vatican and even saw the pope but from a distance. I loved seeing Pompeii and the Acropolis in Athens. Another real favorite for me was the city of Rhodes with its medieval and Turkish flare. But the very best part was the fact that this was the first time that I traveled on vacation as a woman and that in three weeks there was not one instance where I was called out for being trans. I was always respectfully treated as a woman in both Italy and Greece and had no issues at airports with security. It was a huge boost to my confidence.

    I am in agreement with your friend. Unless you ever plan to go back living as a man, and have the financial resources to do so, I would strongly recommend legally changing your name and gender on all official documents. It does away with the awkward situations and questions where your identification does not align with your physical appearance soliciting invasive questions or worse. I have done a fair bit of international traveling since getting a new passport and there has never been an issue at a border or an airport. I am not certain, from the experiences of others that I have heard or read about, that it would have been such smooth sailing for me had I not updated my identity documents. I look forward, hopefully, to hear about your adventures cruising the UK, France and Holland.

  22. #22
    Septuagenerian member Carole's Avatar
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    Hi Teresa,

    Not quite a cruise nor Rotterdam, but I found this reply to a similar question on another forum:
    I wouldn't worry to much going to France. If stopped just answer their questions like confirming your name which matches you passport (male name)

    Just be calm and friendly.
    Carole

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  23. #23
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    Last year a group of 10 of us from our support group went on a 4 day cruise with Princess from Melbourne to Sydney. We were all dressed at checkin. Some of us had documents that reflected our gender but most did not.
    Prior to the cruise we advised our travel agent of the situation and the names we planned to use on the cruise.

    On boarding we were delighted by our reception - no problems at checkin, our correct gender names on the cabin door, a special welcome to us prior to dinner, and a lounge area set aside for each evening pre dinner.

    Throughout the voyage we were always treated with courtesy by passengers and crew alike.

    All-in-all a wonderful experience particularly for those who have little or no experience of dressing in public.
    PS I was 79 at the time of the cruise - it is never too late to have a transgender cruise!

    Apologies, Theresa, for varying a bit from your main theme of this thread, but l feel our experience may help some of your readers

  24. #24
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Stephanie,
    Many thanks for that , I can see the best action is be up front with the booking agents . Of course this could all be academic if I change my passport and other documents .

    One question , did you ask for a separate lounge area or were you given it ? Obviously if I'm travelling alone I'm not expecting any privileges and the last thing I want is to be segregated .

    Carole,
    You know me well enough to think I would be anything else .
    The real me ,no going back.

  25. #25
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    Teresa,
    We advised our agent that we were travelling as a group and our preferred names. Every evening before dinner the lounge was set aside for us, and, on the first night, some senior officers welcomed us.

    Totally off subject but may be of interest:
    In 1961 my wife, when she was single, sailed from Sydney to England via Ceylon and and Suez - a 6 week trip and the ship was not aircondioned! They angled the portholes to try to get some air flow.

    I sailed out to Australia in 1968 via Capetown as Suez was closed.

    In 1970 we sailed back to UK vla Panama. As it was our honeymoon I booked the second best cabin on the ship. Real luxury - we had a hand basin and 2 metal spring beds in the cabin. We went along the corridor to the communal showers and toilets.
    Very little entertainment on board but most of us were young so made our own entertainment and had great fun.
    Those were the days!
    Last edited by Stephanie58; 07-31-2020 at 07:28 PM.

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