Angie Mead King on being outed as transgender by Facebook

Emma Powys Maurice July 1, 2019
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Angie Mead King with her wife, Joey Mead King (Lifestyle Asia/Yukie Sarto)

Filipino businesswoman, car enthusiast and heiress Angie Mead King has spoken about Facebook outing her as transgender to her friends and family before she had the chance to tell them herself.

The wife of Filipino-Iranian television personality Joey Mead King announced on Instagram in 2016 that she would be living life as a woman. But she told the Filipino TV host Boy Abunda that the timing was not her choice.

Appearing on Boy Abunda’s ABS-CBN show on June 28, Mead King said: “I started to do hormones about the end of 2015… then mid-year of 2016, Facebook decides to out me.

“I do not know how it happened because before, I used to keep two phones. Different numbers, different emails, there was no connection. And then a notification was sent to all my friends saying, ‘Your friend Ian King is on Instagram as Angie Mead,’ and that’s when it spread.”

Angie told how her friends and cousins took screenshots of the notifications and sent them to her, asking what was going on. She turned to her wife, Joey, who had been supportive of her transition since the beginning of their relationship.

I was in shock when it happened. I wasn’t ready.

“I said, ‘What, should I open the account?’ because there were so many people were following it,” she recalled. After that, she reasoned there was no choice but to go public.

The news was met with a media frenzy. Instagram has since apologised for outing Mead King through a connection with her Facebook account, saying: “We are very sorry for what happened to Ms. King. Facebook is continuing to investigate this situation, but clearly Ms. King’s story was not the outcome she intended.”

Mead King told Mashable: “I was in shock when it happened. I wasn’t ready.

“It’s very bizarre…it was a social media outing.”

In an interview with Lifestyle Asia, Angie’s wife Joey Mead King admitted it was a trying time for them as couple.

“We both made a commitment. We have been tested. We have been challenged,” she said. “The sacrifices came in different forms. What comes with change is sacrifice, which grows into a spiritual strength that becomes a powerful grounding for us to both grow individually, but yet stay rooted to each other.”

Regardless of how it happened, Angie feels coming out was absolutely the right decision. She told Boy Abunda: “Now, as a transgender woman, I have more businesses, I’ve had success with my racing career. I can do so many things today because the weight in my mind has disappeared, so from there I got to focus on many other things.”

Together with her wife, she has become an LGBT+ advocate in the Philippines. In 2017 the couple starred in a documentary to tell their story and raise awareness of LGBT+ lifestyles.

Facebook has accidentally outed LGBT+ people before

It’s not the first time Facebook has unintentionally outed people to their friends and family. In 2012, two gay men in Texas were outed after they were added to a queer choir group which was set to “open,” bypassing the privacy settings they’d used to secure their profiles.

Sex workers have reported that they’ve also been outed in the same way as Angie Mead King — by Facebook suggesting their profile to the contacts in the ‘People You May Know’ section.

In a statement to Gizmodo, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We take privacy seriously and of course want to make sure people have a safe and positive experience on Facebook. For people who choose to maintain a separate identity, we’ve put safeguards in place to help them understand their privacy choices, moderate comments, block people, control location sharing, and report abusive content.”

Facebook says you can also just “X” out anyone who appears in ‘People You May Know’ that you don’t want to know, but for those who need to keep their profiles private the damage is already done.

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