If you are reading this, you are either a crossdresser, transwoman or an ally. Understand one thing I know for certain in life, Facebook hates you!
What I am about to explain here is something that could happen to you if you are on Facebook. It will not happen to all of you, but I can assure you it will happen to some of you, if it already hasn’t.
The following post ran on Femulate December 14, 2022. I ran it there, with the support of Stana, who has also had a similar experience, to get it in front of the most possible eyeballs. [Thank you Stana, there is no Kandi’s Land without you.]
I am a 61-year-old transwoman. Like many of you, legally I am male, but essentially, I am a woman. Life circumstances prevent me from going any further than this. As such, I have sought to build a female life that brings me pleasure and peace. I have become a serial volunteer all around Cleveland, working for The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Arthritis Foundation, The American Heart Association, The Diversity Center of Northern Ohio and this evening, I will be working one of the principal fundraisers for The Providence House. Providence House provides much needed crisis nursery services for those in desperate need in our area. There are many other places I work as well.
My mission in life is to demonstrate that we can live in the mainstream as women, even though we are unable to go down the difficult road to transition due to the circumstances of our lives.
I have also been able to work actively as a model and an actress as Kandi. I am Kandi.
I reluctantly started a Facebook account about a year ago as it was the principal means of networking within the communities mentioned above. I do have a male FB account. It is principally inactive and was only established to belong to a certain group I am in. I rarely ever use it.
My fear in setting up Kandi’s FB account was that Mark Zuckerberg and his algorithm would out me, possibly costing me my job and potentially creating issues for family they do not deserve. So, when I set up Kandi’s account, I used a nearby suburb as my location (not my actual location) and selected a different birthday because I feared by accessing either account from the same location (our home), Facebook would cross pollinate the two. In the meantime, I have built significant contacts through my FB account that are quite valuable to me.
Fast forward to December 9, 2022, and someone hacked my account. Facebook locked it down to “protect” me. And they will not unlock it without a legal form of ID. Kandi, legally, is not a person, so legally, she has no identification. I have tried on numerous occasions to submit my driver’s license with an explanation. I have done the same from my male FB account. I have sent numerous emails to FB from various email addresses I could find online. I have tried calling. I have provided my legal male information alongside my female information, at great discomfort to me. Bottom line, they will offer me (nor anyone else) no ability to contact them. They simply reject my submission time after time with no explanation or other option to prove who I am. A more arrogant organization does not exist.
Any of their “help” can only be accessed as a member, and being locked out, I have no access.
There are millions and millions of us on Facebook with the same potential situation. If I did not have so much invested in these contacts, I would simply walk away and continue to distain Facebook for the scourge that it is.
Facebook has locked me out simply because I am transgender. At least that is how I see it.
I received feedback, but most of it was “this” happened to me and I lost my account.
For two weeks, I did everything I could to salvage the account. These are my personal experiences and observations along the way.
I hate to say this, but do you know who has been the least helpful? Anyone associated with the LGBT community. I emailed Cleveland’s Pride center, emailed San Mateo Pride (closest to FB geographically), Cleveland’s Plexus, which I am a member (LGBT Chamber of Commerce), I messengered (through my male account) FB’s LGBT page, emailed the ACLU of Northern California, messengered a Facebook Help page (basically was told I broke the rules). None of these places except the last one ever bothered to respond. A simple “there is nothing we can do or suggest” would be preferred to being ignored.
I reached out to an LGBT friendly, mainstream news feed, Huff Post. No response.
I reached out to a handful of friends and associates. Most could offer no solutions or ideas I hadn’t already tried. Most told stories of how they lost their accounts. Most not yet affected don’t really understand (nor did I) that it is only a matter of time that something like this happens to them.
