By on November 21, 2016

Cameron Aubernon License, Still The Same IDs, Image: © 2016 Cameron Aubernon/The Truth About Cars

Over a year has passed since my quest to regain my license began. A lot has happened since then.

For starters, I left Seattle for Louisville, with a brief stop in Columbus, Ohio. From there, I moved into a resident art gallery called OPEN Gallery as its writer-in-residence. I also wound up as its de facto publicist, then became its administrative director late in October, a post I will hold until March 2017 at the earliest.

Another post I’ve acquired? The title of editor-in-chief of an online lifestyle publication called Tab’s View. When I first learned of the publication, I thought all I would ever do was write for them like I do for Dispatches Europe (an online publication aimed at English-speaking expats living in Europe), Insider Louisville (an online news publication focused on business and culture in Louisville) and, of course, TTAC. In fact, I was brought aboard the new publication to contribute a twice-monthly automotive column under the following guidelines:

  1. I would not have to drive the cars. Instead, I would review the interior and technology of the latest and greatest.
  2. I would also interview those who, like myself, loved cars; TTAC’s own Bark M. was the first such interview, by the by.

After the previous EIC was released by the publisher, I took up the mantle as interim EIC, then formally accepted the title after launching the publication.

Through it all, though, there was one thing which still hadn’t changed:

I don’t have my license.

Why?

Let’s talk about government overreach.

The phrase has been thrown about over this year, usually around those like myself who are transgender, who simply want nothing more than to pee in peace. The phrase turns up whenever the United States government butts heads with the government of a given (usually Southern) state, such as North Carolina.

But god forbid a state government can’t commit government overreach, right? Behold the mistake of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, made in 1990, and enforced by every governor ever since: Kentucky Revised Statute 213.121, Section 5:

Upon receipt of a sworn statement by a licensed physician indicating that the gender of an individual born in the Commonwealth has been changed by surgical procedure and a certified copy of an order of a court of competent jurisdiction changing that individual’s name, the certificate of birth of the individual shall be amended as prescribed by regulation to reflect the change.

That’s right: unlike Olympia (the capital of Washington), the U.S. State Department and Social Security — all of whom only needed a note simply stating I had completed transition in order to change the sex/gender marker on my records — Frankfort (the capital of Kentucky) wants me to bleed on the operating table before they’ll even amend my birth certificate, let alone my ID.

Which leads to why I don’t have my license still. My permit and ID from Washington both have “F” next to the sex bit, as do my passport (my first ever, acquired in June 2016) and Social Security records. Thought it would be easy to exchange as is, no?

No.

Aside from (somehow) not knowing my last name is legally Aubernon these days — it’s on my current birth certificate, for starters — the DMV office in downtown Louisville would not accept what Olympia already did unless I presented proof I had “the surgery.”

Guess what? I’m not having the surgery. Not for me. Not for you. Not for anyone. And certainly not for any national, state or local government. Because fuck that bullshit. It’s my body, and I will do what I see fit with it.

Yet, because I was born in the Commonwealth of Kentucky — the home of the Kentucky Derby, bluegrass and Corvettes — the state government in Frankfort feels the need to overreach into the operating room to ensure I have been surgically altered to their liking before they’ll make the exchange, let alone fix my birth certificate.

Thus, I still have my Washington ID and permit, the latter expired in September. My only options are:

  1. Sue Frankfort into submission; lawsuits are the only language my current governor, Matt Bevin, appears to understand.
  2. Leave.

Guess which option is now the more likely of the two?

Cameron Aubernon Passport, Image: © 2016 Cameron Aubernon/The Truth About Cars

Remember when I said I would be the administrative director of OPEN Gallery until March 2017 at the earliest?

Do you also recall when I said I write for an online expat publication called Dispatches Europe?

I was asked by my friend and editor, Terry, if I wanted to move to the Netherlands — where DE and parent company Dispatches Media is located — should the publication do well. I decided to accept the offer to move, which should occur once my he finalizes a few deals.

The latest those deals could be finalized? March 2017.

Once in the Netherlands — Eindhoven, to be exact — all I would need to finally have my license is my passport.

And then, I may be of more use to the Best & Brightest. Assuming I don’t become DE’s next EIC, first.

[Images: © 2016 Cameron Aubernon/The Truth About Cars]

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143 Comments on “Highway Star Rising, Act 2: Roadblock in the Bluegrass...”


  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    You will also have to take a driving test, which will consist of:

    1. Watch The Italian Job.
    2. Duplicate the driving stunts from memory, without flaw, on your first attempt.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    A bittersweet congratulations!

