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Current Events / LGBT PopWrapped | Current Events

DMV Forces A Teen Gender Nonconformist To Remove Makeup Before Taking Photo

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


06/22/2014 10:33 pm
PopWrapped | Current Events
DMV Forces A Teen Gender Nonconformist To Remove Makeup Before Taking Photo
Media Courtesy of

Abbie Sedgeman

Staff Writer


The executive director of Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, Michael Silverman, has written a letter to the Anderson DMV requesting for a new photograph to be taken, after it forced a teenager to remove make up for his driver’s license. Chase Culpepper is gender non-conforming, and in his eyes was giving a perfect representation of himself for his photograph, as he regularly wears women’s clothing and make up. However, once he arrived at the DMV, after having passed his test, was told he does not ‘look like a boy should look’. The basis for this decision was the 2009 policy: ‘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.’ Beth Parks, a spokesperson for the DMV, explained how this applied to Culpepper, saying: “His identity is as a male, and his driver’s license says that he is a male, so his identity is a male. I understand that he does wear makeup all the time, and for women, regular everyday make up is acceptable, but it is unusual to see it on a young man.” Silverman’s letter expressed Culpepper’s right to dress in a particular way: “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.” The agency is currently waiting on a response from the DMV. Keep Up With PopWrapped On The Web!



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