I made an amazing connection with a drag queen. This is a huge problem for them because their drag names, the names under which they perform, are not their “legal” names. She quite literally responded immediately to me: “First off I am so sorry for what you were going through. Facebook is completely wrong and their dangerous real names policy continues. Myself and a group of folks worked hard to change this policy but were complete failures and that it still exists and we have no power to help you. I have CCed everyone that I can that could potentially do something but they are also in the same boat as me. There is a Facebook email that is above and so far that is the only way people have been able to get their names back. I’m so sorry this is cruel, dangerous and you should not have to go through it. It’s traumatic and harmful and I’m very sorry but I have no control”
She put me in touch with a few others who, as you might guess now, never responded.
I emailed email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, all emails are legitimate as they were delivered because I tried a few others and they bounced. Also firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
I have called. The phone is automatically answered, you push a few numbers until you are then told they don’t provide phone support.
I made a video, as Kandi, holding up my drivers license very clearly in that video and completely explaining my situation. I have submitted that at least 20 times in various of these messages listed above. I have reported the problem daily for a week through my male account at what I feel heightens the risk of cross pollinating the two accounts.
A Vanity Club sister of mine has been awesome as the only real person to help, even though she really could not solve the Facebook riddle either. I also cannot tell you how disappointed in our “community” I am. I find there is very little real support which is why I strive to be just the opposite, supportive of our sisters whenever and wherever I am able. My blog is all about love and support of each other. I hated FB and how it rules society, which is why it took me until the ripe old age of 60 to ever have an account. My feelings about FB have been affirmed.
To pour salt in the wounds, I attended a film community (that, BTW, is really a community) holiday mixer and so many people walked up to me to compliment me on what they see of me on…….my Facebook page! That page was the link to me building a living, breathing life as a woman and was the catalyst to my making a connection that has become an incredible career opportunity for me. I do not have the experiences I have had, I do not know many of the people that I know, I do not have my wonderful new (real world) business partners, I do not have the career I am rebuilding from the wreckage of some things I have endured in the past, without this damn Facebook account.
It’s not as simple as starting over, it’s not as simple as my just being vain and posting pictures (yes, I am vain, but that’s not the point). Unfortunately Facebook and it’s FB-owned sister company, Instagram, have become common tools of communication in this country. We went from land lines to car phones to texting and email to now our society being tethered together by a company who literally has no soul.
I am close to saying f#$k it, but it is wrong for a class of people to be treated this way and for me to be punished by Facebook far more that any hacker could have damaged me.
I would have thought I could find someone who would have known one single person out of the 76,000 employees that are under the umbrella of Meta (Facebook). I would have hoped an LGBT employee there would reach out somehow through the LGBT FB page I contacted. I cannot believe I could not find a single story of anyone really having any success with this type of issue. All I need is a connection with one human being in that company who has an inkling of compassion.
Honestly, if I could solve this problem, I could make millions….
I am sure most think “what’s the big deal?”. The relationships I fostered, the contacts I made, poof….gone!
Be assured, Facebook hates you!
If anyone can offer a suggestion, I would certainly appreciate it. A friend ran a Facebook post about this yesterday and got a lot of feedback, but most are dark web types, effectively counter-hackers and scam artists. Trying traditional channels do not seem to work. Yesterday, I was working with one of these dark web guys and I could not get him paid. It wasn’t much, but PayPal and Venmo would not allow the transfers. Maybe that was a blessing, maybe not. I lost $100 on an up-front payment, walking in knowing I was gambling here. I am not at all upset about the money, it was a valuable lesson. If you are in this circumstance and you are asked to send money, on PayPal for example, as “Family & Friends” instead of as a commercial transaction, DO NOT DO IT. There will certainly be a second or a third payment just as they are finalizing “recovering your account”. They prey on hope. What I guess is the most disheartening thing is that Facebook houses these criminals, they know they are there and they do nothing about it. Nothing. But me, oh my, let’s lock her down and keep her from spreading love and joy. Way to go, Zuch! I realize you are worth billions, but there is a special place in hell for people like you.
The fake human being (according to Facebook) was published again!
Oh Kandi, I feel so bad for you. All I can do is tell you how wonderful you are and how horrible this situation must be for you.