    I’m sorry about your difficulties over here, but this may actually wind up a blessing in the long run. Your timing might be impeccable, considering the potential for regression and intolerance this nation may face come January.

    I do wish you the absolute best of luck on your new endeavors. I miss your writings here.

    • 0 avatar
      2manycars

      What some call “regression and intolerance” many of us refer to as “common sense” – as some on the other side are discovering the hard way:

      https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/state-leader-quits-aclu-after-children-were-visibly-frightened-by-transgend

      For all too long the inmates have been in charge of the asylum. Come January we have an opportunity to get back on track, with the adults finally in charge.

      To keep this on point with discussion about cars… We reached the point of diminishing returns on emission reduction something like 20 years ago. Further reductions are a fraction of a percent of a fraction of a percent. Here’s hoping that the new administration sees fit to freeze EPA regulations, requiring Congressional approval for any new restrictions. Likewise, CAFE needs to be backdated or, preferably, eliminated entirely. (Unelected bureaucrats have been given far too much power over our lives.)

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “common sense” to you lot means “what I believe.”

        proven by your use of a hard right-wing site as “evidence.”

        • 0 avatar
          Rnaboz

          To come to 2manycars side, would you prefer this reference: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2016/10/17527/

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            how about something not from the right wing “think tank” echo chamber?

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Could we just let people who want to identify masculine or feminine do so without having to legislate or judge them? These people exist. These people feel strongly for the way they do. If you want to pretend they don’t to your children well, you can do that, but IMHO you’re not doing a very good job of preparing them for the real world where everything is not, and will never again be, black and white. People are different, and young people should be ready for that *reality*, full stop.

            The very fact that someone’s choice to behave as one gender or another can prevent the issuing of a driver’s license, a license available to *any* gender, should give everyone pause.

            Just stop obsessing over what other people choose to do already! There seriously aren’t more important things to worry about than how best to fuck over someone from driving legally just because you don’t like their life choices?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “For all too long the inmates have been in charge of the asylum. Come January we have an opportunity to get back on track, with the adults finally in charge.”

        Even before the November election, the Republican Party was ‘in charge of the asylum”, with:
        – 5 of 8 Supreme Court selections (and would not allow the ninth, as per the constitution)
        – 31 Governors were Republican, vs. 18 Democrat
        – The US House and Senate were both Republican dominated
        – 68 of 98 State legislatures were Republican

        Good luck draining the swamp.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Time shall tell, the only way this will truly happen is if there are major indictments up and down the chain of command.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Pizzagate might finally put an end to George Soros’ corruptive influence on our national culture. When people see what they’re really being led by, they might start asking questions about the ridiculous ‘truths’ they’ve been swallowing.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Pizzagate might finally put an end to George Soros’ corruptive influence on our national culture. When people see what they’re really being led by, they might start asking questions about the ridiculous ‘truths’ they’ve been swallowing.”

            it’s not really wise to scoff at other people’s “ridiculous truths” when you swallow every piece of garbage you like from a bunch of neckbeards on reddit.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Have you convinced yourself that the Podestas’ habits are okay, or are you still trying to pretend that you can’t make sense out of the evidence?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            reddit trash is not “evidence.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            But Huma’s laptop and Weiner’s electronic communications are, the only question is with the authorities actually pursue what they already know is happening. Tick tock.

        • 0 avatar
          Steve Lynch

          I do not know which is more disgusting: the State of Kentucky’s treatment of our friend and others, or those using it to push their own political agenda on this board.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        Yes. Heaven forbid that a parent might have to their children that not everyone may look like them, and not to live in fear just because of that. OMG! Questions a parent may have to answer! Or do these somehow not apply because it was in a washroom. What would this parent do in other areas? “Kids, don’t look at the undesirables?” :P

        Regarding the story:

        I’m sure if pressed, someone involved in writing that law will affirm that the reason it was written that way was to prevent people changing gender fraudulently by simply saying they were transgendered, and the surgical limitation is in place to prevent that. However, I’m not entirely sure what benefit that would gain, exactly, for the fraudster.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Are there a great many Kentuckians who are pretending to be transgendered, just so they can experience firsthand all the violence, job discrimination and bigotry?

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          yeah, the “what about my CHILDREN?!?!?!” jerks aren’t really concerned about what this means to their kids. What they *don’t* want is to have to have any uncomfortable discussions about anything. too many people have kids as “fashion accessories” or because “it’s what you do” then get bent out of shape when they discover being a parent is *hard.*

          funny how the morons who complain about how the world is too “bubble wrapped” and “safe” are the same people who relentlessly try to shield their kids from people they don’t like.

