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Gender Non-Conforming Teen Boy Forced To Remove Makeup Before Taking Driver's License Photo!

| Filed under: Gay Gay GayLegal MattersSad SadTeensTransgenderLGBT

chase teen gender non conform dmv license issue

This is just so awful! We feel terrible for this poor teen!

Chase Culpepper is a 16-year-old boy who wears androgynous or women's clothing and makeup. Because that's who he is and that's how he feels comfortable.

But when he went to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to get his driver's license photo taken, he was met with ignorance and disapproval.

He passed his driver's test like normal but when it was time to get his photo taken, he was told he couldn't be photographed with makeup on.

The DMV employees said he didn't look like a boy should and one even called his makeup a disguise!

Chase issued a press release after the whole incident, saying:

"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."

That's so awful! We can't believe this young teen had to go through such bigotry so early in their life.

Thankfully, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) sent a letter to the DMV on Chase's behalf.

Part of it read:

"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."

TLDEF has asked that the DMV allow Chase to retake his picture but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

According to a DMV rep:

"If it says male [on the license], that's what they're gonna look for. They expect the photo to be of a man. If they stop somebody and they're dressed as a woman, they can straighten that out."

This seems archaic and backwards and we can't believe they're being so staunch in their position on the matter.

Let him wear makeup! This country was built on freedom and we hold self-expression to be one of our most sacred ideals!

Keep on doing you, Chase, we support you!

[Image via Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund.]

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9 comments to “Gender Non-Conforming Teen Boy Forced To Remove Makeup Before Taking Driver's License Photo!”

  1. 1

    What's odd is that they don't require women to wear make-up for the photos. If a man wants to wear make-up that's his choice it doesn't make distinguishing him as male or female complicated or difficult.

  2. 2

    my co-worker's sister-in-law makes $68 every hour on the laptop . She has been without a job for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $16610 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Look At This,,,,,,,,, WWW.WORKTIN.ℂOM

  3. fid says – reply to this


    Everyone wants to be part of the new niche group. Like that kid who wanted to only wear spandex onesies otherwise it infringed on his "human rights" good lord.

    I have a lot of friends in the LGBT community, but soon you'll need to have LBGTQASTWHW#REAWHAWHRE seriously seems like indecision some of the time with these stupid stories. There's actual injustice in the world, this is not one of them.

  4. Seriously?! says – reply to this


    First of all, ignorance is not bigotry. HUGE difference.
    Second, it sounds like he was merely told he needed to look like a 'boy' in his driver's license. What so not being able to express yourself is some sort of tragedy? Awww, he couldn't 'express himself' on his driver's license photo. Poor baby. For f's sake, 99% of us take completely heinous sh*t driver's license photos and have to live with it.
    Sure it would have been nice if there was some open mindedness but acting as if this kid was denied some kind of basic right is just ridiculous. You are NOT entitled freedom of expression in your again, GOVERNMENT ISSUED ID!

  5. thegezabel says – reply to this


    So let me get this straight. If he chooses to dress like a female, he still will not look like his boy pic that they are forcing him to take. There will be problems for him when it comes to showing his State ID. It's bullshit.

  6. 6

    He's not even pretty. Remove the makeup and put on a burka ugly boy.

  7. 7

    There's no reason normal people should have to put up with sick freaks like him.

  8. Kerry Louise says – reply to this


    This is disgusting

  9. Jasmine says – reply to this


    What I don't get is that if he wears makeup all the time then his licence photo would only be reflective of what someone can expect to see when they look at his picture. He would look like the photo, which is the goal. By having him intentionally change to look different than he does regularly it will only be more challenging for someone to easily identify him with the photo.