From the people who brought you the Exxon-Valdez oil spill and Sarah Palin comes a law requiring any MTF transperson to bring proof of surgery in order to get their gender changed on their driver’s license. It doesn’t matter if your U.S. passport and work documents all identify you as a female, without the receipt from your boob job and penectomy you ain’t getting a license.
But luckily for K.L.—a transperson who has lived as a woman for two years—the ACLU has just filed a brief against the Alaskan Department of Motor Vehicles asking the state to remove the surgery requirement.
K.L. says, “Having a driver’s license that doesn’t match my appearance and identity would place me at risk of discrimination and physical harm.”
Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Alaska adds, “It is unfair and unnecessary to require that transgender people undergo prohibitively expensive and drastic surgery in order to have accurate identity documents. No one should have to disclose sensitive personal information or be forced to make major medical decisions in order to get a driver’s license.”
This situation kinda reminds us of the French bureaucrats who refused to changes a transwoman’s official gender because her tits were too small. They wanted her to get more surgery as well.
A full MTF sex change in the U.S. can cost about $75,000 including the costs for counseling, psychiatric assessment, hormone prescriptions, speech therapy, facial and body hair removal and any necessary augmentation, mammoplasty and facial surgery. For FTM people that price can rise to $100,000 including a more expensive genital surgery, a bilateral mastectomy, a hysterectomy and an oophorectomy (that is, ovary removal).
And you thought the $20 renewal license renewal fee was too high.
Luckily, the Alaska supreme court has already found that the Alaska Constitution’s privacy clause protects individuals’ right to self-expression and limits the government’s ability to make a citizen’s personal health care decisions.
Here’s hoping she’s on the open, ice-covered roads soon. Just watch out for stray moose and wolf hunters in helicopters.