Do you have a “dead name?”
Some of the world’s most famous people do — at least in terms of popular use: Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Elton John, and Jamie Foxx transformed from Norma Jean Mortenson, Archie Leach, Reginald Kenneth Dwight, and Eric Bishop.
But these days, dead is dead: In public and private, people are changing their names and declaring the old identities gone for good.
Such is certainly the case for those identifying as transgender.
And at Google, the phenomenon’s led to something unsightly.
As laid out by an online petition, here’s how the story goes:
Google’s South Carolina data center subcontracts with security firm G4S.
Phares Lee (pronounced like “Ferris”) has worked for G4S since 2018.
According to DropTheDeadnames.org, Phares is “a trans man and a member of the (Google) Alphabet Workers Union.”
The employee’s requested multiple times to get the words “Phares Lee” printed on a name tag, but Google’s chosen to stick with a legal name.
This, despite Phares having altered the moniker within Google’s online systems (Teams/MOMA).
Eventually, Phares was told, “he’s not even allowed to talk to corporate-created Employee Resource Groups, which were set up to support underrepresented communities.”
Because of that, well, I’ll let the petition tell it:
We believe Google and G4S must build a better workplace. That means creating a workforce that is more representative of our users, and a workplace that creates a sense of belonging for everyone.
The sign-up sheet demands thusly:
This Pride Month, We Call on Google and G4S to Drop the Deadnames and Create a Sense of Belonging for All Workers!
Phares waxes on the unpleasant workplace plight:
“I’ve been facing workplace issues that feel like discrimination to my gender identity, but it’s not just about me as an individual. Google and G4S need to make changes so that no one else has to go through what I’ve had to.”
For #Pride2021 @AlphabetWorkers is launching a special campaign – Phares Lee is a transgender man working at the same Google Data Center that I was suspended at for union activity and talking about working
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