I have never been on FB and never plan to. I am a social media “Luddite” and happy to be so. I am so sorry I cannot offer one single suggestion.
Just know that I, and thousands of people, love you.
I started begrudgingly on FB, hate that I need it, but the other alternative, Instagram is owned by the evil empire. Thanks Jocelyn!
Hi Kandi ,
You know my thoughts on this issue through our recent Email .
I’m not trying to excuse FB but perhaps we shouldn’t forget the bigger picture and consider the various elements throughout the world using media to further a very dark cause . How many lives have been lost through abuse of the social media sites ?
That further demonstrates my hate for this entity. However, all social media sites, including Twitter, etc. spread hate.
Kandi, sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations. It’s obviously difficult to comment without straying into political territory but I find Facebook’s attitude unbelievable given their alignment with those groups traditionally more favourable to the LGBT community.
Perhaps the saddest thing about all of this is the lack of dissenting voices other than those of actual victims. Perhaps that’s more a reflection of there being few left on Facebook to care rather than no one caring at all but whatever the answer is, it neither helps those affected nor mitigates FB’s actions when, as is increasingly becoming apparent, what is permitted is more governed by the whim of a few individuals than any semblance of a level playing field.
I hope you are able to resolve this quickly.
I reached out to many of those LGBT sites and got no response.
I will not solve it at all mostly likely, and will be forced to rethink how I connect within the acting community.
To all my girlfriends out there I send you this simple message. Stay away from Facebook. If you are closeted, it will out you to your family and friends if you have an account in both your femme name and also your legal name.
Agreed, but if I wanted to play in the acting sandbox, I had to.
Reach out to your congress member and give them the problem. They will most likely make one phone call and get you a response from FB. They will then send you requests for money 90 time per week the rest of your life but at least you will get an answer.
Not a bad idea Micki! Thanks.
Big Tech is such a part of our society these days and reading this they just seem more like our federal government everytime I read such
Cold, without caring attitude and just there to get a paycheck
I’m on FB but decided long ago I won’t get on as Rachael so I’m just there as the legal me.
I hope this can be worked out for you
Believe me, I never wanted to be there but if I wanted to do some of the things I have been blessed to do, I had to. I’ll figure something out….
Kandi Im so sorry to hear of this horrible experience, I meet you in person and you are lovely human being and all you want is to spread love and joy and understanding about our community. I hate it when this crap happens to good people, kind hearted. I don’t like FB !!!!! This happened to me also, FB locked me out of my account and I needed to provide a picture of myself holding my I.D. ( my Jennifer account) so this was something I couldn’t do. And speaking about LGBTQ, it was a trans woman that reported me to FB, that I wasn’t the person on my profile pic. My profile pic was one of me en femme. I know it was her because she sent me a DM on IG and threatened to the same there. Knock on wood , my account is still up on IG. Kandi this is an opportunity to expand Kandi land to make it something that FB isn’t.
” Kandi this is an opportunity to expand Kandi land to make it something that FB isn’t.”
Hmmmm………..I hadn’t though of it that way! BTW, I send a video of me (Kandi), holding my ID and explaining everything. No response.
I must admit that was my thought to totally boycott FB and take your business elsewhere , the sad part is I don’t think they would care one way or the other .
They certainly would not care and unfortunately, there is no better way to connect. It’s a monopoly.
With FB its like walking on egg shells. You don’t know who you may offend with your comments and in my own opinion sometimes othe members of the LGBTQ community turn us in because they/ them know we can not provide I.D. ( speaking from my own experience) I have learned from IG to bite my tongue and just hit that like button and keep it moving.
Kandi, I was thinking maybe if you reach out to the Halsted center here in Chicago,maybe they can help..
Thanks for the suggestion. I am coming to realize, I am fighting a lost cause. I have reached out to some high level experts and my local Senator and will see if that bears any fruit. Otherwise, I’ll be off Facebook for good, as I will not go back. I have my own place, this is it and may be all that I do. We’ll see as I let this play out through Christmas. You area very good friend!