          Hypocrites, the entire lot. Maybe they should read the rest of the Bible, and not just a couple of verses from Leviticus and Deuteronomy. I heard that this “Jesus Christ” guy had a few things to say, you might try reading them.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            ?? Why are so many so afraid of Homosexuals ?? .

            My best friend when I was young was Gay, a thing I didn’t twig to until I was 11 or 12 .

            We’re still close friends almost 60 years later .

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            Although being gay and being trans are not the same thing. Gay is about sexual attraction, trans is about gender identity.

      • 0 avatar
        gaycorvette

        Children are also visibly frightened by dogs, clowns, and their parents. I don’t think the emotipnal reactions of small children should determine the laws of a country run by adults. Thinking adults, that is. Which may exclude Kentucky.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Common sense” – tends to mean how we tend to assess and interpret our surroundings and how we tend to view what is appropriate ‘common’ behavior.

        “Common sense” therefore is extremely biased based by our belief system’s’. Those in turn are affected by our upbringing including religious and social constructs.

        I used to be a proponent of “common sense” but as I’ve honed my professional skills(and grown as a person) I’ve learned to distrust it and have found that it is a seriously flawed approach to analysis and decision making.

        Critical thinking on the other hand is “the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.”

        “Come January we have an opportunity to get back on track, with the adults finally in charge.” (Translation – those in power share my common beliefs therefor all will be better.)

        “Popular” opinion and “popular” vote would indicate that specific viewpoint as being less than “common”.

        We will see soon enough if “getting back on track’ will occur, but that is obviously only one of many possible tracks.
        As far as the “adults” being in charge…… as long as decisions are made based upon blind ideology, we will never see the positive effects of true critical thinking.

        “regression and intolerance” is never a positive.

      • 0 avatar
        Frank Galvin

        “What some call ‘regression and intolerance’ many of us refer to as “common sense” – as some on the other side are discovering the hard way”

        Utterly moronic. I’d hope that you if were happy that our side won, that you’d educate yourself on the unique challenges that those in transgendered community face. 40 years ago, the answer was undergoing the knife and physically changing genders. Now, we know that its much more nuanced. Forcing radical surgery for state permission to drive a vehicle is the antithesis of small c conservatism. But hey, let’s boil down the issue to scaring the crap out of people by assuming 300 lb bearded dudes in tutus will be invading the women’s bathroom.

        Of course, if you mean “we won” – then you’re aware that Trump is all in favor of having people, including transgendered, use the bathroom they want: http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/04/21/donald-trump-says-transgender-people-should-use-the-bathroom-they-want/

        Comments such as yours feed directly into the ongoing media pearl clutching and handwringing that we’re all a bunch of right wing racist bigots. Grow up and try to be a better person.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          the Republican party is no longer “conservative.” They’re regressive and theocratic. At least, for their version of “Christianity.”

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          “Forcing radical surgery for state permission to drive a vehicle is the antithesis of small c conservatism.”

          He doesn’t have to have surgery to drive a car. All he has to do is check the box on a form that corresponds with his sex. A lifestyle choice doesn’t alter reality. If you have male parts; you are male. That’s what determines if you are male or not. It isn’t the author’s lifestyle choice that is presenting difficulties in obtaining a KY DL. It is his insistence that everyone else plays make-believe to indulge an adult like a spoiled child.

          Nobody is asking him to lie. He knows he’s got male equipment. The question on the form is M or F, not M or W. Female is a word with a meaning. It was one thing when progressives were trying to control free expression by banning words because of what they meant. Now they’re trying to obviate words by saying they don’t mean anything. How can you possibly think you’re serving a good purpose when you’re institutionalizing dishonesty?

          • 0 avatar
            Exfordtech

            Gender and sexual orientation should each be thought of more in terms of a spectrum between two endpoints. Of course we can be thankful that Kentucky has their priorities in order by saving innocent children from the hordes of trans pedophiles that are now thwarted from running rampant in complete disregard of their birth certificates. I always thought Republicans were about small government and staying out of your personal life. The Christian Bible Belt could stand to pay a little more attention to their namesake.
            Ever go to a dog park? You’ll find everything from pugs to great danes, they barely even look like the same species, but somehow they manage to get along. People have a looooong way to go in that regard.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Europe? Sweet!

    “Frankfort (the capital of Kentucky) wants me to bleed on the operating table before they’ll even amend my birth certificate”

    Avalanche is sullen and too thin
    She starves herself to rid herself of sin
    And the kick is so divine when she sees bones beneath her skin
    And she says:
    Hey baby can you bleed like me?
    C’mon baby can you bleed like me?

    Chris is all dressed up and acting coy
    Painted like a brand new Christmas toy
    He’s trying to figure out if he’s a girl or he’s a boy
    He says:
    Hey baby can you bleed like me?
    C’mon baby can you bleed like me?

    Doodle takes dad’s scissors to her skin
    And when she does relief comes setting in
    While she hides the scars she’s making underneath her pretty clothes
    She sings:
    Hey baby can you bleed like me?
    C’mon baby can you bleed like me?

    Therapy is Speedie’s brand new drug
    Dancing with the devil’s past has never been too fun
    It’s better off than trying to take a bullet from a gun
    And she cries:
    Hey baby can you bleed like me?
    C’mon baby can you bleed like me?

    JT gets all f*cked up in some karaoke bar
    After two drinks he’s a loser after three drinks he’s a star
    Getting all nostalgic as he sings “I Will Survive”
    Hey baby can you bleed like me?
    C’mon baby can you bleed like me?
    Hey baby can you bleed like me?
    C’mon baby can you bleed like me?

    You should see my scars
    You should see my scars
    You should see my scars
    You should see my scars
    Try to comprehend that which you’ll never comprehend
    Try to comprehend that which you’ll never comprehend
    Just try to comprehend that which you’ll never comprehend
    Try to comprehend that which you’ll never comprehend
    You should see my scars
    You should see my scars

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      I cannot imagine where Shirley’s head was at when writing this.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I can, and this one feels like it was all hers. I’m sure you’re aware she was bullied and cut herself, but mostly she (and the boys) felt different and each album features at least one song reflective of it.

        thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/10/piston-slap-garbage-garbage/#comment-6571930

  • avatar

    Cameron,

    Despite your current travails – which I wouldn’t wish on anyone – I always appreciate the perspective you bring to TTAC. Best moving to the Netherlands hope to read you here again soon!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Ugh. That is government overreach at its finest, and it needs to be fixed. Regarding the opportunity in the Netherlands, we’re all very happy for you here. We’ll continue to miss you, though.

    • 0 avatar
      April S

      I’m not sure I would label it government overreach. It’s more inconsistency from one state to another. (at least the Federal Government/Department of State gets it right)

      I live/was born in a state (not just a red state, a fire engine red one) where the only way they would do a gender marker change (both Drivers Licence and Birth Certificate) is have surgery that is considered irreversible and permanent. In the meantime I did the carry letter (also known as the bathroom letter) from my Therapist. Just in case I was ever challenged (never was). It irritated me I needed to jump through all these hoops but I found a way to work around it and move forward.

      Cameron, you need to remember it wasn’t all that long ago when it was impossible to change gender markers, no matter the state and no matter if surgery was done. There has been progress and hopefully there will be much more to come.

      Anyway, I would stay stateside. You are too valuable to let them run you off.

      • 0 avatar

        The decision to leave had already been made. In September 2015, when Terry asked if I wanted to be a part of his dream team, and offered me a chance to go live in Eindhoven.

        My arrival in Kentucky is part of my farewell to the U.S.; if I’m moving east, why not make the final leap easier to take, right? It didn’t matter who was going to be president (or governor) when I made the decision, and it doesn’t matter now.

        When I am in a better position financially, I will come for Frankfort like General Sherman came for Atlanta.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    Cameron:

    Thanks for sharing this, and I’m glad to see you back here on TTAC although it may be all too brief. I do wish you all the best in the Netherlands. I would be interested in seeing how the European licensing process goes for you. Please do let us know!

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    This just occurred to me . . . Why does a drivers license list the gender of the license holder? Seems unnecessary.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Actually, with new tendencies it seem necessary.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Some jurisdictions* are moving towards omitting it for exactly that reason: it isn’t needed for anything useful. As far as I can tell, it’s only needed because many information systems treat it as a mandatory field because it’s always been one.

      * Ontario, for example. I noticed this on my most recent renewal; made me feel pretty pleased, frankly.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Totally unnecessary. At least height, weight, eye color are useful identifying information. Gender really isn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Frequently the authorities disseminate information to each other using height, weight, gender, and any other noticeable features (as males are more likely to be stronger, faster, and fight back). Now weather this information comes into play from a driver’s lic or not, or whether it is relevant there, I’m not really sure.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Police may looking for the owner of a car who is also a suspect in hit and run. They pull driver info and they want to know who that is

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Police may looking for the owner of a car who is also a suspect in hit and run. They pull driver info and they want to know who that is”

            So, by that comment, I assume you want police to do strip searches _every single time_ they need to ID someone?

