Teen told to take off his makeup for driver's license picture
By Kathy Damrill
A South Carolina teen is protesting after he says he was told to take off his makeup before he was allowed to get his license photo taken at the DMV.Chase Culpepper is a non-gender conformist. He says he was told he needed to clean up or leave before getting his license photo snapped.Chase says, "She told us that I could not wear a disguise because according to them, makeup was a disguise.. and that I did not look like a boy should."So he took off his makeup.According to the South Carolina DMV photo policy, updated in 2009: "At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposefully altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity."The teen says, "This is how I am everyday.. and if a police officer wanted to recognize how I am.. then, he would want to see who I am in my picture as well."DMV spokesperson Beth Parks says it is important for a license picture to portray who the person is legally. She says if someone is transgender and changes their name and gender through the courts, the DMV will honor that change.Culpepper says, "I'm still developing into the person that I am because I'm still trying to figure all that stuff out."Now the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is involved and the group contacted the DMV explaining that Chase's rights were violated.We'll keep you posted on any new developments.
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