ACLU Demands Uber Eats Stop ‘Misgendering’ And ‘Deadnaming’ Transgender Drivers

The law firm demanded Uber Eats change its app.
A photograph arranged as an illustration in Brenchley, south-east England on August 18, 2020 shows the Uber Eats app on a smart phone. (Photo by BEN STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Tuesday said it is demanding that Uber Eats stop “misgendering” and “deadnaming” its transgender drivers as this causes them to be harassed.

“We are demanding that Uber Eats end its practice of misgendering and deadnaming trans drivers,” the ACLU wrote in a tweet Tuesday.

The left-wing civil liberties law group said that its client Laine Repic, a Kansas-based driver, has “faced harassment and discrimination” because the Uber Eats app shows the driver’s former name to customers.

Laine has supposedly contacted Uber Eats repeatedly, but Uber’s online food delivery platform has failed to make updates to its app, the ACLU claimed.

The ACLU added an exhortation to the Biden administration that President Biden take action to allow transgender individuals to receive a government ID that bears their preferred name and gender.

“President Biden has the power to prevent this dangerous misgendering on IDs,” the ACLU said.

“Everyone should have access to an accurate ID,” the ACLU added. “We’re asking the Biden administration to lead and issue an executive order so that trans, non-binary and intersex people can have IDs that reflect who we are.”

The group pointed to its petition urging President Biden to sign an executive order directing all federal agencies to allow transgender people to “self-verify our own gender and to include a gender-neutral ‘X’ designation option on all federal IDs and records.”

“Trans, intersex, and non-binary people still do not have access to accurate federal IDs,” the ACLU said in the introduction to the petition. “This reality puts too many of us – particularly trans people of color and especially Black trans people – at risk of daily discrimination because our identification doesn’t reflect who we are.”

The ACLU has previously done extensive work defending transgender clients, including transgender students who desire to compete against athletes of the sex that matches their gender identity. The group said there is a “coordinated attack” on transgender student athletes.

It is not the first time Uber has found itself in a controversy related to transgender drivers.

In 2018, some transgender drivers found that their accounts had been temporarily or permanently suspended due to an identity verification feature. Drivers must take a photo of themselves to verify their identity, and if the photo fails to match other photos of the driver on file, the discrepancy will be flagged.

Uber has previously expressed its support for LGBT people and outlined some of the actions the company is already doing to be more inclusive towards transgender people, including including “transgender services for our employees to support their transgender journey.”

“Uber believes that everyone has the right to move freely, safely, and without fear. And that, not only in the month of June but year-round, everyone has a right to pride,” Uber said in a statement for Pride Month, which is celebrated in June.

“This year, we’re committing to helping empower a better experience for our LGBTQIA+ community, and particularly the transgender community,” Uber said.

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