A transgender woman says she was recently humiliated when going through what should have been a standard process — that of having her photo taken for a new driver’s license.
“My emotions were going crazy,” Jaydee Dolinar tells Yahoo Lifestyle of the upsetting experience, which occurred at the Fairpark Driver License Office in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dolinar, a PhD student and teaching assistant in the geography department of the University of Utah, went in to get her driver’s license replaced on Friday, as her wallet had been stolen earlier that week. And while things went smoothly at first, with an employee taking her photo, Dolinar was then met by a supervisor, who told her they could not issue the license because, she recounts, “my gender marker didn’t match my appearance,” and doing so could cause problems with “facial recognition software.”
She says she is in the process of getting her name and gender marker officially changed through the Utah court system — an “extensive and expensive process,” she says — and was fully ready for there to be some discussion of the disparity, particularly because her old license photo, from seven years ago, was taken when she had just started to transition and had a more traditionally male appearance.
But Dolinar was not ready to be told she’d have to leave without a license.
“I asked her, ‘What can I do?’” she explains, getting emotional as she recounts what happened next, which was the supervisor telling her, “Well, we have some hand sanitizer and paper towels…’” which Dolinar accepted and used to rub off her makeup — a painful process, both physically and emotionally.
“In hindsight, I should not have done it, but I needed my license,” she says. “I just wanted to get it over with, and thought, if those are the rules, I’m going to follow them. I absolutely didn’t want to have to go back.”
here. In working alongside TEA of Utah, our Division strives to develop a trusting relationship with the LGBTQ community.”’ data-reactid=”36″>The License Division’s statement pointed out that the agency has been making pointed efforts to treat transgender customers with respect through its “longstanding partnership with Transgender Education Advocates (TEA) of Utah,” which the department had collaborated with “when developing our policy and conducting employee training, which can be found online here. In working alongside TEA of Utah, our Division strives to develop a trusting relationship with the LGBTQ community.”
Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) — although not as often now as in past years.’ data-reactid=”45″>The issue of transgender individuals facing discrimination from state employees when attempting to get licenses issued is one that pops up now and then across the country, says Noah Lewis, interim senior staff attorney with the national Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF) — although not as often now as in past years.
“It’s rare that we hear about these cases,” Lewis tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But what tends to happen is there is an individual clerk who is not properly trained — or the agency itself has not confronted the issue before and doesn’t know the law, so they make a mistake.”
the threat of lawsuit by TLDEF, on behalf of two transgender women, for the state to change its similarly discriminatory Division of Motor Vehicles policy.’ data-reactid=”48″>In another case that same year, in West Virginia, it took only the threat of lawsuit by TLDEF, on behalf of two transgender women, for the state to change its similarly discriminatory Division of Motor Vehicles policy.
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