Transgender woman meets with driver license director | 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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Transgender woman meets with driver license director

The Utah Driver License Division met Wednesday with a transgender woman who allegedly faced discrimination when she visited the agency’s Fairpark Office in Salt Lake City.

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"We did express our apology if she felt like she had been mistreated in our office," said Nannette Rolfe, director of the division. "We want to make sure our employes are treating everyone with respect and dignity."

Rolfe said her office has not found any evidence of wrongdoing in a review of surveillance videos of the incident. But she instructed the transgender woman and a witness, Amber Anderton, on how to file formal complaints that would trigger a more in-depth investigation.

Christopher Wharton, a board member of the Utah Pride Center and an attorney, attended the meeting to assist the transgender woman, who identifies herself as Regina Audette, although that is not her legal name. He said the video, which lacked audio and was grainy, did not reveal very much about Audette’s interactions with Driver License staff.

"I wouldn’t want to speculate on whether I thought there was or was not a legitimate discrimination claim," he said.

Rolfe said Audette understood why she was asked to remove her make-up to be photographed for her ID, which expresses a male identity, even though Audette disliked it. Rolfe said Audette, however, thought it was disrespectful when, after Anderton complained on Audette’s behalf, a Driver License supervisor loudly stated that Audette was a man, not a woman.

Rolfe said the division, in April, will be getting additional training on transgender issues from Transgender Education Advocates of Utah (TEA of Utah).



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