Drag icon RuPaul has thrown his weight behind a campaign against Facebook for banning performers who use their drag names on their profiles.
The social media site’s ‘real name’ policy has outraged drag performers, artists and others who use names on Facebook different to their legal names.
Now, RuPaul has stepped into the fray and expressed his opinion on the contentious issue.
“In showbiz, there’s no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right,” RuPaul (given name, RuPaul Andre Charles) told The Hollywood Reporter.
“But it’s bad policy when Facebook strips the rights of creative individuals who have blossomed into something even more fabulous than the name their mama gave them,” the star said.
Facebook recently began suspending profiles of individuals who don’t use their real names on the site, despite this affecting not only performers but also other people who fear for their safety if they disclose their identity. These include closeted gays and lesbians and survivors of abusive relationships and stalking.
Last week, the company met with a group of drag performers at its offices in California about the issue but has refused to back down. It’s given the performers two weeks to change their profiles to their real names or move to a fan page or face having their profiles suspended again.
Michael Williams (also known as Sister Roma), one of the key figures behind the campaign against Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy, has announced a protest outside the San Francisco City Hall on Thursday next week.