            If you thought the civil-liberties questions with carding were significant, this will be something else.

      • 0 avatar
        cbrworm

        Although, males and females are built with different proportions and visible body hair in different places, which can make identifying someone quickly by description, much easier. If someone is telling you to look for a 50 y/o 200 pound , 6 foot tall white male with brown hair and brown eyes, you are going to be looking for someone who is visually not very similar to a 50 y/o 200 pound, 6 foot tall white female with brown hair and brown eyes.

        Even if every transgender person is allowed to choose what goes in the field, it will still be a largely useful data point.

        That being said, if I were in Cameron’s position, I would probably move somewhere more accepting.

      • 0 avatar
        xtoyota

        If pulled over and asked for your lic. and it says Shirley and you look like Fred… the cop would wonder if your the person that has a has a valid lic. :=)

    • 0 avatar

      It is unnecessary. Some governments are just getting rid of it altogether. Ontario, for example, just removed it as a field.

      @slavuta: “New tendencies?” What the hell is that supposed to mean?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        “New tendencies?” – watch “crocodile dundee”. To me, a girl that comes with a side of pickle is still just dressed up guy. Ok?

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Because we should all follow a 30-year-old comedy film when it comes to how to treat fellow humans.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            I mean, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted Theodore Logan had it pretty right with “be excellent to each other.”

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            I don’t say what you should follow. And you don’t blame me for what I follow. I don’t treat anyone badly and accept everything but I say what I think. Moreover, I believe that any form of human that we see and talk about is another freedom people can have. But I do think that F and M have meaning. The meaning is bodily physical attributes and not what your mind thinks. Without changing attributes you just a cross-dresser, artist.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Are we talking about sex or gender?

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    Unfortunately I am no longer (for a very long time) surprised at the actions of those that want to ‘get government off peoples backs’ and protect “freedom”. While they act to restrict that “freedom” as much as they can.
    Best of luck in the EU and take some warm clothes.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Never quit .

    Best of luck and don’t forget us ~ we’ll never forget you Cameron .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Question for you IF your redest of very red states did not way over reach and gave you a DL would Europe still be as alluring? Good luck to you Amsterdam is a great city but pricey as all can be. Sad that certain policies force folks to question if I want to even live here or not.

    • 0 avatar

      Europe still would be alluring; Terry wanted me to be a part of his team no matter how red or blue my current home was. Never left the country before — could visit Toronto if my Sounders FC face Toronto FC for the MLS Cup in December, of course — figured, “Why not go to the Netherlands to further my writing career?”

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        How do you expect to survive and move forward with _that_ sort of Adult attitude ? =8-).(sarcasm font still broken)
        .
        PLEASE do not forget us here in the land of angry and fearful pinheads ! .
        .
        -Nate

  • avatar
    CoolCreek

    Just this week the TTAC editor said TTAC has listened to readers and would leave-out the politics, then TTAC jumps right in. Bye-Bye TTAC.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Cameron, we miss you here. So sorry to hear this, and not surprised you will persevere. Best of luck and don’t be a stranger.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Cameron, are you wearing felt-y clogs in that photo?

    If so, I’m 1000% on your side no matter who, what or where you may be!

    Am anyway :-D

  • avatar
    mikey

    Cameron…So glad your here , even if it is just a visit. I always enjoyed your writing. I wish you the best of luck, in your future endeavours .

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Jesus. This is exactly what happens under a climate of intolerance and fear: we drive talented contributors away so their contributions benefit other countries at our expense.

    I’m so, so sorry to hear this, Cameron. The nanny-state busybodies in the Kentucky government can go jump into a pile of horse doo. I’m glad to hear that my state government did the right thing, but US residents are constitutionally entitled to freedom of travel, and you weren’t able to use it.

    Please at least do keep in touch, and contribute when you can.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    Take heart. Jack Reacher doesn’t have a driver’s license either.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    In attempt at including some levity in what is obviously a heart rending decision for Cameron to forsake America due to political intransigence I am sharing this from another internet site. Wonder what would the vote be if Americans had a popular vote to replace as their Head of State, President Elect Trump with someone like the current Canadian Prime Minister (who is not our Head of State)
    A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN (OF CANADA)

    To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

    In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA, and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

    Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, which she does not fancy).

