A controversial story in the news right now is that of 16-year-old Chase Culpepper, a gender non-conforming teen from Anderson, South Carolina. When Culpepper went to have his driver's license photo taken at the DMV on March 3rd, officials demanded that he take off the makeup he was wearing. Their reasoning was that his license said he was a male, but he did not look the way a boy should. According to Queerty, SC DMV representative Beth parks said the following:
At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposely altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity.
Culpepper, who wears makeup and dresses everyday, regrets taking the photo at all, as he doesn't believe he should have to change who he is or what he looks like for anyone. He said:
This is who I am and my clothing and makeup reflect that. The DMV 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.
Culpepper and his mother are now fighting alongside the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund to allow him to take a new ID photo and to bring justice to the situation. The teen says he hopes no one else has to deal with something like this again.
Watch the full story here: