The thought of nailing your driver's license photo might not keep you up at night, but it sure seems like the most stressful time of your life when you're standing under those fluorescent lights as someone who certainly is not Annie Leibovitz snaps your photo. And YouTuber and makeup artist Nikita Dragun understands this. So, the Instagram queen made sure that in that one shot, she got it just right.
But her perfect brows, contoured lips, and full lashes aren't why her new driver's license received over 300,000 likes and more than 6,000 comments on Instagram. Dragun's photo is worthy of five stars, for sure, but the shining moment for her is the name on the license and the gender specificity on the bottom line: "Sex: F." This was a technicality battle Dragun fought for over a year in her state of California, a fight that was "the most rewarding yet difficult experiences," she tells Refinery29.
"For some reason, this process of my transition scared me more than the physical changes because this was a legal world I didn’t understand," she explains. "It took me months to figure out what paperwork and documents I needed and ended up taking several months to file everything and appear in court. So when I saw my ID finally in my hands, I was so excited I had to share it on my social media — with all my friends and supporters who’d been on this journey with me since the beginning. I wanted this moment to be a beacon of hope for other trans youth dreaming of their moment to unveil their beauty to the world."
It's been almost two years since Dragun publicly came out on YouTube as a transgender woman and the license comes as a sort of anniversary gift to the 21-year-old. She captioned the post with a shout-out to her supporters and followers: "After battling with an army of lawyers, courtrooms, and paper work over the past year. My baby has finally arrived! Y'all don't know how happy this makes me. Thank you for all the love & support :)"
If you want to hear even more inspiring words from Dragun, check her out in our 2017 Beauty Influencer Z-list. This trailblazer is definitely going places — and now she has the right identification to get her there.
Gender and sexual orientation are both highly personal and constantly evolving. So, in honor of Transgender Awareness Week, we're talking about the importance of language and raising the voices of the LGBTQIA community. Welcome to Gender Nation, where gender is defined by the people who live it. Want to learn more? Check out our Gender Nation glossary.