Two transgender women recently were told by the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that they could not be photographed as they appear regularly.

According to the New York-based Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), which is representing the women, DMV officials at separate offices told the women they could not be photographed wearing wigs, makeup and jewelry.

Trudy Kitzmiller, 52, said DMV staff referred to her as “it” when she attempted to update her driver's license on May 10.

“This is who I am – a transgender woman – and I have overcome many obstacles to become my true self,” Kitzmiller said in a statement. “DMV staff not only denied me the right to appear in my license photo as myself, they used dehumanizing language to address me. The experience was humiliating and wrong. I am asking the DMV to allow me to retake my license photo as I regularly appear and to treat transgender people fairly moving forward. I want to move on with my life and participate fully in society with an ID that accurately reflects who I am.”

Forty-five-year-old Kristen Skinner of Ranson also alleges she was called “it” by DMV staff in Charles Town on January 7.

“It has taken me a long time to become the woman that I am today, and it has not been easy. The DMV treated me horribly,” Skinner said. “I was simply trying to update my driver's license to reflect who I truly am as a transgender woman. Instead I was told to alter how I normally appear so that I would look like a man and was called 'it' in the process. The DMV should right this wrong by allowing me to take my photo as I regularly appear. No one deserves to be subjected to the discrimination I faced at the DMV.”

TLDEF is calling on the West Virginia DMV to allow the women to retake their license photos while appearing as they normally do.

“Other women are permitted to wear makeup and items that facilitate female gender expression in their driver's license photos as a matter of course, yet Trudy and Kristen were targeted for suppression because they are transgender women,” TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman said in a letter to the DMV.