'That's not what I am' | Transgender person fights to change 'F' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'That's not what I am' | Transgender person fights to change 'F' to 'M' on driver's license

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The 22-year-old transgender male said he started making the physical change earlier this year with testosterone treatments under doctor's care. The 22-year-old transgender male said he started making the physical change earlier this year with testosterone treatments under doctor's care.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a fight over one letter on a driver's license: 'M' for male, 'F' for female -- but it's not a simple switch for people in the transgender community.

For Mykel Mickens, life is changing. He's newly engaged, and says he plans to adopt his fiancee's two-year-old daughter.

The biggest difference is one you have to see in old family pictures, Mykel was born Michelle.

"I've always felt like I was a male even when I was younger," Mickens said. "The story I remember is six-years-old, and a girl asked me to be her boyfriend, and I said yes."

The 22-year-old transgender male said he started making the physical change earlier this year with testosterone treatments under doctor's care.

Last week, Mickens tried to change his drivers license, but when he contacted the Outer Loop branch, he learned he would only be able to change his name.

"They said I needed the sexual reassignment surgery and that just was frustrating because that's not going to happen anytime soon," Mickens said.

"To change a gender on a license, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires one of three things: an amended birth certificate, a court order or a legal letter from a physician after reassignment," said Kevin Connell, Chief of Staff at the Jefferson County Circuit Clerk's Office.

There's a gap between Kentucky law and federal law. People trying to change the gender on a passport only need to be in transition, not post-surgery.

Leaders say such a request at the DMV in Kentucky is rare but the policy was updated two years ago.

"We've had instances of it, and as long as the documentation is there, we are very happy to do it," Connell said.

But many transgender people never complete the surgery.

"The economic means and the idea that many individuals would not want the medical community to dictate what gender transition involves," said Jamie Abrams, U of L assistant law professor.

Mickens said, "I feel like it doesn't matter what's in my pants." Mickens said his fight is not over -- and on the journey to change himself he will now work to change state law.

"Random people say 'he' but when I show my ID, it's a completely different story," Mickens said.

"It makes me uncomfortable because that's not what I am," Mickens said. "I hate it. It's not me at all."

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