Miss Euphoria: Facebook’s Insensitive Decision
Euphoria, what are your thoughts on Facebook’s anti-trans decision to no longer allow certain names?
I will be holding all further questions. This one is a rather big one and even though it’s not a sex question it’s an important one for drag queens, trans people and queers of all kind.
Here’s the story:
It started off rather strange, a random guy’s name showed up commenting on my private Facebook status. I didn’t know who he was, so I quickly defriended him and wondered how he had gotten on my friends list because I would have remembered his rather unusual name.
Later that day, a friend called to tell me that his Facebook was disabled until he could scan in his photo ID and prove that he was who he said he was.
It quickly spread.
Drag queens like Terra Grenade and Bob the Drag Queen had disappeared from my friends list and were replaced with boy-names — most of which were new to me unless they were Alaskan drag queens.
My friend scanned in his photo ID and attempted to get his account reactivated, but Facebook refused because his government issued ID said that he was a woman.
Oh yeah, that’s the other part I forgot to mention; my friend was transitioning and although he dressed, appeared, spoke, and felt like a man. He was unable to change his gender on the ID for just under a year. Since he didn’t want the wrong name on his Facebook he disabled his account and went to Google+.
Right after one of my night classes, I received a text message from another female impersonator asking why I had defriended them.
I thought back and realized that Facebook must have changed her drag name into her boy-name and I hadn’t noticed who she was without the name I knew her as. I friended her back immediately and noticed just how many names had changed, about 50 of my friends were now all listed as their boy names and others had deactivated so they wouldn’t be required to change.
It didn’t bother me at first because I have a like page.
If you want to find me on Facebook as Miss Euphoria, you will have to like the page instead of friending it. (You should all do right now. Stop reading, like the page and then keep on reading this amazing issue). I have a personal page that uses my boy-name and didn’t want an extra Facebook account, so I just made a page instead.
Drag queens from the east and west coast (and many places in between) were livid and started a lot of online protesting and petitioning to get Facebook to change the way it treated people who don’t use their birth names on their Facebook profiles. There’s a petition started on www.change.org, and many news sites including the Huffington Post wrote about it.
A select few drag queens were even asked to attend a private meeting with Facebook representatives which led to very little change. Facebook delayed their decision by two weeks, but said that after that timeframe they would be deactivating names that were not on a government ID.
Trans people, however, have been primarily silent on the issue. Unlike drag queens, most trans people are keeping quiet because they don’t want to draw attention to themselves in a way that will bring ridicule.
They are busy trying to live their lives in a gender-obsessed society, and it isn’t easy. Facebook, of course, just made it that much harder for them but instead of getting loud about it, most trans people are simply switching social platforms.
It is, I realize, Facebook’s decision to enact such prejudicial decisions but it’s also up to those who use Facebook to let them know that they don’t agree with this decision.
If you want to sign the petition online to: https://www.change.org/p/facebook-allow-performers-to-use-their-stage-names-on-their-facebook-accounts. If nothing else, while you’re updating your statuses and liking random things, remember that there are some who are losing their ability to use their stage name or their new names and instead are being exposed to possible stalking, harassment and bullying.
Have a great week!