Forced to Remove Makeup? Gender Nonconforming Teen Told to Take Off Mascara to Look More Like a Boy for DMV Photo

chaseselfie

A gender non-conforming South Carolina teen said he was told to take off his makeup to look more like a boy before he was allowed to have his driver’s license photo taken.

Chase Culpepper, who prefers male pronouns, was excited to get his first driver’s license this past March. Yet his excitement turned to frustration when an Anderson DMV worker told him he could not have his photo taken unless he changed how he looked.

“The government should not be in the business of telling men and women how we are supposed to look as men and women,” Michael Silverman, executive director of Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) said in defense of the teen’s right to dress as he chooses, regardless of whether or not a worker finds it gender-appropriate.

Eventually Chase relented and scrubbed the makeup off his face to pose for his DMV shot but was upset because he felt he was not able to be photographed as he truly looks and feels about himself.

“We want Chase to be able to go back to the DMV in Anderson, his hometown, and have his photo taken the way he looks every day with makeup on,” Silverman explained, adding that it is important that the teen’s gender expression not be thwarted by the government or the whims of a DMV employee.

He also said that the teen does not need the government to make him feel bad about who he is or how he chooses to dress himself.

“Chase is happy with who he is. Chase’s mother loves him just the way he is,” Silverman stressed. “The government should not tell him there is something wrong with him just because he doesn’t meet the DMV’s expectations about what a boy should look like.”

The DMV has not yet responded to the TLDEF’s concerns.

Photo Credit: TLDEF (Chase selfie at DMV)

  • whatthe46

    i don’t have a problem with the DMV insisting he take the makeup off, especially since he is a boy and the makeup makes him look like a true female that being said., (he’s prettier than i lot of females in this world) people don’t yell at me, let me finish. a muslim woman in florida went to the DMV for her license, when it was time to take her photo, she refused to remove her hijab. well, problem there, if ever stopped by the police, how would they be able to tell its actually her in the photo or someone else using her I.D.? a drivers license is a priviledge not a right. same thing with this kid. i hope the best for him. the confusion would still be however, if the license reflects the physical appearance of a male (yet, feminine looking) and he was stopped by the police, even with makeup on, they would be able to tell its the same person, just with makeup on. but with full makeup and male listed on the license at the time of the photo, is misconceiving.

    • mik

      I’m all for ” to each their own “. That being said…I agree with you.

    • Dyaspora

      I agree. If it is a male – born a male, it should look male so it is not accused of theft of a license(and also because it IS male, NOT female.). It is confusing to police to deal with these people and be sure the person and the picture on the license is one and the same.

      • Ava

        This kid is NOT an it. He is a child who is most comfortable living his life as a female. The government and it’s employees have no right to put him into a perceived little perfect package that they are most comfortable with. This child did not make a “choice” to be a girl. This is written in his DNA and the exterior wrapping doesn’t match . He is living his life the way that best makes him happy. No one has the right to take that away.

        • whatthe46

          i don’t think anyone is trying to take away what makes him happy. i hope not. anyway, i think if a guy had goth makeup on for his I.D. it wouldn’t be a problem because there’s a big difference there. you can still identify him as a male where his I.D. is concerned. as pretty as this kid is, it would not be a true representation of him biologically (as it would state on the I.D.), especially with the makeup on. its says male on the I.D. but he looks like a female, biologically. i think that’s the issue here.

          • judyt00

            the ss card does reflect your identity. part of the number is designated male or female

          • whatthe46

            yeah, i know that’s why i did the parenthesis. i realized that after i typed it. it was meant to suggest the fact that its a legal document…

        • Shane Cheatham

          “Chase Culpepper, who prefers male pronouns” means he prefers to be called a HE even though he wears makeup and looks like a she. However, if he wears makeup every day, and this is how he looks most of the time, I don’t see why he would have to remove it.

          • Ava

            My mistake. I meant if he is most comfortable and enjoys living life looking like a female. I was so annoyed/angered by the use of the word “it” in reference to Chase that I left part of that out. My apologies. Along with the fact that I also missed the part that he prefers to use male pronouns.

          • judyt00

            means nothing , the prefers t use male pronouns, many girls do these days, it gives them more respect in writing

          • Kelly McIntyre

            You’re delusional. Let me guess, militant feminist who believes everything that happens in the world translates to oppression of women by the patriarchy?

          • judyt00

            nope , just that bigoted assholes need to be called out on their hatred whether it against someone’s sexuality or age or religion

          • Kelly McIntyre

            So are you calling yourself out for being a bigoted asshole and spewing your hatred against religion?

          • judyt00

            I hate religion, not its believers, unless they abuse the right to have that religion,, and that guy does it. as do some others

        • Joe Spennato

          You are a damn bloody fool. He certainly chooses to wear makeup, and basically act like a fairy. There is no gene for “wearing makeup.”

          • judyt00

            no, but there is a law against being a bigot. what the hell? why would you call the kid a Fairy. you need to keep your opinions to yourself about how people should behave

          • Gene Smith

            You’re as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.There is no law against being a bigot, racist, hippocrit or other derogatory being. If there was, you’d be breaking laws going and coming.

          • judyt00

            there is against hate speech and you calling the kid derrogatory names is hate speech. and no, like abuse, hate speech and bigotry are not set by the views of the abuser, but rather the victim/

          • Michael McElligott

            Thats a bit rich from you as you tell us all how terrible all men are , Stop sitting on the fence as you will end up with splinters in your ass

          • judyt00

            I never said ALL men

          • Michael McElligott

            You got the point here as you say ,”HE CHOSES , so good for him as it is his choice.not yours as long as he-she is happy , whats the beef ?

      • Michael McElligott

        After this exposure, i really think the person in question will have cele status, and need not worry about mistaken idenity

    • Marly Duran

      Surely in 2014 police officers are not unfamiliar with the fact that some men wear make-up. It’s not like this kid is the first, or only one.

  • Michael McElligott

    well if he is stopped then she will have to explain lol so it is a difficult situation perhaps best if the police just never stop him- i mean, her

  • Marly Duran

    There is no law forbidding people from wearing make-up in their driver’s license photo. He has as much right as I do to wear make-up if he wants to. They had no right to tell him to remove it, he was within his rights. If a cop pulls him over and can’t figure it out while speaking to him (& odds are he would be wearing make-up then too) maybe that person shouldn’t be a police officer. Seriously, you are underestimating the intelligence of cops. And overestimating the DMV if you think they’re able to change the rules whenever they feel like it.

    • whatthe46

      i think he’s adorable as well. and i always question the intelligence of the cops.

  • Kelly McIntyre

    Question: If that is how he looks on a normal day, wouldn’t it make sense to photograph him that way? So the photo could be used for ID if necessary? Do they make women scrub off their makeup??