Tag: <span>Real Names</span>

18 Sep

The Facebook Fight

Drag Queens VS Facebook

We’ve heard from every media outlet from the Gaily Grind all the way to CNN about this Drag Queen versus Facebook’s “Real Name” policy. There was a meeting with some of San Francisco’s most famous members of the Drag community and some members of the Facebook team. Unfortunately, all the meeting gained was a “grace period” for the inevitable close of the accounts that continue to use a false name. There was a brief period where the community was organizing a protest at the headquarters of which as of yet has not been completely cancelled, but the drag community is audibly divided as to what the next steps should be.

There are those drag queens who have said they’re just creating the page from their personal profiles because they see their performance side as a business and treating it as such. Mimi Imfurst made this recommendation stating, ” its much healthier in the long run to keep your business and personal lives separate.” There isn’t a limitation of friends like there are with the profiles, however, you don’t reach as many of your followers when you post information without paying to boost your post.

Others have changed their names to the given names and use their stage names as the alias option which shows up as a little parenthesized name under the “real name” of the profile. A few days ago you couldn’t search someone’s alias, but it looks like Facebook has tried to fix that quickly because we have found a few people when searching their stage name that are now listed as their alias. But their “real name” still shows in the timeline so it’s difficult to tell who’s talking about what.

 There are also those who have opted for other social networks like our friends at dragbook.com or even Google+ who’ve openly stated they will not be enforcing the legal name fight. The only potential problem with this is while the performers may have moved to a different site, do they have the power to move their fans with them?

The one thing we feel is certain, the Facebook folks have only seen one side of this “safety issue” in using real names. They claim it’s so you know who you’re interacting with online. However, they haven’t completely considered past the drag performers being identified by someone who claimed to be on a witch hunt and reporting drag queens to Facebook for violating this policy. Several people have pointed out the affect this could have on people who are hiding from their dangerous pasts, with abusive relationships, bigotry or assault. The transgender community will also be affected because while they may consider themselves the opposite gender, to obtain identification with their correct gender several steps may be necessary that they can’t afford at this point. They may be living their lives and will now be affected by being subjected to this policy.

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say about his policy, “Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.” Apparently it’s fine for his dog “Beast” to have a Facebook profile, because of course dogs can type for themselves. Better check your stuff Mark, better check it.

15 Sep

@SisterRoma Faces Off With Facebook With Protest

Alec Joseph Bates Photography

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.


We are mobilizing! PROTEST THE LEGAL NAME POLICY at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park on Tuesday 11am. Meet at 9:30 am, Safeway parking lot on Market and Church. Dress in your CHOSEN identity. Bring signs, bullhorns. Make some noise. Expect press. WE NEED BODIES TO SHOW THEM WE ARE REAL. Please share. Use the Hashtag #MyNameIs_______.#MyNameIsRoma