October 27, 2010 CONTACT:
Legal Director, Transgender Law Center
Transgender Law Center Investigating Offensive Letter from DMV Employee
San Francisco – The Transgender Law Center is outraged that a California Department of Motor Vehicles employee sent a letter to the home of a transgender woman calling her “an abomination” and telling her that she is going to hell.
Last week Amber Yust, a transgender woman living in San Francisco, went to the San Francisco Department of Motor Vehicles to change her name on her driver’s license. With her court ordered name change and all of the DMV paperwork in hand, Amber was able to get a new driver’s license in her new name. But her experience with the DMV did not end there.
Unbelievably, on Monday, Amber received a letter from the person who had processed her name change at the DMV. In the letter, which had been mailed to her at home, the DMV employee quoted from the Bible and stated that Amber had made a “very evil decision.” The strongly-worded letter told Amber that she was “an abomination” and said that homosexuals should be put to death.
“I was shocked to receive this letter from the person who processed my paperwork at the DMV,” said Amber. “I would never have expected that a DMV employee could use information from my name change application to reach out and personally attack me. This has been a traumatic experience for me and I want to ensure that nothing like this happens to anyone else.”
The Transgender Law Center is investigating the incident.
“This was an egregious act committed by a government employee,” said Masen Davis, Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center. “Transgender people deserve to be treated with respect at agencies like the DMV. What happened to Amber is despicable, and we intend to do everything we can to hold the responsible parties accountable and to prevent this from happening again.”
The Transgender Law Center (TLC) is a civil rights organization advocating for transgender communities. TLC uses direct legal services, education, community organizing and advocacy to transform California into a state that recognizes and supports the needs of transgender people and their families. www.transgenderlawcenter.org