Handling name of transgender artist

You’d assign the alias per release.

So we’d have the timeline LOOΠΔ >> LOONA for Spotify releases and then all releases with the alias for Spotify would update upon modifying that timeline. But the other releases with a regular alias would stay the same.

Yes, let’s just discredit a whole concept by claiming its a 'murican thing. :roll_eyes:

For the record, I’m from a former pit village in NE England, marra, and this never gets any less tiresome.


Seems the conversation here has calmed down a bit - let’s please try to keep it that way. Hopefully we can have disagreements on how to deal with what is a complicated data topic while still remaining civil and respecting other people’s views.


Now, on the topic of the conversation in question: it seems at least for music re-released under a changed name, some of the suggestions made here seem like good starting points: using the current name on release groups and recordings, and marking the old releases as superseded in some way.

The proposed “withdrawn” status seems like an option, and would probably work fine, although it would need defining clearly what qualifies as “withdrawn”, including in the specific transgender artist situation (if the artist had put out physical releases, would we want to consider those withdrawn too?).

A second option would be to have a “X was superseded by Y” relationship, kinda like what we do with pseudo-releases. That would have the benefit of letting data users know not only that the old release was withdrawn but what to replace it with if they so want - but the drawback that the release would be linked from the newer version with the new name, which I guess would make the old data more visible. It seems to currently link them without the artist credit, at least, though. It should only be used in a 1:1 equivalence situation, I guess, so “this is literally the same release, but with a change” - while a new release with a different barcode or whatnot should probably not use such a relationship.

Other than those changes, I’m right now not sure what could be future, larger changes that would combine all the needs of our users + artists. I think it’s likely MusicBrainz will never be able to fully avoid deadnaming (even if just because, as mentioned earlier in the thread, some people will have an old version of a release that they will probably expect to be able to find under the name they have), but we should probably try and follow artist intent better in the way we present the information and make it clear that it is not considered current (which will also allow those people who have the old version to make the change that follows the artist intent if they so decide). Having a specific alias type or artist credit mechanism for this could help and it is probably doable from the technical point of view, although it might be argued that it helps make the whole issue more visible, rather than less so.

A last situation (this time guideline- rather than schema-related) that would need to be looked into is how to ensure we are following artist intent, once it is possible - I guess the main idea would be “if the artist specifically replaces the old releases with the new name, then we assume they want to get rid of the old name, if not, we assume they do not unless expressed elsewhere”, but I’m not familiar enough with how transition usually goes to be sure :slight_smile:


Most of the people here that care about its visibility seem to want the previous alias to not be stored in the database anymore, at all. This is an unattainable goal.

FWIW, I care about its visibility. A way to hide away the name until explicit user action would be handy. But erasing it from the database, I disagree with.

@reosarevok themselves have previously said they are happy to do this, on a case-by-case basis. It’s not particularly difficult or complicated, particularly in regards to the digital releases in this case. The edit that sparked this fiasco was changing digital releases to the deadname fwiw, after they were imported with the artists actual name.


note: I’m not particularly in favour of some complicated new alias/withdrawn system. Either MB recognises that deadnames sometimes are harmful and there’s no positive value in storing and sharing them (against someone’s wishes, case-by-case), or it doesn’t. And this is a rare occasion where I don’t think the community should be tasked with the decision.


One technical thing we could do to make the entry exist in the database but not quite as visible is to use the Status flag on releases.

To deal with bootleg releases there is a quality flag and this can be either: Official, Promotion, Bootleg and Pseudo-release.
If we make a new status type of “withdrawn” or some other label it will still be in the database but be less visible.
If there is then a relationship on releases that marks this release as being superseded by a new version of the release your music tagger look for this relationship and follow this to get the new info and offer new metadata to be saved.

1 Like

The new alias system is not meant to handle just transgender artists. It’s meant to handle any case where the alias changes over time, like digital stores and streaming services. Otherwise we get:

  1. old releases with the old spelling and new releases with the new spelling. this is not accurate.
  2. all releases with the new spelling. this is not accurate.
  3. a mismatch with what was the correct spelling at the time and the data entered in the future. this is already happening.

What do you propose? Changing each release in a case-by-case basis? Nobody is gonna do that, which means we’d have to use bots to do the work instead.


Please don’t even consider prioritizing external input over the users who maintain the database. This website is kept alive by its community. I’d consider that a betrayal.

I do think we need the opinion of transgender artists and their fans. But the way this thread has gone, all my energy to listen has gone away. We need respect to be enforced here and the mods are asleep…

I wanna listen, I really do. But no matter which side you’re on, if you don’t act respectfully, I’m not gonna listen.

So here’s an excercise for you: Gather a group of transgender people and ask them for their opinion, without showing bias in the question, on this front. Do not pick and choose the people. Do not pick anybody you know. Do not pick anybody from any kind of social circle that is biased your way.

Can you do that? Of course not. That’s silly. OP did that on the edit and that’s against the rules of MusicBrainz too.

So we’re stuck with this thread.

if this became the standard I would scream from all the work that’d come from it.

Here’s a thought: I don’t like editing.

I like all metadata being in it’s place. But I don’t like putting it in there. And yet, I do, because otherwise it’s gonna be a mess.

