Transgender Teen Told To Take Off His Makeup For Drivers License Photo
Here's another reason why going to the DMV sucks.
A South Carolina teenager claims that the employees at the Anderson Department of Motor Vehicle made him take off his make-up for his driver's license picture. He now wants to retake the picture.
Chase Culpepper, 16, wears make up and girl's clothing everyday. He identifies as gender non-conforming.
Culpepper detailed his March 3 visit to the DMV office with reporters. After he had passed the driving test, he was told he could not have his picture taken while wearing make-up because he did not look the way a boy should.
Culpepper's mother, who accompanied him to the appointment, spoke to WYFF New 4's Angela Rodriguez. She said, "They said he was wearing a disguise. It was very hurtful. He was absolutely devastated. That's who he is 24/7."
Beth Parks with the DMV said the employees were simply following policy. She said the policy was updated in August of 2009 and that "At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity."
Chase eventually removed his make-up in order to get his picture taken.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is calling upon the SCDMV to allow Culpepper to retake his picture - make-up included.
TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman said in a letter to the DMV, "Chase's freedom to express his gender should not be restricted by DMV staff. He is entitled to be who he is and to express that without interference from government actors. Forcing Chase to remove his makeup prior to taking his driver's license photo restricts his free speech rights in violation of state and federal constitutional protections."