Driver license incident sparks cry for transgender education
Published: August 1, 2011 11:51AM
Updated: March 30, 2011 03:26PM

The Utah Pride Center is calling for greater public education and awareness about issues faced by the transgender community. The center issued a statement in response to an alleged incident of anti-transgender discrimination at the Utah Driver License Division.

The division denies any mistreatment occurred, but a bystander, Amber Anderton, complained after she saw that a transgender woman was required to remove her makeup before she could be photographed for a new state identification card. Anderton also says the employees appeared to be making fun of the transgender woman.

“Too often the voices of transgender people and those who support transgender people are silenced and ignored. We encourage community members and allies who observe or face acts of injustice to use the reporting mechanisms that exist and demand accountability,” Valerie Larabee, executive director of the Utah Pride Center, said in a statement. “Every person deserves dignity and respect.”

Blogger Eric Ethington has published a statement from Regina Audette, who says she is the transgender woman Anderton encountered. Audette confirms that she had to remove her make-up, two employees laughed at her and one loudly announced “that wasn’t a female that is a man.”

The Utah Pride Center is encouraging the broader community to take advantage of its resources and trainings. More information is available at utahpridecenter.org.