    Our new Prime Minister, Theresa May, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

    To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
    ———————–
    1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
    ————————
    2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u” and the elimination of ‘-ize.’
    ——————-
    3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
    —————–
    4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
    ———————-
    5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
    ———————-
    6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
    ——————–
    7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
    ——————-
    8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
    ——————-
    9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth – see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
    ———————
    10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
    ———————
    11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
    ———————
    12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
    ——————–
    13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
    —————–
    14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
    —————
    15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      that wasn’t funny when it was supposedly written by John Cleese either. Besides, they wouldn’t have much room to talk anyway, what with their “Brexit” nonsense.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      #9 is so so so so wrong

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        “#9 is so so so so wrong”.
        .
        As an American I agree however , there is a lot of truth in that old saw ” why is making love in a canoe like drinking Coors Beer ? .
        .
        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          baconator

          *shrug* – I love British cars, but I never understood why the Brits are so smug about their beer. To my palate, a cold Coors on a hot day is a far greater pleasure than a syrupy and bitter ale. (Especially when accompanied by a good American cigarette, which unfortunately I can’t do anymore.)

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            @Baconator ;
            .
            I hear you and agree .
            .
            I like Beer too but not heavy handed stuff that’s reminiscent of Diesel Fuel .
            .
            When I was young and living in Guatemala I learned to enjoy drink9ng warm Beer as it was .10 cents cheaper but being a (damn) Yankee born and bred, I’m one of those who likes ice cubes in my beer and i drink cold drinks in near zero weather too ~ everyone has their own likes and dislikes .
            .
            My Son likes Guinness, Fosters and so on ~ swill I can’t choke down even to be polite .
            .
            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            BTW : I too love and own, Elderly British cars .
            .
            -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      I for one would happily trade my freedom for bangers & mash and a real Scottish accent!

  • avatar
    mshenzi

    Very sorry to read the story of your licence, Cameron, and I appreciate your stepping forward to share it on this site.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    You’ll always be a woman – regardless of self-identification, surgery, address, over-reaching government, or external appearances. Can’t change DNA.

    Moving to the Netherlands won’t resolve your internal conflict, but I do hope you get your driver’s license soon.

    Best wishes; I enjoy your writing.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Can’t change DNA, but you can sure change the definitions of the words “man” and “woman”.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Orwell wrote how-to books.

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          As a nation we have redefined “person” a time or two and that seemed to go OK, so I’m not convinced that reconsidering what words mean is inherently a bad thing.

          What’s the harm if we just agree that a dude is a dude because he says he’s a dude; regardless of plumbing or DNA?

          That doesn’t make me feel like any less of a dude. How about you?

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            “What’s the harm if we just agree that a dude is a dude because he says he’s a dude; regardless of plumbing or DNA?”

            +1000

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “What’s the harm if we just agree that a dude is a dude because he says he’s a dude; regardless of plumbing or DNA?”

            And a gal is a gal because she says so…right?

            -sororities and women’s sports teams infiltrated
            -rapists identifying as female and going to women’s prisons
            -policemen identifying as female conducting strip searches on women
            -cheating on sex based affirmative action
            -high school boys identifying as female and sharing beds with girls on overnight band/sport/field trips

            Every perp untouchable with an official govt ID

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Asked and answered. Damn, some people can’t see the obvious.

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            So you don’t think there’s any way to address those concerns and still make it simple for trans folks to do routine state-required paperwork?

            Fun fact: it’s still very illegal to assault or rape somebody even if both people involved identify as the same gender.

            If a high school kid who identified as female used that to assault a classmate on an overnight trip they would not be “untouchable” at all.

            IDGAF who’s in what room, and there are existing laws to cover non-consensual sexual activity that are gender identity agnostic.

          • 0 avatar
            Frank Galvin

            George R.R. Martin’s latest parody for this thread; “A Feast of Trolls”

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “So you don’t think there’s any way to address those concerns and still make it simple for trans folks to do routine state-required paperwork?”

            I hope so.
            Any suggestions?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I think you might want to do two things: 1) review Cameron’s posting history a bit more carefully, and 2) educate yourself a bit on gender identity.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        _NAW_ .
        .
        He just wants to display ignorance and blind hatred in Public….
        .
        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Whittaker

          I’m calling horse manure on all those examples.

          The last time I checked it is illegal to do anything nefarious in a restroom or locker room (no matter one’s gender). Claiming to be Trans is not some sort of get out of jail free card.

          Since you are so focused on Transwomen let’s look at sports. Testosterone blockers plus female HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) levels any advantage a male karyotype person would have.

          Concerning the other examples you give, transwomen are women. Transmen are men. Sorry but that is the way it is.

          P.S. Going by your “logic” you would force Female to Male transfolks to use ladies restrooms and locker rooms. And there are plenty of beefy, bearded Transmen out there.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “Whittaker
            I’m calling horse manure on all those examples.”

