Trans woman speaks out about ‘public humiliation’ of being forced to remove make-up with hand sanitiser for ID photo

A trans woman in Utah who was forced to take her make-up off with hand sanitiser and paper towels for a drivers license photo has spoken out about the “public humiliation”.

Jaydee Dolinar said the incident happened at the Department for Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in Salt Lake City.

She had gone to replace her drivers license on November 13 and filled in the paperwork with a DMV official who also took her photo.

However, after a 10-minute wait, a “hostile supervisor” came to her and said she had to remove her make-up because of the gender listed on her drivers license.

Dolinar, a University of Utah PhD student and graduate teaching assistant, said the supervisor told her she had to remove her make-up “because my appearance didn’t match my gender, it wouldn’t be able to be picked up by face recognition software”.

Apparently, the supervisor told Dolinar it was state policy, but could not give an exact explanation of this policy, stating they could not “have confusion in the system”.

When Dolinar asked the supervisor what she was supposed to do, the supervisor allegedly told her she could use the DMV’s hand sanitiser to remove her make-up.

Dolinar said she then publicly tried to take off her make-up with hand sanitiser and paper towels, which failed to remove the make-up and caused her face to burn.

Crying and with lipstick smeared around her face, Dolinar then had her picture retaken. This image is now on the temporary license she is using.

“It hurts, a lot,” she said of the image and incident.

“I don’t want anybody to have to experience this,” Dolinar said. “It’s terrible. It’s like, just have some humanity.”

Chris Caras, director of the Utah Department of Public Safety Driver License Division, said that the department learned about Dolinar’s complaint the day after the incident.

He said that there was a miscommunication over a policy that prohibits “extreme make-up”, which Caras clarified as being make-up that would materially change a person’s appearance enough to make it hard to ID them from previous photos or help facilitate fraud.

“We would definitely never support disrespecting any individual in our offices,” Caras said.

He added that the department will have additional training with Transgender Education Advocates of Utah, following 2015 training, as, “We obviously would not want anything like this to happen in one of our offices ever again.”
Dolinar said that the incident was “completely discriminatory” and the ACLU is now questioning if Utah’s “extreme make-up policy” needs to be altered.

“We have a transgender person who wears make-up on a daily basis, and the policy was used as a sword against her to humiliate her in public,” ACLU board chair and lawyer Danielle Hawkes said. “It’s just awful.”


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