Driver license incident sparks cry for transgender education | LGBT FYI | The Salt Lake Tribune
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LGBT FYI
Rosemary Winters
LGBT FYI is a blog about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Rosemary Winters covers education and LGBT issues for The Salt Lake Tribune. Since joining The Tribune in 2003, she has written about small business, global warming, city governments, sexuality and Utah's involvement in California's Proposition 8. During the 2009 legislative session, she outed former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. -- as a supporter of civil unions.

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Driver license incident sparks cry for transgender education

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.

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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.



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