Transgender Woman Denied License, Arrested for Taking Off Top

When Andrea Jones of Tennessee went into the DMV and tried to change her sex status from male to female, she was told no.

She is currently undergoing gender reassignment surgery and did what she was legally supposed to do in addressing a government agency with the appropriate documents in order to change her sex status. She was turned away.

Tennessee law for the Department of Safety (DS) states that she can change her gender once she has a statement from a doctor stating that a full sex change has occurred (pdf).  Ms. Jones has a letter stating she no longer has testicles.  The DMV said that it was not quite the same thing. Ms. Jones pointed out that the Social Security Office recognizes her as a woman.

So she went outside the DMV office and promptly took off her shirt in the parking lot, which is legal for men, but not women.  She was promptly cited and arrested, even though the police referred to her as Mr. Jones in the police report.

Jones began yelling that the state of Tennessee had to choose whether they wanted to treat her as a man or a woman.  ”It’s not right for the state to ask me to be both male and female,”¯ Jones told local TV station WATE 6. “A choice needs to be made. They cannot hold me to both standards.” Watch the interview here.

Ms. Jones is now asking the State to make a consistent ruling in regards to how they will treat her.  Male, or female?


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Sarah W.
Sarah W.5 years ago

Elizabeth K. From California??? Sounds like it.

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K5 years ago

Sarah, from PA?

I would have guessed further south.

Sarah W.
Sarah W.5 years ago

Jane B. you're an idiot!!!!!! Go ahead and list yourself as black you fool. It's very clear your a white woman. Your id needs to be accurate for safety reasons if nothing else. Not everyone from the south is a red neck. Are you a nut from California? Get a grip!!!

Glenda L.
Glenda L6 years ago

Interesting point, if she's not recognized as female, then she should be able to take her shirt off according to their stupid laws.

Terri Hughes
Terri Hughes6 years ago

Just because a few people do or say something that you don't like, doesn't mean you should judge everybody in the whole state of TN. There are a lot of good people here. Just about everybody that has commented on this, has said something bad about people from TN. This is not right. Everybody here lives in different parts of the country and I'm sure every state has people that do the same thing. There are religious people here that don't try to force religion down your throat. And not all people here are bigots, inbred, ignorant, snake handling, fat,uneducated. I'm not saying any of this is right, but, you can find this all over the world and worse things. Look at all the cults. TN has been given a bad rap and this is not right.

Maarja L.
Maarja L6 years ago

This is kind of stupid.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.6 years ago

See if the Selective Service would exempt Andrea.

Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M6 years ago

so wrong

Nicole Renshaw
Nicole Renshaw6 years ago

I've worked as a deputy clerk for the state of OH BMV and have changed the sex on drivers licenses with the proper paperwork. I'm just curious as to what the state of TN DMV policy is regarding the weight, hair color and eye color status on a license. Does a natural brown eyed brunette who colors their hair blond or red who changes their eye color with contact lenses still have brown as their hair and eye color on their license? Do they need to bring a scale, Dr statement and court order to change their weight status?

D. Mindock
dean m6 years ago

Bureaucratic clerks love to show off their power to make people miserable. Andrea should get a lawyer and take legal action. I bet there are a few lawyers that would take her case pro bono just to get the publicity.