Untucked vs. Facebook

Holy untucked! In case you haven’t heard, the drag community is in a complete uproar worldwide over a social media lockdown. That’s right, folks! Our wonderful friends at Facebook announced that anyone using a fake/stage name would be blocked from their accounts. Many suspected this to be a rumor, like those we always see on Facebook, but this one I know from personal experience is very true.

You see, there are little things hidden in the Terms of Use you agreed to when you set up your account with the social media site. Let’s face it, how many people really do read that stuff? Over two years ago, when logging into my “Paige Turner” account, I received a message stating something to the tune of:

Your account has been temporarily suspended because it looks like you are not using your real name. Facebook is a community where people use their REAL identities. We REQUIRE everyone to provide their real name so you always know who you’re connecting with. Don't worry, you will be able to get back into your timeline with you FULL REAL name.

I responded that this was my real name, and I even contacted Facebook. I explained that Paige Turner was a stage name, a persona created and lived by me! So it was me! They responded by saying, “If you send valid proof that your name is Paige Turner in the form of state identification, you can regain access to your account. Otherwise it will be deleted.”

So, I gave in and just created a fan (LIKE) page so I wouldn’t run into this issue again. I was very upset because I was losing a large number of followers. I wanted their heads in a bag! But, in all seriousness, I wish I would have pressed and fought the issue more. If more of us had, then maybe Facebook wouldn’t be on its modern day witch hunt, forcing the queens to change their names.

Many queens have fallen victim to this in the past months, but the targeting of a big name really brought the issue into the spotlight. Even some RuPaul girls, including Sharon Needles, have fallen prey to Facebook’s policy. But it was Sister Roma who made a big stand, announcing a full-on protest at the Facebook headquarters. The protest was later canceled after Facebook agreed to meet with her and the protestors. Ultimately, this meeting failed: the Real Name Policy would not be changed. While Facebook announced that they would reinstate the profiles LGBT community members recently targeted, suspended, or removed, Facebook hoped that within 2 weeks those users will either confirm their official identity, change to their legal names, or move to a fan page.

Tons of people use fake names on Facebook. Many college students do it because they don’t want anything to come back and haunt them. Law enforcement officers, teachers, and I'm sure even some politicians—because you know we all watched House of Cards—do it for the same reason.

True, if I never saw another “HOTBOY GOODLOVIN” tranny chasing me on my fan page, I wouldn't mind, but I don’t want that at the risk of not using my stage name. I can’t help but ask why the drag community is being so aggressively targeted, while real-sounding fake profiles that are used to lure children and other victims aren’t on Facebook’s radar. They're just surfing your Newsfeed as you read this. Facebook is friendlier to the electronic “white van with blacked out windows” than it is to drag performers.

Many queens like the legendary Jackie Beat, who has not yet been affected, are leaving the social media site. She said, “I will not and cannot stand around and remain silent while my friends and family are being threatened.” A lot of girls are opting for more drag-focused media sites such as Dragwatch.com, which allow drag queens and their fans to interact and connect.

Whether Facebook will back down on this policy is yet to be seen, but I know the queens stand strong together on this issue and are not backing down. It has, in one sense, brought back the old camaraderie: Queens really care about one another and have each other’s backs.





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