Friday, October 03, 2014

When The ID Doesn’t Match The Face

It can create a whole mess of problems when the face does not match you identification. From not being allowed into a bar to not being able to vote. You might remember the Denver bar last year that refused admission to a trans-woman.
The Wrangler, a well-known Denver bar with strong ties to the LGBT community, finds itself in the cross hairs of two conflicting laws after refusing to admit a man who was wearing a dress, a wig and makeup.
Meanwhile, the bar and other industry advocates argue that it is a huge risk to serve people whose appearance doesn't match their government-issued ID, because the penalty for serving alcohol to someone underage could be crippling.
The CBS station in San Francisco reported that,
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — For Donna DiAngelo, winning tickets to a Yanni concert at the Oracle Arena presented a unique challenge: How to pick up her winning tickets at will-call.

DiAngelo dresses, lives and identifies as a woman.   Yet, her driver’s license – the form of ID required to get the tickets – still has a male name.

“It didn’t occur to me they would require a photo ID,” DiAngelo explained.    “I didn’t want to show up at the arena and make a big scene. ”

And when Donna tried to contact the Arena to explain the problem beforehand, she was unable to find anyone to help.
We are lucky that here in Connecticut it is rather easy to change our name and gender on our driver license, but in many states it is impossible to change the gender on your license without surgery.

The above cases are minor compared to not being able to vote. The Williams Institute issued a paper on how some trans-women are denied the right to vote. For most of us it is easy to get a copy of your birth certificate but for many others it is near impossible to get a copy of their birth certificate. In some states you must go in person to get an official copy of your birth certificate and for low income people they cannot afford to travel or take time off from work to get a copy of their birth certificate. In addition, in some states your birth certificate cannot be changed.
STUDY: Voter ID Laws in 10 States May Disenfranchise Transgender Citizens
This November, thousands of trans people in ten Southern and Midwestern U.S. states will face strict photo ID laws that may bar them from voting.
The Advocate
By Mitch Kellaway
September 10, 2014

According to a new study, strict voter ID laws in 10 states may create substantial barriers for transgender citizens during this November's general elections.

The 10 "strict photo ID states" that researchers at the University of California Los Angeles's Williams Institute considered were Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Within these states, approximately 24,000 trans citizens whose identification documents do not reflect their correct gender could become disenfranchised. This is an estimated 28 percent of the states' voting-eligible trans population.
One time after I transitioned I was going to vote in a presidential election when I was asked for my ID at the door and I gave him my driver license which had my legal name and gender. He looked at it and looked at me and looked at it and said to me “Is this you?” I said yes. We stared at each other for what seemed like a minute but it probably was much less, finally he passed me through. My picture on my license looks pretty much like the one on my blog can you imagine the problems I would have voting if my license still had my male name and photo because you could not change them until you had surgery?.

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