            Someone asked a question and I gave an honest and thoughtful answer.
            Those examples are real-life possibilities and could cause real-life harm to women.
            That overrules message board PC posturing in my book.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            They may well be “possible”, but they are so highly improbable as to be ridiculous, and I’m sure you know it.

            “sororities and women’s sports teams infiltrated”

            And where has this happened *widely*, even across a great many countries who don’t discriminate? They define women for the Olympics as genetically feminine at birth, because genetic females are, proveably, less able than males.

            And you think a male is going to endure the ridicule dumped on trans gendered people *just so he can get into a sorority*? Right.

            “rapists identifying as female and going to women’s prisons”

            Rapists don’t have to identify as female to get into a prison. They just pass the laughably low standards required to become a guard there! Besides, you clearly have no concept of how trans-gendered individuals are treated in the penal system to begin with.

            “policemen identifying as female conducting strip searches on women”
            -cheating on sex-based affirmative action
            -high school boys identifying as female and sharing beds with girls on overnight band/sport/field trips”

            Again – right, all of these guys endure all the ridicule and challenges trans-gendered folk do, just so that they can commit these acts?

            All this comment does is show how little you understand the challenges that trans-gendered individuals face on a daily basis.

            And more importantly, none of that has ANYTHING to do with a licence to drive a vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “Again – right, all of these guys endure all the ridicule and challenges trans-gendered folk do, just so that they can commit these acts?”

            You misunderstand.
            The policeman would keep his masculine persona. He would only present his official female ID when useful…a strip search, an affirmative action promotion, etc.
            That official female ID(which you claim should be given without question) is all he needs. No superior is going to risk career suicide and a lawsuit by denying an AA promotion or treating him differently than other female cops.

            The fact that you couldn’t figure this out yourself should caution your future use of the word ridiculous.

            I am making comments in the interest of protecting women and honest transgenders from dishonest men who may take advantage.
            Even if I’m wrong, and on-demand change of a person’s official sex classification is a completely harmless development…the raging culture war, in and out of this forum, is not

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            No, I definitely used “rediculous” in the correct context. A licence doesn’t make you masculine or feminine. I know we’ve lately shit all over the competency of the police forces lately but there isn’t a force on the planet that’s going to let a male officer conduct a strip search just because he says he’s female when the opportunity presents. They’ll pass a regulation about either genetic females being required or some other agreed-upon designation that works for rights organizations.

            Besides, while you’re digging up strawmen you forgot to call out women officers for “Just being lesbians who want to conduct female strip searches”.

            “I am making comments in the interest of protecting women and honest transgenders from dishonest men who may take advantage.”

            Here’s the thing. Women don’t need your brand of “protection”, especially when it results in even more difficulty for trans-gendered individuals to go about their day without proving their dedication to their chosen gender to the likes of you.

            THAT is what leads to this crap with drivers licenses.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “They’ll pass a regulation about either genetic females being required”

            You’re suggestion transgender women should have less rights than genetic women in a govt job.
            WTH?
            Take a breath and get your bearings.

            I’m checking out now.
            My daughter is home from college…straight A’s since kindergarten save one B in Phys-Ed. I can’t help bragging.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          “He just wants to display ignorance and blind hatred in Public….”

          You’re confusing my statement of facts with hatred.

          I happen to have several acquaintances (young people, actually) who are going through a transgender experience. It is extremely painful for them, and so I’m not ignorant of it. But the facts of life aren’t changed by the recent popularity and social acceptance of this phenomenon.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I’m sleep deprived, so I’m going to paraphrase from a work of fiction:
    A person’s value to society or themselves is not defined by what they think or say of others or what they make others do, but rather by what they say and accomplish themselves.

    Keep doing Cameron. The world and you are better for it.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Such a stupid set of reglations for something as trivial as as drivers license, considering you’re already a woman in all the other paperwork. Welcome to Europe I guess :) Although contrary to popular belief (in Europe and the 3rd world) its not always the best place on earth.
    I have an FTM son, so I know what a struggle it can be.
    In Norway the rules stated that you couldn’t change your gender in the public records (including new social security number etc.) until you had your ovaries or testicles surgically removed until very recently. (as late as July 1st. 2016) , and that could only happen after you had been diagnosed with a gender dysphoria. So even if the treatment and surgeries can be had for ‘free’ here there has been some annoying government involvement. Now you can just apply to the social/tax-records by filling out a form to have it changed without even having a diagnosis. And when it says F or M in the tax records, every other public registry is automatically updated. So getting a new passport or drivers license afterwards is just the normal bureaucratic walk in the park.
    This is thanks to a (multi-party) right wing government (by our standards at least) who don’t like that the government is involved in absolutely everything all the time.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Best of luck to you on your European adventure.

