Asking OKCupid to Change My Name to Reflect My Gender Identity

I’m a little bummed that OKCupid doesn’t allow for “queer” or “genderqueer” as options, but the name thing is really what gets to me.  For the record, this is what I sent them, and I’ll keep you updated:

I am hoping that you might make an exception to your username policy for gender identity. I’ve always found OKC to be the most liberal dating site in terms of sexuality and gender, and I hope that you’ll live up to that reputation in practice, as many in queer communities use your service. I am genderqueer and the name I created years ago is a female first name that I no longer use in life. I go by my middle name, Avory. “Judith” is inconsistent with my gender identity and it can be upsetting to see it over and over again in print. I am on a limited income and cannot afford to pay a monthly fee indefinitely to have my name changed and maintained. As a longtime user, I would like to be able to keep the benefits I have accrued on your site, rather than be punished for a change in gender identity by having to create a new account. I trust that you will understand that this is not an abuse of the situation. My preferred usernames, in order of preference, are:

queeravory
avoryspeaks
GQavory

Thanks for your help,
Avory

About Avory

Avory Faucette is a queer feminist activist, writer, and public speaker. Zie graduated from the University of Iowa with a JD in 2009, focusing on international human rights and gender/sexuality issues in the law. Hir current work focuses on queer identity, policy, and marginalized identities under the queer umbrella. As a genderqueer person, zie comments frequently on non-binary identity, transgender and genderqueer issues, and media coverage of these populations. Zie also speaks at colleges, universities, and events on transgender and queer issues and conducts trainings on related topics.

Posted on August 17, 2011, in gender and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Good luck! I hope they let you choose one of those usernames, that would be really progressive.

  2. I can’t believe you’ve got that much time on your hands to send OKC a human rights rant about your account name. Why should your new personal choice be given special attention? They don’t care what gender you are — policies are policies. I’m not gay, and yet would still equally be “punished” if I wanted to change my user name there – for any reason.

    But as usual, with most minorities who claim oppression at every turn, no doubt the squeaky wheel will get the grease.

    Paul

    • Paul,

      Policies may be policies, but a wise company is willing to make exemptions in certain cases. Of course, were I to want to change my name many times, that would be an abuse of the system and I’d need to pay like anyone else. However, asking someone to pay a substantial monthly fee until that person stops using the service because someone’s name has changed is discriminatory. It is logical that OKC would have exceptions to the rule–not only for trans and genderqueer people, but for others who have a clear stated reason for changing their name (abuse victims, for example). I enquired in hopes that there might be an internal policy of allowing exceptions in these cases. Unfortunately, if there is no stated policy, then the only way to find out is to, as you put it, “squeak.” In a perfect world, oppressed groups would not have to ask for rights, they would be conferred as a matter of course to everyone. But that is not the world we live in.

      Best,
      Avory

  3. Did anything come of this?

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