Trans woman says she was singled out, detained at Dallas Love Field

Tegan Marie Smith

An Atlanta transgender woman is alleging discrimination after Dallas police detained her Monday at Love Field, causing her to miss her flight.

Tegan Marie Smith said she was headed home after visiting family in Dallas. After her 3 p.m. flight was canceled, she and a few passengers waiting for the 6 p.m. flight to Atlanta went to the bar inside the terminal. She said she had two beers and a shot during the three hours, but some passengers were drinking more than she was.

Shortly after she boarded the plane, Smith said a flight attendant walked her off the plane to a group of Dallas police officers, who handcuffed her and detained her for public drunkenness for two hours.

“I couldn’t understand,” she said. “I’d had a little bit to drink over three hours.”

Smith said she wasn’t given a breathalyzer or any other test for drunkenness, but said officers handcuffed her after she confirmed that she’d been drinking.

She thinks she was chosen from the people who were drinking because she’s trans.

“I did believe I was being singled out,” she said.

While being detained, she said officers searched her belongings and discovered her legal name change documents, which she said she carries with her just in case someone questions her identity.

—  Anna Waugh