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Facebook Continues To Freeze Out Drag Queen Profiles

FacebookEarlier this month Sister Roma led the charge in convincing Facebook to roll back its “Real Name Policy” that was forcibly deactivating drag queens’ accounts at a disproportionate rate. Though activists eventually reached an agreement with the Menlo Park-based company, Roma is now reporting that a number of queens are still being locked out of the social network.

“Every time one or two get fixed, a handful get suspended,” Sister Roma explained to the Guardian. “So we really feel like we’re swimming upstream, and while I’m hopeful that Facebook is doing the right thing, it’s discouraging.”

Facebook began deactivating drag queens’ accounts after a single user reported hundreds for technically being in violation of the site’s policy. Facebook has stated that it encourages users to use their real names in profiles so as to hold them more accountable and prevent them from abusing one another beneath the guise of anonymity.

“We are committed to ensuring that all members of the Facebook community can use the authentic names they use in real life,” Facebook reps said in a statement. “Our team is busy working to improve the implementation of this standard so that some of the issues people recently encountered can be prevented in the future.”

Sister Roma is currently acting as a liason for all queens affected by the policy, and encourging them to contact her with their names, deactivated profile URLs, and an explanation as to how their drag identity is the public identity they wish to present. 


Drag Diva Group Atlanta's Royals Cover 'Bang Bang' - VIDEO

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Evelyn Caldwell (Miss Atlanta Grand Diva) and Evah Destruction (Miss Atlanta Rising Diva) will be giving up their Atlanta's Royals titles later this month - and it looks like the drag divas won't be going out without a bang. 

Check out their fierce cover of Jessie J, Nicki Minaj, and Ariana Grande's "Bang Bang," AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Drag Diva Group Atlanta's Royals Cover 'Bang Bang' - VIDEO" »


'Facebook VP' Apologizes to Drag Queens for 'Real Name' Policy on Ellen: VIDEO

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Last week we reported that Facebook changed its "real name" policy in response to outrage after the social network began to enforce rules requiring users to attach their birth names to personal pages.

Much of the anger over the policy came from drag queens, and a coalition led by Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence was instrumental in getting Facebook to change it.

Following the policy change, Facebook issued a formal apology.

Ellen DeGeneres spoke about the controversy on her show today and invited "Facebook VP Josh Blackenship" to apologize to a list of drag queens by name.

Watch it all go down, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "'Facebook VP' Apologizes to Drag Queens for 'Real Name' Policy on Ellen: VIDEO" »


California GOP Congressman Posts, Removes Image Insulting Transgender People

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Commenting on a bill allowing death certificates to reflect the expressed gender identity of the decedent, Devin Nunes [pictured below], a Republican representative for California’s 22nd District, has posted an image insulting to the transgender community on his official Congressional website, reports Queerlandia.

NunesThe post on Nunes’s blog, which appears to have since been deleted, included an image of Johnny Depp portraying the title character in Tim Burton’s biopic Ed Wood. Wood was an actor, writer, director and producer who is best known for his B-movies including “Glen or Glenda” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space.”

Wood was open about both cross dressing and his interest in drag.

According to Queerlandia, the image “does not reflect what transgender is, but is clearly an a snarky put-down of both a Democratic attempt to respect a group of citizens long treated poorly by society, and of that group itself.  Nunes should be ashamed.”


Drag Queens Declare Victory as Facebook Apologizes, Says It Will 'Fix' 'Real Name' Policy

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Facebook's head of product Chris Cox apologized on Wednesday 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" caused by the company's "real names" policy, which resulted in the deactivation of many accounts after the social network began to enforce rules requiring users to attach their birth names to personal pages.

A group of dissenters led by Sister Roma of the San Francisco chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence met with Facebook officials last month and reported afterward that the company would continue to enforce the policy, keeping accounts active for two weeks to people could decide whether to provide their "real" names.

The group had a second meeting today.

At today's meeting they were told of the company's promise to change the policy and offered the public apology by Cox, which you can read in full here.

CoxToday, Cox (right) said the company promises to "fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were."

