DMV Made Gender Non-Conforming Teen Remove Makeup Because We All Know The DMV Sucks
Chase Culpepper was so excited to get his driver’s license but that all changed once the DMV staff in South Carolina told him he wasn’t allowed to wear makeup in his photo, because according to Beth Parks ( of the DMV) staff at the office had been following state policy. The policy, which had been updated in 2009 to say: ‘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’ means that Chase wasn’t allowed to wear makeup in his photograph.
I mean, I can see if a kid had on full costume makeup like he was auditioning for a role in the local production of Cats or had on some other heavy duty disguise makeup, which would make it hard for law enforcement to determine his identity if he was ever pulled over, but this is just a kid wearing normal day-wear makeup. I’m a 44-year-old woman and I can promise you that without my face made up I look vastly different than when I do have makeup on. If the DMV told me to take off my face to have my photo taken I would probably cut someone. Chase wears makeup and woman’s clothing everyday, and considers himself gender non-conforming. His mom told WYFF4.com:
“They said he was wearing a disguise,” said Teresa Culpepper. “It was very hurtful. He was absolutely devastated. That’s who he is 24/7,” said Culpepper.
Besides his mom supporting him, Chase also has the The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund watching his back too:
“Chase’s freedom to express his gender should not be restricted by DMV staff,” said TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman in the letter to the DMV. “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.”
This all just seems so stupidly insensitive and like the DMV just needs to update their policies so they can be tolerant of people like Chase who may wear makeup. They can also work on shortening wait times and clean up their offices, because this is just another reason for those of us who support trans people and dudes who like to wear makeup another reason to dislike them.