Since when does the DMV get to say what you can look like on your license? Seems this particular branch of the Department of Motor vehicles refused to take a high school kid's license pic unless he took off the makeup he was wearing first.
The hell, right?
Chase Culpepper, 16, went to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles for his license picture – only they told him they wouldn't take the photo because he was wearing makeup and didn't look like a boy.
Chase told the tale in a press release: "This is who I am and my clothing and makeup reflect that. 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."
And, he's got the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) in his corner as well. The organization sent a letter to the DMV asking that they allow him to wear makeup, noting that it violates freedom of speech: "In the end, Chase was told that he could not wear makeup simply because boys typically do not wear makeup. It was not because his makeup acted as any type of disguise of his identity. Sex stereotypes like this do not justify a government agency's restriction of constitutionally protected expression."
The DMV's response was surprising, as a rep noted they have a policy that states "at no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that it the photo would misrepresent his or her identity."
The spokeswoman added, "If it's Thomas Jones on the license and yet it looks like a female, that is very confusing for them. They want to know what the identity is."
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