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Drag Queens Force Facebook to Back Down

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Sister RomaFacebook changed directions on its “real names” policy yesterday in response to continued and blistering criticism from drag queens and the threat of mass defections to Ello and other services.

Think Progress reports:

Facebook officially apologized Wednesday for enforcing its “real name” policy for users against drag queens and other members of the LGBT community. Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer, acknowledged that the policy has been a “painful” experience for the many individuals whose profiles were suspended and promised to do better. “I want to apologize to the affected community of drag queens, drag kings, transgender, and extensive community of our friends, neighbors, and members of the LGBT community for the hardship that we’ve put you through in dealing with your Facebook accounts over the past few weeks,” Cox wrote. He explained that an individual user had reported several hundred accounts as fake, and they didn’t notice the pattern of how drag queens and other LGBT people might have been targeted for their identities rather than because they were trying to impersonate, bully, or troll others — as is the case for most fake accounts Facebook suspends.

“an individual user had reported several hundred accounts as fake” — and that, in a nutshell, is the problem with Facebook. Someone can lodge a complaint against you, and you often end up suspended or worse without any recourse, unless you can mount a mass media campaign in your own defense. FB is notoriously terrible at dealing with user issues – ever tried to get help from a FB employee? Which is as much a function of FB’s sheer size and limited staff as anything else. Maybe they should put a few more of their billions of dollars they earn from our information into customer service.

And BTW, has this individual who targeted drag queens been suspended from using Facebook?

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Facebook to Meet With Drag Queens Over “Real Name” Fiasco

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Sister RomaFacebook has agreed to meet with a group of drag queens about not allowing them to use their drag names on their FB profiles.

Queerty reports:

As momentum grew, Sister Roma planned a protest at Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA… “This issue affects a lot of marginalized, creative, and professional communities, including transgender people, bullied youth, activists, LGBTQ people who aren’t out everywhere, survivors of domestic violence and stalking, migrants, sex workers, artists who work under pseudonyms, and various professionals who work in sensitive professions (eg. mental health, criminal justice, etc.) who may want to interact with friends without being found by clients…” Well wouldn’t you know it, the last thing Facebook wants are viral videos of drag queens with protest signs outside their headquarters hitting social media and the national news.

Don’t mess with Drag Queens.

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The Quiet Clash Between Transgender Women And Drag Queens

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

RuPaul's Drag Race

In March, RuPaul’s Drag Race, a reality competition show in search of “America’s Next Drag Superstar,” featured a mini-game called “Female or She-male.” Contestants looked at pictures of bodies and tried to guess whether the person in the picture was a drag queen or a cisgender (not transgender) woman. This prompted a backlash from many transgender activists, who were upset by the nature of the segment and its use of the word “shemale,” which GLAAD explains is a term that “dehumanizes transgender people and should not be used.”

After an initially weak response to the outcry, Logo TV, the LGBT-focused network that airs Drag Race, announced it was pulling the episode and also cutting the “You’ve got She-mail!” segment that has been part of every episode of the show over its six seasons. Despite the resolution, the incident has continued to be a flashpoint about how the visibility of drag culture on Drag Race impacts public understanding of what it means to be transgender. Questions about the appropriate use of words like “shemale” and “tranny” speak to a larger conflict over media representation and the authenticity of identities.

RuPaul, the show’s host and executive producer, has been unrepentant, telling comedian Marc Maron recently, “I love the word ‘tranny,'” and that it’s only “fringe people” who are taking exception with such language. But among those “fringe people” expressing concern are former contestants from Drag Race, including Carmen Carrera and Monica Beverly Hillz, both of whom now identify as trans women. According to Hillz, she is still fighting for respect from society, because “people don’t understand the daily struggle it is to be a transgender woman.”

Authored By Zack Ford – See the Full Story at Think Progress

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