Said Cox:

The way this happened took us off guard. An individual on Facebook decided to report several hundred of these accounts as fake. These reports were among the several hundred thousand fake name reports we process every single week, 99 percent of which are bad actors doing bad things: impersonation, bullying, trolling, domestic violence, scams, hate speech, and more — so we didn't notice the pattern. The process we follow has been to ask the flagged accounts to verify they are using real names by submitting some form of ID — gym membership, library card, or piece of mail. We've had this policy for over 10 years, and until recently it's done a good job of creating a safe community without inadvertently harming groups like what happened here.

Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name. The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life. For Sister Roma, that's Sister Roma. For Lil Miss Hot Mess, that's Lil Miss Hot Mess. Part of what's been so difficult about this conversation is that we support both of these individuals, and so many others affected by this, completely and utterly in how they use Facebook.

Cox also justified Facebook's "real names" policy as a point of differentiation from the rest of the internet, much of which operates on anonymity.

Cox added:

Second, it's the primary mechanism we have to protect millions of people every day, all around the world, from real harm. The stories of mass impersonation, trolling, domestic abuse, and higher rates of bullying and intolerance are oftentimes the result of people hiding behind fake names, and it's both terrifying and sad. Our ability to successfully protect against them with this policy has borne out the reality that this policy, on balance, and when applied carefully, is a very powerful force for good.

Cox says that the company is building better authentication tools "for understanding who's real and who's not" and a way to better communicate with those who are affected.

ElloIs it enough to prevent a mass exodus to upstart social networks like Ello, which has been described as "anti-Facebook" and has been attracting thousands of new members a day since the "real names" policy controversy began?

Well, a group of dissenters who had been planning a protest against Facebook for this Thursday at 12 noon in front of San Francisco City Hall have instead turned it into a Victory Party, writing:

GREAT NEWS: At our meeting Wednesday, Facebook acknowledged the flaws in their "real names" policy, stating that it was never their intention to require legal names and that everyone should feel free to use the names they go by in real life. We're also thrilled to report that Facebook's Chief Product Officer Chris Cox issued a sincere apology to our communities and agreed to take concrete action in the coming weeks to amend the enforcement procedures so that we won't have to deal with trolls again or show ID. We couldn't be happier, so we're turning this protest into a VICTORY RALLY!!!

Mark Snyder, Senior Manager, Communications at Transgender Law Center also released a statement to Towleroad:

"We had a very productive meeting with Facebook today in which they apologized for the way this situation has been handled, and they committed to making changes to the way they enforce their 'real names' policy to ensure that folks who need to use chosen names that reflect their authentic selves online are able to do so. We are excited to work in good faith with Facebook to address all the concerns raised in today's meeting. What was made clear today is that Facebook is ready to collaborate with our communities and shares our value of making sure everyone is able to safely be their authentic self online. We applaud the many staff at Facebook who advocated tirelessly for this progress."

(top image dragaholic news twitter)


Adore Delano and Alaska Thunderf--k Look 'F--kin' Cool' - VIDEO

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Adore Delano, one the finalists on last season's RuPaul's Drag Race, has released the music video for latest single, "I Look F--kin' Cool" featuring Alaska Thunderf--k and Nina Flowers. The song is the fifth single off her album, Till Death Do Us Party. The video takes dark glamour to a new level:

The video is set in a dystopian future, where an authoritarian, big-brother-like police force has enacted a coup ‘de fashion. All fashion and individualized self-expression has been banned in lieu of a military-esque uniform, but there are those that disobey. A small gang of rebel-punks led by Adore and Alaska (the two most wanted by the regime) have begun to band together using a sophisticated network called Jack’d to connect with like-minded individuals.

“It’s a bold, fiery, no-nonsense proclamation that we are all perfect exactly the way we are”, says Adore Delano of her latest track.  Delano admits that growing up in a suburb outside of Los Angeles, she was an outcast.  “A dark horse in a dark horse community,” she explains.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And ICYMI, watch Delano's previous videos "Party", "I Adore U", and, of course, DTF.

Continue reading "Adore Delano and Alaska Thunderf--k Look 'F--kin' Cool' - VIDEO" »


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