Transgender Woman Makes a Shirtless Statement

by Bridgette Miller

A trip to the DMV can be an exercise in patience for anyone—but for one transgender Tennessee woman, it became a fight for equality.  Andrea Jones of Morristown, TN, went in to change her sex from male to female on her driver’s license; when her request was denied, she walked out to the parking lot and took her shirt off. She was arrested for indecent exposure, and argued that if the state recognized her as male, she had the right to be topless in public.  

Jones underwent partial sex change and received paperwork from a doctor stating that she no longer had testicles; this was enough for the Social Security office to recognize her as female, but the Tennessee Department of Safety told Jones they would need further proof in order to change her driver’s license.  When she was arrested for her parking lot protest, the police report referred to her as male: “Mr. Jones continued to yell that he had the right to show his breasts in public and wanted to be recognized as a female.”

Jones says, “It’s not right for the state to ask me to be both male and female. A choice needs to be made. They cannot hold me to both standards.” 

 There are so many frustrating elements to this story—from inconsistencies between federal and local governments to the totally contradictory nature of cissexism—but major props to Jones for calling out that bullshit with a brilliant, badass move. 

Read the full story and watch a video from local news station WATE 6 here.

Photo via The Advocate.

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