There are myriad reasons why individuals may wish to use a name other than that which they were born with. For some, these reasons could mean life or death—for example, political dissidents voicing unpopular opinions in places like Syria or Vietnam, or people trying to get away from abusers—while for others, it may still very much be a matter of safety and security. Pseudonyms can enable people to access information, social services, and gain entry to communities while maintaining safety. This is especially true online, where individuals from distributed or marginalized groups can find community, spread awareness of issues they face, and seek information. LGBTQ individuals number among those who rely heavily on the Internet.
by Nadia Kayyali and Jillian York