A teenager in South Carolina was refused his driver's license because he "did not look the way a boy should."
Chase Culpepper, 16, ultimately removed his makeup in order to get the photograph taken. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is supporting his request for a reshoot, but the DMV in Anderson, S.C. remains an unrepentant gender policeman.
Spokesperson Beth Parks told reporters that employees were correct to refuse a license to Culpepper.
"He’s male, he needs to look like a male,” said Parks, pointing to a policy against altering one's appearance to "misrepresent his or her identity."
"Chase’s freedom to express his gender should not be restricted by DMV staff," said TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman in a press release. "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," said Silverman.
"This is who I am and my clothing and makeup reflect that," Culpepper told UPI. "The Department of Motor Vehicles should not have forced me to remove my makeup simply because my appearance does not meet their expectations of what a boy should look like. I just want the freedom to be who I am without the DMV telling me that I'm somehow not good enough."
I have to wonder, how on Earth does a DMV have the time to be faffing around with this sort of thing? Is it some kind of luxury DMV? This is supposed to be the one branch of government properly trained in not giving a fuck. Here in PA they more or less grab you out of the crowd, slam your face into the camera, then throw you out the door.