Bigots rejoice, you’re getting your very own major social media website by forceful takeover of one that used to be used as a way to seek support. Bravo! 🙂
The new “Real Names” policy by Facebook has caused a literal exodus of the LGBT community from their service. But before I get into the community in which I belong, I’d like the point out — like so many others have — that this isn’t just restricted to us. Oh! let me count the ways…
- What if you’re hiding from an abusive husband/wife?
- What if you’re using a different name because you’ve been cyberstalked (or physically)?
- What if sharing your real-life name/details is a breach of contract in a company?
- What if sharing your real-life name/details endangers your life?
- What if you’re using a different name because that is what you’re known by?
If you notice, these things are non-exclusive to the LGBT community and this certainly is not an exhaustive list.
Facebook was one of the ways people from any community could seek, effectively, comfort from advice, companionship/camaraderie, etc. It was a platform that could be trusted. But no longer. This comfort has been stripped away by this new policy.
How does this effect the LGBT community? Well, fairly easily, to be honest:
- Transgendered individuals prefer to identify with the gender they are, not the biological sex they were born as. (Notice the difference.) As such, they prefer to use an appropriate name. Male-to-Female would be using a female name while a Female-to-Male would be using a male name. Obviously, the associated pronouns match as well — but this depends upon the individual in question and what they want.
- Drag queens and kings do not live two lives or have two identities, but are, instead, expressing who they are. Their stage names are a potential source of income and might very well be how they are actually known. Honestly, of all the queens/kings I know, I know… well, none of their “real” names. Even out of dress, I call them by their stage names and none of them have corrected me. (These individuals, I have to point out, are not necessarily homosexual. There are plenty of heterosexual drag queens and kings. Thus, being able to use their stage name on one account while maintaining a separate personal account is crucial for some queens/kings.)
- Cross-dressers and transvestites, much like drag queens and kings, might use a secondary name for various reasons and this secondary name is how they are more commonly known.
- Those who prefer to identify as androgynous almost certainly prefer to use a gender neutral name to keep that identity intact. (This is where I fall, to be honest.)
- While gays and lesbians might not use different given names, due to various laws of states, countries, or otherwise, being unable to marry or change their surname name to match that of their husband, wife, or partner is an issue. Thus, having the ability to have a different surname on social sites provides at least some comfort and consistency with reality. (Yet again, where I fall…)
See the issues that abound? This policy is discriminatory in nature but it’s effects reach beyond the LGBT community. There is an exodus going on right now composed not only of the LGBT community, but “power users” and those who fall into the first list or for other reasons. If this policy is not reversed, Facebook is going to be a mere shadow of what it used to be. It most certainly won’t cause the death of the company, but I doubt highly it will ever be able to entice the users that have already left to come back. For that matter, even if it is reversed, I doubt it’ll ever be a trusted platform anymore for several communities.
So, there you go guys. You can have it. We don’t want to be associated with Zuckerberg and his illogical antics that are based entirely upon his antiquated opinion. It’ll suit you guys very well. 🙂
Cheers! Have a great day and be safe out there.