    It is unfortunate that this move is necessary, I am amazed that given the zealotry of some legislators and their constituents that a doctors sworn statement is enough. I’d expect that they’d want to see for themselves.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    You probably won’t like this, but a thought:

    -Tell the state what it wants to hear so that you get your license (the practical part)

    -Find a zealous civil rights attorney who will file a pro bono case against the state (the principled part)

    Do note that the Netherlands has no driver license agreement with the US, so you would need to retest if you moved there. (The US license would be honored temporarily, but a permanent resident would need an EU license.) Getting a license there will not be cheap or quick.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      I was surprised that the UK will exchange a Canadian license for a UK one, but not a US one. Someone holding a US license would essentially be treated as a new driver and need to take all the tests.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        These things have to be negotiated by the individual states. It would seem that they don’t bother.

        To the extent that treaties are required, I would presume that this would pose a problem because the individual states do not have the authority to enter into treaties with foreign countries. There is an international convention that the US has signed that applies to visitors being able to drive on their foreign licenses and temporarily bring their cars, but that doesn’t apply to those who relocate.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure if I’ll return to the U.S. Someone does have to keep Dispatches Europe going while Terry and his wife expand the Dispatches Media empire to include the Middle East and Asia, after all. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It would be worth finding out whether the test for US license holders is easier than it is who don’t have any license at all. I would presume that it would take a lot of hours and a few thousand bucks to get a license in The Netherlands, so this is not a trivial matter.

        My time in Eindhoven consisted of about a minute on a train at the train station, so I have no opinion of it. But nearby s-Hertogenbosch (usually called den Bosch) is the most picturesque tourist town that no one has ever heard of. The Dutch go gaga for Maastricht, but I prefer Utrecht (great town for barhopping).

  • avatar

    Thank you dearest B&B for the kind words and discourse. My move to the Netherlands was set in September of 2015, when “President Trump” was a but a funny thought.

    May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I’ll see you in the new year at the latest!

  • avatar
    michal1980

    came for car stuff, got a bunch of SJW preaching. Cant escape from this anywhere these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      So social injustice is better?

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        I fail to see how unreasonable obstacles in getting a Driver’s License are not ‘ Car Stuff ‘ .
        .
        -Nate

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          “I fail to see how unreasonable obstacles in getting a Driver’s License are not ‘ Car Stuff”

          Boom.

        • 0 avatar
          michal1980

          Is it care stuff? no its a SJW opinion piece warmed over with a hint of ‘car stuff’ under the blank of anything associated with cars is car stuff.

          Plenty of other places this could be published. But no SJW must infect everything.

          after further thinking it over. I take it back. Getting a drivers license is a creation of government. Therefore this article is nothing but a political opinion piece, and not car stuff.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Just curious… are you one of those Micha(e)ls who won’t accept “Mike”?

            Because they’re kind of special, too.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Oh, Mike.

            Here’s the problem with the term “SJW”. There *is* social injustice. Someone is not a “warrior” when they experience it (though, I would argue, that they become a warrior when they fight it, and more power to them).

            In this case, an author has written about an experience *they* had to procure a license, and how their lifestyle choices prevented them from obtaining one. They were the subject of a social injustice (unless you believe that lifestyle choices should decide who can drive a vehicle, of course.)

            I’m sorry that you appear to believe such injustices should go unreported, but reporting on a factual event that has happened to you isn’t an “opinion piece”, even when you personally dislike (or, perhaps, support?) the facts.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Justice is better. Social justice is an alternative to it, just as social science is an alternative to science. Justice is about getting what you deserve. Social justice is about taking from someone else. No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Information that is included on a driver license should be useful for verifying that the person who is holding the license is the same person who has been issued the license.

      The purpose of a drivers license is not to analyze DNA or chromosomes, nor is it to provide right-wingers with yet another battlefield for their petty ridiculous turf wars. If the author can pass the test and the cops can link that license to the author, then there’s no reason for you to argue that the license should be denied.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Congratulations, Cameron, and safe journey’s. Good luck with the license, too!

  • avatar
    blueflame6

    Please do consider changing your passport ASAP. The procedures that make it vaguely straightforward to do now are there by executive order. You can expect that the new administration will very quickly undo that.

    Best wishes to you.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Goodbye TTAC. I cant get all lathered up over this.

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