Calgary

Calgary transgender woman briefly locked out of Facebook after complaint about bathroom ban

A transgender woman from Calgary temporarily lost access to her Facebook account after speaking out about being banned from the women's washroom at a Medicine Hat bar.

River Rising says 'it feels like yet again I'm being discriminated against'

Rising temporarily lost access to her Facebook account after someone reported her name as being fake. (River Rising/Facebook)

A transgender woman from Calgary temporarily lost access to her Facebook account after speaking out about being banned from the women's washroom at a Medicine Hat bar. 

River Rising, 21, says she believes someone reported her name as false to Facebook after she made the complaint, and the resulting media attention.

"In the midst of all this it feels like yet again I'm being discriminated against," she said.

The account was temporarily locked by Facebook but has since been released.

Facebook has an authentic name policy that does not require people to use their legal name but rather the first and last names they use in everyday life.

The company says the reason for its authentic names policy is that fake profiles on its site are eight times more likely to be involved in bullying, harassment or other abuse.

Rising says, as a student, she hasn't had the funds to legally change her name. However, after this latest struggle, she says it will be a priority and that her parents might help with the legal costs.

"Transitioning is a really expensive process. It's called transition for a reason because it takes time and people need to understand that," said Rising.

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