Uber won’t let trans woman change her name: ‘Outed’

A transgender woman says she feels “unsafe” after attempting to change her name on the ridesharing app Uber unsuccessfully.

Martin Hadley started transitioning over a year ago and wants her name on her Uber account changed to “Charlie” as being addressed as “sir” by Uber drivers makes her “feel unsafe,” she said.

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When Hadley submitted her request for the name change, she explained that she was transgender. She said the company did not honor her request and even rubbed salt in her wounds by addressing their response to “Martin,” the name she no longer uses.

Uber told Hadley that due to the company’s “strict regulations,” they could not make the change since she had once applied to be a Uber driver. Company policy doesn’t allow account holders to change their names. Instead, they told her, she could simply create a new account.

She says she has been unable to do that, however. The company requires that a phone number be attached to each user’s account, and Hadley’s is already attached to her account under the name “Martin,” and no phone number can be used for two different accounts. 

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Hadley doesn’t feel that resolving the issue or serving trans customers, in general, is on “Uber’s list of priorities,” even though the company makes a display of support for the LGBTQ community by changing their logo during pride month.

“So @UberUK why do you make it harder for trans folks to change their name than even Facebook – who have a whole “real name policy”? I’m guessing as it’s no longer pride month you won’t even acknowledge this,” Hadley tweeted.

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Hadley says her main reason for not wanting to be “outed” as a transgender woman by an Uber driver addressing her as a male is safety. 

“I really hate getting in the cars and being asked, ‘how’s your night, sir?’ It makes me feel unsafe. I’ve had that experience while wearing women’s clothes and I’ve been called sir,” Hadley said.

The decision to reveal the entirety of her identity should belong to her, not Uber, she maintained. “I feel my account is outing me as a trans woman and it shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be outed as a trans woman because of a stupid internal software process.”

“I don’t want to get into a conversation [about being a trans person] with the drivers, especially if I’ve had a few drinks and I’m coming home,” she added.

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Hadley does not want to stop using the rideshare app, however. ”I feel much safer with Uber than with other taxi drivers because I know there’s a record of who drove me, but I still worry something could happen.”

Uber says they are trying to improve upon Hadley’s experience moving forward and is “committed to diversity and inclusion and has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination including based on sex or gender,” said a company spokesperson.”

“We are sorry that the user had such a poor experience with us, and we are currently investigating how we can improve our processes.”

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