I worked stealth [not “out”] at a physical labour job for over six years. It was a verbally and sometimes physically abusive environment. Despite passing for straight and cisgender, I still dealt constantly with bullying and ostracism. Having to use my real name online would have risked having my politics, queerness, and transsexuality discovered by any number of the hundred men I worked with, putting me at even greater risk of emotional and physical abuse.

On a less dramatic note, the forced name change resulted in losing numerous friends who didn’t know who I was, countless missed tags and invites, and a dramatic decline in comments, likes, and variety of people appearing in my newsfeed.

To this day I still feel resentful when I see other people (and it’s easily the great majority of people I encounter on Facebook) who still have screen names that clearly aren’t their legal name. Why did Facebook prioritize an unnecessary and arbitrarily enforced policy over my social media enjoyment and personal safety?

Montreal, Quebec