After committed lobbying from LGBT+ groups, IMDb has changed its policy on birth names.
Variety reports that IMDb will now allow industry professionals to remove their birth names from the site. The move comes after a coalition of national LGBT+ groups voiced concern about the practice of publishing someone’s birth name without their consent, often known as “deadnaming”.
On Monday, an IMDb spokesperson said:
IMDb now permits the removal of birth names if the birth name is not broadly publicly known and the person no longer voluntarily uses their birth name.
The process seems reasonably simple – the person involved, or their team, simply needs to contact IMDb’s customer services, and providing the birth name isn’t widespread public knowledge, they will remove it from their IMDb page.
It’s a revolutionary and necessary move for trans professionals in the film industry, one which comes after extensive work by the National LGBTQ Task Force, GLAAD, the Transgender Law Centre and other groups.
While the move is a positive step forward for the community, many people are divided, with commenters on Variety’s post calling it “lying” and “double standards”.
It’s worth bearing in mind that if you know of someone by the name they work under, live by, and maybe even have on their ID, you have no right to know their birth name just because you’re curious. Especially if they’re trans. Mind your own business!