Russia Decides Transgender People Are Unfit to Drive

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Traffic jam near the gates of Kremlin on October 31, 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
Photo: Andreas Rentz/ Getty Images

Many Muscovites loathe driving because of the daily traffic jams, and it now seems that the government has found a new solution to the problem: People with “sex disorders,” including those who identify as transsexual or transgender, may no longer drive. “The decisions are aimed at reducing deaths from road traffic accidents,” an official statement on the decree reads.

Transgender Russians are part of a new class of citizens who have been disqualified from the privilege of having a driver’s license. This class also includes fetishists, exhibitionists, and voyeurs, though the broad rule change doesn’t require that the kinksters have, say, an uncontrollable need for watching or undressing in their vehicles. In the case of transgender people, gamblers, and thieves, the differences in question have no potential link to driving ability whatsoever. Either way, the head of Russia’s professional drivers’ union doesn’t care: Alexander Kotov backed the ban anyway, citing “too many deaths on the road.”

The only silver lining is that the country’s beleaguered gay population dodged a bullet on this one. Being gay isn’t a pathology worthy of license revocation yet — at least as long as you don’t want to change your sexual orientation. Those who do may be diagnosed with “egodystonic sexual orientation,” a condition included in the ban.