Chase Culpepper, a transgender teen from South Carolina, was told by the DMV to “go home and remove her makeup” so she would “look male” when she went to have her picture taken in March 2014. On Wednesday, Culpepper’s lawyers reached a settlement with the DMV, and she will now be allowed to wear the makeup she wears every day on her driver’s license photo. The “Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund” had initially filed a federal lawsuit on the basis of sex discrimination and for allegedly violating the teenager’s constitutional free speech rights. The settlement reached with the DMV is the first of its kind in the country and another victory for the transgender community, which has been working hard to fight discrimination and government restrictions on expressing gender identity. “I am thrilled with the outcome of my lawsuit,” Culpepper said on Wednesday. “My clothing and makeup reflect who I am. From day one, all I wanted was to get a driver’s license that looks like me. Now I will be able to do that. It was hurtful to be singled out for being transgender and made to feel that somehow I wasn’t good enough. With this settlement, the DMV can no longer force transgender people to look like someone they’re not.”
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