I first wrote about Chase Culpepper last September — see post HERE; Chase is a South Carolina teenager, who was born biologically male, identifies as male, but regularly wears makeup and androgynous clothing. When Chase went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to take a driving test, and passed the test, he was told to remove his makeup or else they would not take his photo and would not issue a driver’s license.
After several attempts to resolve the situation, Chase removed the makeup and a license photo was taken.
Well, Chase — who has since come out as transgender and now identifies as female, hence the change in pronouns going forward — sued the DMV and this week was allowed to have her photo taken wearing makeup; in addition, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will change its policy on how male and female license applicants may dress or wear makeup in their official photos, and DMV employees will get training on how to handle transgender customers and people who don’t identify with either gender.
“My clothing and makeup reflect who I am. From day one, all I wanted was to get a driver’s license that looks like me. Now I will be able to do that.” — Chase Culpepper
DMV officials declined to comment, saying the agency’s policy is not to discuss any litigation, even after a settlement is reached, but it was a great day in South Carolina, a great step for transgender rights.
When all you have in life is who you are, to have someone tell you that you must hide your true self is unacceptable.