Please don’t make the work harder… I’m already tired from the thought. We really need the database software to handle digital alias history.

I don’t know what this has to do with the situation?

We currently handle these cases by adding new releases with the updated information, with the date (if known) that the change took place. We’ve been doing it for yonks and it hasn’t caused any particular trouble. I’ve done it for at least hundreds of digital release groups where there’s been track or credit updates.

If you’re not proposing something that directly deals with the issue of deadnaming being unwanted/dangerous for some parties then it’s quite unrelated to the issue surrounding the edits this thread is referring to. The current standard is to add the edited reissue as its own release in the group, there’s just disagreement re. what this does in a transgender context.

I’m talking about admins (or even the board) needing to make a call.
edit: and I would expect this call to take into account any community discussion


Actually no, I have seen nobody arguing for completely removing the old name from the database. This seems to be the fear people opposing the change to the new name have, but as far as the discussion went this is a myth.

The exact degree of visibility for sure is a matter of debate, though. The point is that currently the old name is very visible, and in places where the old credits are used there is no clear indication of the artist’s current name.


@CatQuest and myself had some exchange of our opinions on the topic on IRC. As CatQuest currently has unfortunately no access to the forums for technical reasons I share the discussion here:


And I was asked to apologize for their spelling (I don’t think there is a need to apologize, though :smiley: )


That sounds like a lot of added complexity…

Artists often have hundreds of releases under their name. If we make a new release for every spelling change… actually, you have no problem with doing it. But the guidelines propose nothing if I’m not mistaken, so I’m not sure that’s right.

Ah yes, you’re right.
I’d expect those in charge to make the right decision and I’d trust them to do so if it came to that.

I don’t know if you noticed but not everyone agrees it’s dangerous (ignorance? idk). Unwanted yes, which is why we need to hide it, but not erase it (in my opinion, unless you can change it respectfully), in which case my solution would be alright once we figure out a way to hide it. [edit: I said erase it accidentally. I insist, we shouldn’t erase it.]

Either way I consider deadnaming about as dangerous as outing yourself as trans in public, which Patricia did, and this is documented in her YouTube channel.

If the artist didn’t want the info to be public and never made it public, or tried to erase the traces left on the internet, then it’s clear, we shouldn’t store their old name, in order to protect not artist intent, but privacy.

This is not the case here though.

1 Like

Except it’s harmful in other ways, like mentally and emotionally, and the fact that someone might be willing to discuss their deadname on their own terms doesn’t mean others can go around spreading it about willy-nilly. :confused:


We’re clear on that.

So we should go case-by-case then? Patricia has not spoken about this. (Has anyone tried to contact her?)

Anyways, we’re not spreading it. We’re archiving and indexing it. I do agree that it should be hidden in the UI behind some element. But I don’t believe in erasing it from the database (is that what you want? please elaborate) if the artist was public about the topic, unless they declare otherwise.

I do not believe in storing such info if it’s private and the artist never declared it in public, but in this case she’s spoken publicly about it, so what do we do? I say we store it, but declare the old name as not current somehow so that tagging software uses the actual name.


Yay, we’re totally on the same page :raised_hands:

This is about how it impacts the artist - and it may totally not, in which case the db can currently handle it. Adding a new release with the updated info and updating the release group and the works/recording, and leaving the old release, is a clear way of showing the shift and having both old/new data. I don’t see how doing the same + adding some kind of new ‘withdrawn’ flag is quicker, but I might be missing something (e.g. setting an alias with a date range would be nice - but honestly, anything requiring new code usually takes years/never).

The question is, if the artist doesn’t wish to be deadnamed, or doesn’t want to be outed, can we respect that on a case-by-case basis.

Is this a correct assessment @jonny7 ?



Here it gets weird. I don’t mind the old name being erased from the database if it’s for the artist’s privacy (not even talking about her being trans. object blue wants to be known under her stage name only and MusicBrainz followed through). Patricia is too far gone for that, though, in the sense that she spent more than a year (is that right?) working using her old name and she had already become somewhat known. If she really wanted to, though, should we go through and erase it? Not everyone here agrees. I do. But as she’s stayed quiet (again, has anybody consulted her?), I say we default to keeping it as a search hint at the very least.

After all, such is the price for artists who want to be known by their public name. Their history gets recorded and attributed to them. She’s lucky she’s an indie artist, if she had signed to a label and had become famous this would be far more tilted to this side. As in, there’d be no chance to erase her old name, at all, and we probably wouldn’t bother.

Honest question:

If an artist released a song when he was 17 yrs old, the lyrics containing ‘horrible’ and ‘offensive’ content.
(anyone fill in what they consider horrible or offensive themselves, I won’t be the judge on that)

In his thirties he is still a performing artist, but he isn’t the same person as he was when he recorded those songs. He regrets them, and he now completely disowns the message of those songs, and completely distances himself from the state of mind he was in at that time.

But to this day, he gets bugged, challenged, misunderstood and attacked over the songs he sung some 20 years ago.
He then requests websites, companies, stores, database owners to remove that old content.

He also requests MusicBrainz to remove references to that old content.

What to do?

Can you solidify and prove any of the three statements that you made here?