My name is Lance Gayhart. That is my given birth name, so my story here is unique. My account wasn’t reported because of that fact. The reason I support my friends in their quest to change the FB name policy is because I get it. I was bullied as a child; not only for my last name, but also for being gay. I understand what it’s like to wish you were someone else (or worse). I never had the option to change my name when I was younger, and by the time I got older, I was strong enough to wear it with pride. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I wanted to commit suicide to end the bullying and hate. When someone tries to run away from things they can’t escape, they are desperate to hide. Sometimes they feel so alone, often they think their only option is to opt out of life. Who is Facebook to force someone relive the agony and misery that folks have tried so hard to escape. It’s not right. I wonder how many people were forced to choose another way out, because of this draconian policy. Facebook should be ashamed.

—Lance Gayhart