DEV Community

Gracie Gregory (she/her) for The DEV Team

Posted on

Have you ever felt personally overlooked or targeted by technology?

In the pilot episode of DevDiscuss (DEV's first original podcast), @ben and @jess joined @penelope_zone for an important conversation about a major problem in our industry: deadnaming, or the intentional or unintentional use of a trans person's given name that they had before they transitioned

In tech, this happens all too frequently. For instance, certain websites and services make it difficult or impossible to change your name, which is often a very traumatizing, ongoing experience for trans folks.

Today, I'm wondering what other phenomena in tech impact you negatively and personally? What makes you feel overlooked, misunderstood, or subdued? If you have ideas about what can be done about these issues, what are they?

Let me know in the comments. Also, consider making some time to listen to episode one of DevDiscuss. It will teach you more about deadnaming in technology, why it matters, and what we can do about it.

play pause DevDiscuss

Listen, Rate, and Subscribe on your platform of choice

^ P.S. If you review DevDiscuss on Apple podcasts, take a screenshot of it and fill out this form for FREE stickers 😛

Top comments (7)

dmerejkowsky profile image
Dimitri Merejkowsky

Well, it's not a big thing but I'm color-blind and some websites render links only by a change of the foreground color, like here : .

It's a bit annoying and it's one of the reasons I use the "reader view" feature of Firefox.

So if you design a website, please make sure to use a text decoration for your links (underline is good)

adamstaplesdev profile image
Adam Staples

I have the same problem, and there are so many websites that do this!

I started using dark-mode plugins for my browser and found that it made a lot of sites more accessible. Flipping black text to white makes the blue link stand out a lot more, and adds a lot of contrast when interacting with other elements on the site.

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

I'd imagine this actually is a big issue! A day filled with this annoyance is probably so grating and exhausting, which adds up. I'm glad you've both found workarounds that help, but I hope more web devs start to take notice of this. Sounds like it would make for an informative segment in a future episode of the DevDiscuss podcast!

wrldwzrd89 profile image
Eric Ahnell

Yes, I have! Technology frustrates me to no end when it appears to both be the only solution and offers no obvious path to my goal - a problem I have faced uncountably many times. This particular issue stems from the way I think, and can happen with absolutely anything, from BASIC variants to Drag & Drop logic builders and assembly languages.

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

I need to educate myself more on this issue! Thanks for sharing, Eric.

aetherunbound profile image
Madison Swain-Bowden

The deadnaming issue is a huge one for sure. I recently got deadnamed in the invite email for a Diversity and Inclusion training 😬
One thing I continue to be surprised about in technology is what things you can change and what you can't. I can't change the email address I have with Google, but I can change my name. In our company's HR/Payroll software I could change on a whim my race/ethnicity, but I was locked out of changing my gender.
It just reminds me of this wonderful article by Penelope Phippen:

graciegregory profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

Such a fantastic article. We were lucky to get to have Penelope on the episode of DevDiscuss linked above.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your story, Madison. This issue is so important and one I wasn't as familiar with before starting to work at DEV, which exposed me to the prevalence of deadnaming in tech and other identity-related flaws/discrimination.