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.