Male Teen Sues DMV for Being Told to Remove Makeup for Driver’s License Photo

CulpepperCOLUMBIA, S.C. — A teenager in the heart of the Bible Belt has filed a lawsuit against his local Department of Motor Vehicles office for forcing him to remove his makeup before having his photo for his driver’s license taken.

Chase Culpepper, 16, and his mother Teresa are suing the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) after he states he was told this past June by the Anderson DMV that he could not wear makeup for his photograph because he would not look like a male. The department forbids residents from “purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity.”

According to reports, Culpepper frequently wears makeup and women’s clothing, and considers himself to be “gender non-conforming.”

“It was wrong to be taken aside and told how I look doesn’t fit with traditional gender roles and how I look is not even good enough to take a driver’s license picture,” he told reporters this week. “And unfortunately, a lot of people like me have to go through this.”

Culpepper’s mother said that she also considered the SCDMV’s requirement to be unreasonable.

“[I was] angry, upset [and] heartbroken that the government was telling my son, ‘You must conform to our ideals of what a man should look like,'” she stated.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund sent a letter to the SCDMV demanding that Culpepper be allowed to re-take his photograph with his make-up on, but as no response was received, the organization has now filed a federal legal complaint about the matter.

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“It’s a violation of his personal rights and his right to free speech under the Constitution. It is not the role of the DMV or any government agency or employee to decide how men and women should look,” Executive Director Michael Silverman stated during a news conference on Tuesday. “Chase should be able to get a driver’s license without being subjected to sex discrimination.”

But some disagree and opine that Culpepper should simply follow the rules.

“The SCDMV is correct,” one commenter stated. “He is a man and needs to be represented/imaged as a man on his license! This is the law and that is it!”

“‘Gender nonconformist?’ I don’t recall ever seeing that as a choice on any official government forms,” another wrote. “It’s either male or female. That’s all there is, so pick one. You either have boy parts, which makes you a male, or you don’t, which makes you a female. It’s really quite simple if you actually think about it. Transvestite is a wardrobe choice, not a gender.”

“If this boy and his mother don’t like the rules, they can choose to not get a drivers license and walk everywhere. Last time I checked, driving was a privilege, not a right—not yet anyway,” they said.

Photo: Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund


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  • Doug Gilland

    I’m having a hard time with this! I don’t understand why you wouldn’t want the way the person looks all the time on their license!ie glasses! I all but sleep in them so my license doesn’t represent what I look like! Seems to me we are throwing the baby out with the bath water! Help me understand please!

  • http://www.Kiernan.blog.com/?p=42 Goldbeard

    He is a walking public liar. He is a man. Representing himself as a woman is lying to the public and the DMV is correct in not condoning his lying escapade. If he wants to represent himself as a woman with his long hair and makeup, then require him to submit to a full frontal photo ID, Let the full package show forth. When he has his ID, he can still continue to walk about misrepresenting himself as a woman. Liars are assured their place in hell.

    To defeat such liars, regretfully ladies, it may become necessary to do a ball crotch search. I recommend that when balls are actually encountered, that one should tightly twist and screw the offender into agony. Do not let him go for at least 10 minutes and you will have effectively turned him into a properly castrated eunuch. Then though he still has his balls, he can no longer inseminate. Now he is still not even half way to being a woman. But Sodomy is his thing anyway. So the scriptures say he should be put to death.

  • Joe Garcia

    I guess this queen and this Erica clown have one thing in common: their mothers never gave them attention so they have to be different for whatever failed reason. People like these always feel like they are owed something. Guess what? YOU ARE OWED NOTHING!!! So grow up and get a real life like the rest of us!

  • Joe R.

    These comments are disgusting. How is it that in the modern world in a developed country that there are people who still think that blind condemnation towards people who are different is not only acceptable but valued? Especially when they call themselves christian while calmly ignoring the fact that everything they are doing is directly in opposition to what their own god has dictated.

    You might think that being different will get you thrown in hell, but even your own god would choose to give this young man entry to heaven before it would grant it to you hateful self-loathing heathens. You should be ashamed of yourselves for making life more difficult for someone who is just trying to get by while being true to themselves.