Uber apologises after trans woman ‘outed’ by app and misgendered by drivers

A transgender woman has criticised Uber for not allowing her to change her name on the app, leading to several incidents of misgendering by drivers.

Charlie Hadley, 33, told Metro that she wanted to replace her deadname on Uber in order to avoid being “outed” each time she travels using the ride-sharing app.

Hadley’s deadname is typically male, she said, and it leads to drivers often calling her ‘sir’ and misgendering her in the process.

She told Metro: “I’ve transitioned for almost a year now. I really hate getting in the cars and being asked: ‘How’s your night, sir?’”

Hadley said that this often makes her feel “unsafe” and she worries that “something could happen”.

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

Hadley feels like the app is “outing” her as a trans woman every time she takes a ride, telling the outlet: “I shouldn’t be outed as a trans woman because of a stupid internal software process.”

Hadley said she’d previously applied to be a driver for Uber, which appears to be part of the problem. After filling out a form to change her name, Uber reportedly told her that this would not be possible “due to strict regulations” regarding the changing of drivers’ names.

Hadley never actually drove for Uber, as her “car wasn’t new enough for them”, she told Metro, but because her account is registered as a driver’s account, she is not allowed to change the name associated with it.

Uber reportedly told her that she would have to make a new account with a new name, but because her old account is linked to her phone number she has been unable to do so.

“They should have processes for drivers to change their name,” she told Metro. “I understand they might be worried about drivers with a bad reputation changing their name but Uber should be able to [handle that] through other mechanisms than just a name.”

Hadley pointed out that Uber marked Pride month by changing its logo, and yet doesn’t appear to be putting trans people on its “list of priorities”.

“I think they’ve never considered what the journey of a trans person would be,” she added.

An Uber spokesperson told Metro: “Uber is committed to diversity and inclusion and has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination including based on sex or gender.

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