Some of them are major, such as, well, getting to live in our true genders--or, more specifically, having relationships with family members and friends as the people we truly are. Then there are those seemingly-trivial things that could have added to the quality of our lives.
Throughout my childhood and teen years--in fact, through most of my life--I hated to be photographed. I'm still not crazy about having my picture taken now because, well, I'm not terribly photogenic, to put it mildly. But in my earlier years, I felt that every photo of me was a lie, a deception, because it was an image of what I was supposed to be rather than of who I was.
Of course, everyone jokes about how terrible their ID photos are. Some actually believe that the Department of Motor Vehicles requires their employees to be on psychosis-inducing medication before taking photos for drivers' licenses. But those of us who wanted to live as the people we were--and tried to seize moments of doing so by "cross dressing"--knew that having the kinds of IDs we had, in essence, forced us to be the people depicted in them.
Chase Culpepper understands what I've just described. The 17-year-old South Carolinan was forced to dress male for the drivers' license photo, even though she identifies as female. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education fund filed a suit on her behalf. As a result, a settlement--announced this morning--will allow her to wear female clothes and makeup for the first major piece of identification many young people receive--and the one some regard as a passport to adulthood. And now she gets to be a Southern Belle!