Gender-nonconforming Teen Forced to Remove Makeup for Driver’s License Photo

Gender-nonconforming Teen Forced to Remove Makeup 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from WYFF
Chase Culpepper, a 16-year old teenager from South Carolina, decided to sue the Department of Motor Vehicles after he found himself embaresed by the local authority. The transgender says he was humiliated by DMV’s employees after they asked him to remove his makeup so that they could take his license photo.
Culpepper’s case got viral once he opened up to local media reporters and told WYFF his whole story. According to the source, the 16-year old transgender passed his road test with flying colors and was very happy to pick up his new license at the local DMV office, when all the enthusiasm turned into humiliation. He’s experience happened in March and now he sais he is ready to take the problem into court if needed.

Chase is gender-nonconforming, which means he is not conforming to expected gender-related sociological or psychological patterns and he identifies with the opposite gender. In other words, he never leaves his home without wearing his makeup. Wait, that sounds all celebrity-ish. Don’t all the famous people do the same thing?

Strange thing is that, back in March when the incident took place in Anderson, a town nearly four hours northwest of Charleston, Culpepper actually agreed to remove the cosmetics so he could take the photo and be issued a license. Problem is, he changed his mind, because now he considers he should be able to take a photo that represents his real appearance.

“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 appereance does not meet their expectations of what a boy should look like,” Chase told WYFF. As a reply, Anderson DMV spokesman Beth Perks says the employees were simply following policy.

Policy or not, Chase has Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund backing him up in his action so the 16-year old said he won’t rest until he gets his picture take again: “I also want to make sure that other gender non-conforming kids and adults do not have to go through this in the future.”

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