How Much of Our News Is Contrived?

I was cruising CNN.com this morning and read a story about a kid in South Carolina taking his driver’s license photo. The boy was dressed as a girl and wearing makeup and a DMV employee asked him to take the makeup off before taking his license photo. Since the boy normally dresses as a girl and wears makeup he felt he should be able to express that gender on his license.

Regardless of your opinion on gender issues, the DMV is a government institution that in this case was issuing an identification card. They just want to make sure your photo is you. The employee probably felt that this was most likely a prank, since it kind of sounds like one, and felt they were just following procedure. The article includes the DMV policy, which states:

“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.”

So presumably if he can prove that this is his normal appearance, the I.D. will be issued the way he would prefer. If that’s the case, there’s no story here. And the way the story reads, that’s exactly what it sounds like will happen. They do include a few shitty quotes from the DMV employee, but we’re relying on a kid who is upset for those quotes. I wouldn’t be surprised if the kid or the author blew those out of proportion. I’m not saying there aren’t gender expression issues, I’m just not convinced there’s any issue here.

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One comment

  1. The issue is that a state agency is enforcing a double standard, — girls are allowed to wear makeup, boys are not. Then again it’s South Carolina, he’s lucky he wasn’t arrested.

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