Two trans women in West Virginia say they faced discrimination at two different DMVs in the state, and their stories echo others that have recently appeared in the news.
Trudy Kitzmiller, a 52-year-old trans woman, went to the DMV recently to update her license after obtaining all the proper paperwork reflecting her correct gender. She says that DMV workers harassed her, called her “it,” and refused to take a new photograph of her unless she took off her wig, makeup and jewelry.
In January, Kristen Skinner had a similar experience at another West Virginia DMV. She brought along all the correct documents but was also called “it” and told she couldn’t be photographed as she appears daily because “men can’t wear makeup in photos.”
“This is who I am — a transgender woman — and I have overcome many obstacles to become my true self,” Kitzmiller said in a statement released by the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund. “DMV staff not only denied me the right to appear in my license photo as myself, they used dehumanizing language to address me. The experience was humiliating and wrong. I am asking the DMV to allow me to retake my license photo as I regularly appear and to treat transgender people fairly moving forward. I want to move on with my life and participate fully in society with an ID that accurately reflects who I am.” …
“It has taken me a long time to become the woman that I am today, and it has not been easy,” Skinner said in the same TLDEF statement. ”The DMV treated me horribly. I was simply trying to update my driver’s license to reflect who I truly am as a transgender woman. Instead I was told to alter how I normally appear so that I would look like a man and was called ‘it’ in the process. The DMV should right this wrong by allowing me to take my photo as I regularly appear. No one deserves to be subjected to the discrimination I faced at the DMV.”
People can be so awful. Nobody should have to endure this.