South Florida Gay News published an article on Tuesday by Victoria Michaels Lavelle, a transsexual woman, whose requested change of sex on her drivers license was refused by Florida officials, despite the fact that she clearly fulfilled the agency's requirements for that change.
"There are written details in the new guidelines, which Florida DMV provided me with a copy of the official license manual for gender change about what information my physician must provide and be sworn to under the penalty and perjury laws of the United States of America," said Lavelle. These details are set out in the photos accompanying this post, below, provided by Ms. Lavelle.
Lavelle is the current reigning Miss Florida F.I. 2011 for the LGBT community. She is a pre-op transsexual (male to female) and I has been living everyday life as a full time female since 1999. She serves as an advocate for the LGBT community and currently works as a premiere hostess at the world famous Boardwalk Bar in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Lavelle went to the Florida DMV and learned through a supervisor, Mr. Aaron Lee, at the Pompano DMV Branch, that Florida is now following guidelines that, unlike the previous requirement of sex reassignment surgery, require a statement from a physician
"I was elated that after all these years of my living as a female I can finally have it officially read "female" on my license," said Lavelle.
Ms. Lavelle returned to the Florida DMV to have her gender marker changed and after standing in line for 3 hours, was told that she could not do so, and that only a supervisor could change the gender marker. The supervisor was not at work that day. This information was completely wrong, because any line clerk at DMV is empowered to do so. But she was nonetheless turned away.
She made two more attempts to return to the Florida DMV in the coming weeks and each time she was denied, by managers Jacqui and Anthony.
It wasn't only that she was refused. Each of the four times that she took the trip to DMV, and stood in line, and finally got up to the front window at the Pompano, Florida DMV, the managers were quite rude to her and spoke loudly about her gender change in front of the other patrons. That was embarrassing, because Ms. Lavelle is, in her own words, "completely passable as a female." The managers were outing her personal business to everyone standing in the DMV. The DMV guidelines say that such transactions should be handled "discreetly."
"I thought the entire purpose of the new gender change law was to prevent transgender people from being put in uncomfortable situations like these. In addition to that the Florida License Manual guidelines also states that anyone working for DMV must provide transgender individuals changing their gender marker with extreme discretion and treat us with respect," said Lavelle.
After contacting several equal rights organizations, Ms. Lavelle was finally able to have the gender marker on her Florida License changed to female.
Note: The photos of the new Florida licensing requirements are below. Click to enlarge. The missing word in document 2 is "the"