“As part of a legal settlement announced Wednesday, South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles will allow a transgender teenager to wear makeup and women’s clothing for her driver’s license photo, rather than requiring her to dress like a boy.
Chase Culpepper, 17, contended in a federal lawsuit that DMV officials had violated her constitutional rights last year by refusing to allow her to have her photo taken as she usually appears.
Under the terms of the settlement, the DMV will revise its policy on photo credentials and train its employees in treating “transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals,” according to court records.
“I am thrilled with the outcome of my lawsuit,” Chase said in a statement. “My clothing and makeup reflect who I am. From Day 1, all I wanted was to get a driver’s license that looks like me. Now I will be able to do that. It was hurtful to be singled out for being transgender and made to feel that somehow I wasn’t good enough.”
Ethan Rice, a staff attorney with the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represented Chase, said: “People should be able to get a driver’s license without being subjected to sex discrimination.… The policy changes and training that the DMV will implement in response to Chase’s lawsuit will help all transgender and gender-nonconforming South Carolina residents in the future.”
t/h Remi Eris
Original article: The department of motor vehicles is among the least favorite places for visitation by transgender people — the chances for embarrassment, being outed, or a public scolding, is sky-high. While some states have addressed this, other have not. Over the summer we’ve seen multiple sites where DMV employees told trans people to take off their make-up before they can have their driver’s license photo taken.
Last March, Chase Culpepper, of Columbia, SC, who presents as female but checked the male gender marker on the application, was told that she needs to ‘look more like a boy’ and the DMV refused to take his picture until that was done.
Culpepper followed the incident up with a federal sex-discrimination lawsuit. The suit also asks the DMV fix their rules which they believe are ‘vague and discriminatory.’
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund’s Michael Silverman on WSOC-TV: It’s a violation of his personal rights and his right to free speech under the constitution. It’s not the role of the DMV or any government agency or employee to decide how men and women ought to look.”
I’m wishing Chase luck. It’s about time we rein in the DMV’s ability to tell us how we should or shouldn’t look.
Watch LEXIE CANNES right now: http://www.amazon.com/Lexie-Cannes-CourtneyODonnell/dp/B00KEYH3LQ Or get the DVD: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963781332
LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/
Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/
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