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A Utah driver's license office has apologized after a supervisor forced a transgender woman to scrub her makeup off for a photograph.
Jaydee Dolinar, a doctoral student at the University of Utah, told TV station KSTU of Salt Lake Citythat the Fairpark Driver License Office would not allow her to wear makeup for the picture.
"Because my appearance didn't match my gender, it wouldn't be able to be picked up by face recognition software," Dolinar said she was told.
Dolinar said she initially took the photo and filled out paperwork with no problem. Then 10 minutes later, the supervisor came out and rejected the picture. Then Dolinar was told she had to remove all her makeup in the middle of the office.
"She said, 'Well, we have hand sanitizer you can use,'" Jaydee said. "Like, all right ... so I used the hand sanitizer and paper towels and I scrubbed it all off."
The sanitizer stung her eyes and streaked her makeup, Dolinar recalled. "That made me feel like I shouldn't be a part of this community," she said.
Chris Caras, director of the Utah Department of Public Safety Driver License Division, now says there was a miscommunication about state policy. State rules prohibit individuals from wearing "extreme makeup" that would make the person unrecognizable from their daily appearance, but that's to stop people fraudulently concealing their identity from authorities.
It does not cover Dolinar's situation.
"We would definitely never support disrespecting any individual in our offices," Caras told KTSU.
In fact, state employees are required to watch a sensitivity video created in 2015 with the help of Transgender Education Advocates of Utah on proper protocols dealing with trans citizens, Caras said. The incident with Dolinar will prompt additional training at that office.
"We obviously would not want anything like this to happen in one of our offices ever again," he said.
But the incident has already drawn the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union, which said the state should revisit its "extreme makeup" policy entirely.
"We have a transgender person who wears makeup on a daily basis, and the policy was used as a sword against her to humiliate her in public," said Danielle Hawkes, board chair for the ACLU of Utah. "It's just awful."