When it comes to San Francisco's legendary Pride Parade, tech money talks -- and it's going to call you by your legal name, whether you like it or not.
At least, that's the message drag queens received today, as they learned that Facebook will be allowed to participate as a sponsor in this year's 45th annual Pride celebration (June 27-28). This, despite recent protests over the social networking giant's policy that requires users to go by their real names.
Across the U.S., members of the drag community have decried Facebook's "real name" policy since October of last year, after what activists called a rash of discrimination and targeted flagging of LGBT users.
The policy allows users to anonymously report fellow Facebookers whom they believe to be using a fake name. While the company maintains the protocol is in place to protect users from certain types of fraud, drag performers and other individuals who rely on pseudonyms argue the policy actually has the potential to put users in grave danger. (The Examiner includes "domestic violence survivors, people fleeing stalkers, teachers who want private lives away from their students [and] those transitioning to a different gender" in this group.)
The debate heated up again in recent weeks, as Pride's nine-person board of directors considered banning Facebook from participating in the celebration after all -- a move that would have sent a very clear message about where the city's organized gay community stands on the issue.