I used the word dyke in a post several days ago when writing about the foundation of Dykes on Bikes. My post disappeared from Facebook for a while which baffled me. Then I learned that Facebook was deleting posts that included the words dyke and faggot. I can understand the deletions if the words are used pejoratively but not in the historical contexts in which some of us use them. On June 27, 2017, Richard Allan, VP EMEA Public Policy, at Facebook wrote:
“On other occasions, people may reclaim offensive terms that were used to attack them. When someone uses an offensive term in a self-referential way, it can feel very different from when the same term is used to attack them. For example, the use of the word “dyke” may be considered hate speech when directed as an attack on someone on the basis of the fact that they are gay. However, if someone posted a photo of themselves with #dyke, it would be allowed. Another example is the word “faggot.” This word could be considered hate speech when directed at a person, but, in Italy, among other places, “frocio” (“faggot”) is used by LGBT activists to denounce homophobia and reclaim the word. In these cases, removing the content would mean restricting someone’s ability to express themselves on Facebook.”
Along with many who have expressed on Facebook in the past few days, I ask you to call on Facebook to end their discriminatory practice of banning women for using the word “dyke” in a self-referential manner and/or as a positive expression of culture. Urge Facebook to follow their own stated policy and avoid restricting our self-expression on Facebook.
I understand that this can be a slippery slope. At the very least, I want Facebook to consider context of words – regardless of the author and the issue- before banning users.
Today in LGBT History – July 7
1974, Canada -The Quebec Charter of Human Rights is adopted by the National Assembly without legal protection for gays.
2010, Sweden – Tobias Billstrom (born 27 December 1973) is the first openly bisexual person elected to the Swedish government. He is the Minister of Migration Affairs.
2014 – The first White House LGBT Innovation Summit takes place to discuss ways in which technology can help the LGBT community’s challenges. Speakers included Tim Gill, founder of Quark publishing software and transgender activist and model; Geena Rocero, founder of transgender rights group Gender Proud; and Leanne Pittsford, founder of Lesbians Who Tech, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of women and lesbians in technology. This was the first summit of its kind held at the White House, with nearly 180 people attend.
LGBT fact: Mesolithic rock art in Sicily, drawn between 9660 to 5000 BCE, depicts phallic male figures in pairs that have been interpreted variously, including as hunters, acrobats, and religious initiates, with depictions of male homosexual intercourse.
Let your voice speak out and change the world!
(Historical information obtained from a variety of sources including QUIST at facebook.com/quistapp, Back2Stonewall.com, Lavender Effect, DataLounge.com, Arron’s Gay Info, All Things Queer, RS Levinson, safeschoolscoalition.org, and/or Wikipedia. If you wish to edit an item or add an item, please send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!)