Every day, trans people face discrimination - even in the smallest of ways. Not everyone understands what it means to identify as a gender that is different from the sex that one was born with, and often that leads to complications, both with our laws and policies and in our everyday societal interactions. Nothing proves that more than this video of a trans woman being denied a renewed driver's license for not presenting as the gender listed on her original license. Luckily this story may have a happier ending than it did beginning.
21-year-old Alexandra Glover went to the Office of Motor Vehicles (already a hellish experience) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to receive a new photo ID, only to be told that it wasn't possible due to her feminine look. According to Alexandra, this has never happened to her before - though she is listed as male on her driver's license and does not wish to change that fact at present time, she has always been allowed to wear makeup and have long hair in her photos. This time, however, the OMV worker refused to take Alexandra's picture, which she did in compliance with an existing policy which said that one must appear as the gender listed on their license in the photo.
Alexandra's friend Harlee Poitra captured the exchange between Alexandra and the OMV worker on her phone, and it has gone viral on Facebook. It even caught the attention of OMV commissioner Stephen Campbell, who apologized to Alexandra and insisted that his team was revising the policy so these issues could be avoided in the future.
My friend Alex Glover was getting another license at the Baton Rouge DMV and was denied her license for being...Posted by Harlee Poitra on Saturday, September 5, 2015
This may seem like a simple annoyance, but it's just one of many that trans people have to face on a regular basis. We live in a world that is becoming more and more accepting of different gender identities, and it's important that we create policies that don't force people who are not cisgender to identify with something they are not comfortable with. Changing the OMV policy may seem like a small step, but it's still an important one.