It’s been all over social media and the internet, Facebook is targeting drag queens in their latest effort of “identity validation.” But one queen has stood up and said “Oh No She Betta Don’t” to Facebook, Sister Roma. She took a few minutes out of her busy day to speak with us about the whole ordeal. She told us it all started with the notification that she had to change her name. When she wanted to get in touch with someone about the policy she said it was near impossible to get in touch with them.
She submitted her inquiry to Facebook, received the “thank you” notification and thought it would end there. She ended up getting a call from Facebook and they’re setting up a phone meeting with the executive in charge of the policy that started this whole ordeal. The exciting part is Sister Roma has also been contacted by David Campos, Attorney and Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, who asked for information on her side of the story.
Facebook has asked the performers to update their profiles to their “real names” and establish pages for their drag personas. Since the pages receive less viewership and require payment to “boost” the posts, there are obvious financial motivations behind Facebook’s newest venture, however, as Sister Roma put it, “I’m an activist and a fundraiser and the way I use Facebook is to raise awareness on social issues,” and “all of this honestly is just trying to do my work as a sister.”
When people who know Sister Roma look for Sister Roma on social media, they don’t look for her alter ego Michael Williams, who we thought had stolen Sister Roma’s identity, they look for the iconic Sister of Perpetual Indulgence, Roma. It’s also important to remember, altruistic figures like Roma are not the only people who could be affected by a policy like this. There are people who’s identity must be hidden from abusers or the like. As she said, “this is not just about a bunch of drag queens bitching about their stage names…”
There is a Change.org petition out to help get this issue resolved, be sure to sign and share with friends and family. We also found it interesting that our own personal Facebook profile is not our legal name as we have combined our names together to share our profile, no one has come after us… yet. But we’re sure if they do, we’re running to Sister Roma and her massive influence for help. Be prepared for an impromptu march to the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park.