Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Trans people, let's tell Facebook we exist!

Dear Jay,
Imagine that one day Facebook suddenly erased your identity from its social network – what would you do?  We often take for granted our ability to create an online identity that reflects who we are, but for millions that's impossible – because their gender does not fit in Facebook's checkboxes. From Metis in Nepal, to Travestis in Brazil, there are millions whose identities are broader than just male or female – the two options Facebook forces you to choose from before joining. The governments of Nepal, India, and Pakistan have legally recognized that gender goes beyond male and female - and so has Facebook's main competitor, Google+. If Facebook were a nation, it would have the world’s third largest population. In the past, they have used their influence for good - recognizing same gender partnerships and marriages. Will you take one minute to ask Facebook to change the checkbox and open their doors to people of all gender identities? Then tell your friends and family to do the same: www.allout.org/facebook
What we love about Facebook is the ability for people to create and customize online identities to reflect our lives. When it comes to languages, we can list virtually any language in the world, or even make up languages – how else could we show off our fluency in “Language of Love”? If our ability to choose religions, languages, and interests are limitless, why should Facebook impose limits on something as essential as gender? While most trans people have fought for the right to have their gender identities recognized and respected, we know this is a new issue to many All Out members. 
So, we asked 5 members of our community who are impacted by Facebook's policy to tell us about who they are and why this change matters.  You can check out their stories and sign the petition, here: www.allout.org/facebook
Facebook is one of the most powerful companies in the world and can influence hundreds of millions of people. Will you push Facebook to become a vehicle, not a roadblock, in the uphill drive for recognition and respect? www.allout.org/facebook Thank you for speaking out so that every All Out member is respected for who they are.  We appreciate you!

All the best and All Out,
Aaron, Andre, Erika, Guillaume, Jeremy, Joseph, Nita, Oli, Prerna, Tile, Wesley and the rest of the team at All Out
SOURCES:
1. Pakistan's high court finds merit in third gender ID www.thestar.com/news/world/pakistan/article/761722--pakistan-s-high-court-finds-merit-in-third-gender-id
2. India's third gender gets own identity in voter rolls www.edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/11/12/india.gender.voting
3. Nepal: Third gender issued citizenship certificate www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Third+gender+issued+citizenship+certificate&NewsID=284117
4. Facebook’s Gender Trouble www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2008/07/09/gender_neutral
5. Google Plus Goes Gender Neutral www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/07/13/Google_Plus_Goes_Gender_Neutral
All Out is bringing people together in every corner of the planet and of every identity - lesbian, gay, straight, transgender and all that’s between and beyond - to build a world in which everyone can live freely and be embraced for who they are.


Our mailing address is:
Purpose Foundation
224 Centre St
New York, NY 10013
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