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Houston Outlaws apologise for accidently deadnaming trans content creator during Pride Month

Violet Rojas, a streamer sponsored by the Overwatch League team, did not take the issue lightly.

Mischaracterizing members of the transgender community is usually reserved for people with ill-will against the LGBTQ+ community as a whole. Even doing so by mistake can be extremely harmful, and the Overwatch League’s Houston Outlaws quickly realised this when they deadnamed Violet Rojas, a transgender streamer who is part of their content creation team.

The social media team wanted to wish Violet a happy birthday, however, the graphic used Violet's previous name (commonly referred to as a deadname), with the streamer understandably feeling disappointed and angry. Violet posted an edited version of the graphic with their name removed and stated that the organisation had rubbed salt into the wound by also misspelling their name.

 

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Violet later posted an edited version of the graphic removing their deadname (Picture: Houston Outlaws)

 

“Every birthday gets f**ked & having your dream job deadname you during pride month really feels great I tell ya. Really doing good in the mental department here with this added on top of everything,” Violet tweeted out following the screw-up.

In a follow-up explanation, they detailed what their former name carries as baggage — Violet shared it with their dad, who is serving time for aggravated assault, while Violet claims their grandmother sexually assaulted her when she was a child.

 

 

“I was named after my father, who was put in prison for 45 years, with ALSO his mother being the one who raped me. It tormented my mental health even prior to my own team publicly posting my dead-name.” 

The Outlaws were moved to publically apologise, assuming full responsibility for the mess and harm caused towards Violet.

 

 

"Last night, the Houston Outlaws sent a birthday message to one of our family members. On that message, we're ashamed to say that Violet's dead name was included. There is no excuse for something like this to have happened and we own full responsibility for it," reads the first of a series of tweets.

The tone-deaf mistake is particularly confusing as the Houston roster includes Austin "Muma" Wilmot, the only openly gay professional player in the Overwatch League, who has been an integral part of the team since 2017.

Violet acknowledged the apology but also pointed out the lack of content outlined for Pride Month by the Outlaws’ higher-ups, considering both Violet and Muma are part of the organisation. 

 

 

“One of the biggest things to remember is that apologies at this point are the bare minimum. It's Pride Month & the only things I have planned are my own. Even a post just celebrating Pride talking about how we have Muma & me on the same team would've somewhat eased (the mistake).”

It's worth noting, in places like the UK, deadnaming someone has had legal repercussions, with transgender lawyer Stephanie Hayden suing a writer for the comedy show Father Ted for this exact reason.

The Houston Outlaws are scheduled to play the Los Angeles Gladiators this Sunday, June 21st at 12:00 am GMT. 

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