IMDb's policy is transphobic and harmful and it needs to change

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I understand that IMDb wishes to remain accurate, but their current policy most certainly needs to be changed, as it can be dangerous to some actors. As an actor, I believe that an actor’s feelings should come before “accuracy.” Actors are real people with real feelings and real experiences. Transgender actors exist, as do actors who have suffered an abusive past. 

I can understand connecting “typos” to the same name, as I wouldn’t care so much if I was connected to “Rory Roach” or “Rory Roache,” etc. However, the name in question, which I will NOT be typing again because the very sight of it makes me PHYSICALLY ILL, is from a part of my life that in keeping it plastered on my IMDb credits, puts me in great danger. I will not and should not have to explain my personal life in order to have this name removed. I simply expect this request to be understood. I’ll explain in more detail. 

As I said, transgender actors exist. Some, in fact, have acted since before coming out as transgender, and some have been out since before IMDb even existed. That said, transgender people face many dangers. Forcing them to be known as a name that they don’t associate with could out them and in turn, result in their murder. Your policy forces this, and therefore, in that case, should be held responsible for any murder committed because of this. I’m sure you don’t want that. Furthermore, it can and does cause them harm to see a name they never wanted in the first place. 

As for abuse survivors, forcing this alternate name could result in the actor’s abuser finding them and causing more harm. Do you wish to cause harm to the actor? 

I’ve been more than patient with this issue. I’ve expressed how seeing this name, attributed to a very bad part of my life, makes me feel. I understand you wish to give accurate information, but it will not hurt someone to be a little confused by different credits. It does, however, hurt me greatly every single time I see this name. 

I’ve offered the solution of deleting, but as I had to fight tooth and nail for a credit in the first place, from abusive directors, I’ve opted to keep my credit. However, the solution now is to mark it uncredited. Accept this solution. This is no longer a request. You are hurting me and I believe that my feelings and my health come before “accuracy.” The “alternate name” is no longer connected to any existing human, and certainly not to me, so in truth, regardless of film credit, your forceful policy is creating the largest inaccuracy. This alternate name does not exist. Listing me as [uncredited] is a solution for both of us. The alternate name doesn’t exist, and Rory J. Roche did not receive credits despite participating in the film. I’ve already expressed that Savior never made it to DVD, so I cannot provide “proof” of any credit. 

I also deleted credits that I do not want. I want nothing to do with the three credits due to personal trauma to do with the show. Things happened that I do not need to discuss, but I do not want to be known for these things. 

Please reconsider your policy, and make it safe for actors that do not fit into your tiny boxes. And while you’re at it, please add more genders to the list. Not everyone is male or female. Intersex people exist. Transgender, nonbinary, genderfluid, and agender actors exist. If you’re confused about a pronoun to use, provide a slot in which the actor in question can tell you their pronoun. Simple. 

Thank you, 
Rory J. Roche

This is what I had posted to IMDb support. They accepted the change to uncredited, however, they have since changed it back to a name that I do not associate with and it's sickening. I am absolutely sick of this battle. I only want to be credited as Rory J. Roche, or uncredited, or simply not credited at all. Their constant issue with this is transphobic and disgusting. At this point, it is harassment. They're forcing me to use a name that isn't mine. They need to fix this and they need to make it more trans friendly. The actor and their feelings/health/safety should come before "accuracy."
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Rory Roche

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Posted 1 year ago

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Twintalks A life in the fag lane

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Everyone should be respected. IMDB step your game up. Trans people exist and have feelings just like you. Imagine if this was your family or child. Get over yourself and give trans people the respect they deserve!
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Hello, Rory.
Is that your page? 

Unfortunately, IMDb is a database which covers factual information about films and people involved. If you were credited by this name in your previous works, then filmography should display that. Likely the name could have been added by people who have seen the film, discovered the difference in the credits and did the right thing by correcting the listings according to the credits. However if you were not listed by that name on any title, that should indeed be removed and "(uncredited)" attribute should be instated.  

IMDb's policy is not in any way transphobic. It is quite progressive. It's just that IMDb collects factual information, which should be preserved, because it is plastered all over the film. Even if changed, it will eventually be corrected by someone, because movies are watched and people are re-checking end credits from time to time. A good example of a transgender person's page (in my humble opinion) is Alexis Arquette

That said, there are indeed problems with that. I won't pretend that I have full understanding of such situations, but I will try to help in any way I can.   
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Kelly L.

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It's the same as with any other kind of employment - you cannot leave out pre-transition parts of your work history (if asked) without risking it being construed as a misrepresentation, even if you don't want to be associated with your birth gender/name anymore.
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Rory Roche

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Firstly, I didn't ask for the opinion of cis people. I gave you a suggestion to make the policy better and safer for everyone. Cis people wouldn't understand what it's like because they've never experienced it. Secondly, you don't get to determine what is or is not transphobic. You've proven with your language that you and your policy is transphobic. My imdb itself refers to me as an actor and uses they pronouns but you went ahead to call me "she" which is rude and disrespectful and guess what? TRANSPHOBIC. The book you mentions isn't even out anymore for the same reason but your stupid site is being so difficult that I didn't get the dead link taken down yet.

It really wouldn't kill you to make it so that an actor doesn't need to have credits they don't want. It could kill them though. You could even make it so that an actor can opt that only people they give permission to can alter their credits. Why should a random stranger be able to? That's dangerous! People are sick. People make things up. People start rumors. If you're not going to fix this, take me off imdb altogether because I want absolutely nothing to do with such a willingly transphobic company.
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Kelly L.

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Rory - MANY people in the entertainment industry, for many different reasons, have asked IMDb to remove their credits. I do not know of any cases where IMDb has removed a factually correct credit associated with a publicly released work due to personally not wanting to be associated with it. All these cases include among others those who once worked in the porn industry, films that they now disagree with for political or other reasons, directors they didn't liked, and transgender people like you.

We have even had an actress sue IMDb in court to remove her date of birth because of age discrimination. Guess who won? Not her. To counteract that California has even tried passing a law forcing sites like IMDb to remove ages or dates of birth upon request. IMDb is challenging that law, and while it's still pending, the court suspended enforcement of the law for now given its questionable constitutionality (in terms of free speech rights). That indicates about how much luck you'll probably have if you'd like to legally challenge this policy.
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Emma Arpin

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Credits can be updated and so can policies. The current policy willfully ignores how third parties can, and do, use information provided on the site to discriminate trans people in employment, housing, and their social life.

The policy is also at odds with Amazon's recent statement of support for the trans community. Amazon signed on a letter with other tech companies this fall, that said “What harms transgender people harms our companies.”
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Kati Knitt

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IMDb's policy is not in any way transphobic.
Any page that excuses deadnaming with "facts" is trans discriminating. "Factual information" should not stand above the well being of trans actors.
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Jeorj Euler

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You can never expect to achieve what you would like by being hostile to the powers that be.