Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Facebook won much acclaim in the LGBT community by configuring their website to allow a great many choices their subscribers may use in their user profiles. Where most websites permit simply male or female, and perhaps a few all encompassing terms such as transgender or transsexual, Facebook consulted with the LBGT community to identify as many gender identities the community encompassed. Subscribers are also provided with additional tools such as which pronouns to use when they are referred to. Subscribers can use ten different options for gender or can choose to keep this information private.
Most outside the LGBT are not familiar with the nomenclature of these new identities but what Facebook is trying to accomplish is to provide as many choices for the individual to describe themselves in a manner as close as possible to what each of them can identify with. With as large a subscriber base as Facebook commands, many believe this will offer some insight and understanding of how analog gender is becoming.
Facebook said it made the changes available for its 159 million US Subscribers to give them more choices in how to describe themselves. Alex Schultz, Facebook’s director of growth, said. “Hopefully a more open and connected world will, by extension, make this a more understanding and tolerant world.”
The new list of choices includes:
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
- Female to Male
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Male to Female
- Trans Female
- Trans Male
- Trans Man
- Trans Person
- Trans Woman
- Trans* Female
- Trans* Male
- Trans* Man
- Trans* Person
- Trans* Woman
- Transgender Female
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Transsexual Female
- Transsexual Male
- Transsexual Man
- Transsexual Person
- Transsexual Woman
Advocacy group GLAAD issued a statement praising Facebook’s efforts toward more acceptance and expression for its subscribers and users, issuing a statement on their website which read in part:
Facebook announced today that it will now offer a custom gender field for transgender and gender nonconforming people. The new feature, which GLAAD helped develop, enables users to select a custom gender option, indicate preferred pronouns and adjust privacy settings for the custom gender field. It will be available to those who use Facebook in U.S. English.
“This new feature is a step forward in recognizing transgender people and allows them to tell their authentic story in their own words,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis. “Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users.”
Previously, Facebook users were required to select either “male” or “female” in the gender identification field. Users now the option to select “Custom.” Once users select custom, they will have the ability to enter up to ten identification terms (e.g., transgender, androgynous, genderqueer, etc.) to better express their gender identities. Users who use the new custom gender options will also have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly and select which groups of their Facebook friends they feel safe sharing their gender field with.
“Facebook users from across the country have been asking for the ability to reflect their gender accurately, and today Facebook showed they have been listening,” said Allison Palmer, GLAAD’s former Vice President of Campaigns & Programs who worked on the project with Facebook and current GLAAD staff. “Facebook’s new gender options will make a difference to many transgender and gender nonconforming users, who are now empowered to accurately describe their own identities on the platform.”
The full press release may be viewed HERE
If facebook can at times be both a barometer and a catalyst of changes in American society this might be a sign of things to come. There might be a time when such things as male or female identification might only one day be thought of as limited to what chromosome pair a living organism might have. The important factor being who the person is as they consider themselves.
Are we at a the beginning of a new era of thinking?
By Darren Smith
The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.
26 thoughts on “Facebook Subscribers Can Now Choose Among Fifty Six New Gender Identities”
@ James Knauer It’s excellent news? Did you have a flash of the future? Attributes? So you know exactly how genetics works, you can pin what people think of themselves to some exact science? You would love it if there was an option for me to precisely say I’m 1/64 Native American and the rest German? Perhaps freaks should get themselves a category. Once again, so everyone can remember this and use for their bottom lines: NOBODY CARES. Give me one category: life force entity. Stop trying to play chess with a checkers board, it’s very unbecoming.
Where is animal lover?
Excellent news as it more adequately reflects the diverse intersecting spectra of human behavior that includes gender, sexual orientation, race, creed, and a host of other attributes.
Each human emergence is unique, which means Facebook likely missed some categories.
The best news is the freedom to break with the (largely failed) compartmentalizations of the past.
“Look between your legs. Figure it out….Get over yourself, you are what you were made.” -Karen Treadwell
It’s a little more complicated, Karen. One might start with the following:
“What would it take to convince idiots that they are either this or that? Let me think..oh, I know, brains.” -Karen Treadwell
(And what Elaine M. said.)
quote: Elaine M.
“This smacks of Facebook using the “gender identity profile” to get more personal information about its users…information that can be used by advertisers.”
YUP ! Hit the nail on the head !
David, There will NEVER be unisex only bathrooms. We always leave the seat up.
What would it take to convince idiots that they are either this or that? Let me think..oh, I know, brains. Look between your legs. Figure it out. Not that difficult. We don’t gender identify any other animal in the kingdom. DO WE? Get over yourself, you are what you were made.
Why even identify? If you use Facebook you’re a “user” one identifier. If they want to sell you something they should give users the option to say NO THANK YOU, not interested in looking at ads.
This smacks of Facebook using the “gender identity profile” to get more personal information about its users…information that can be used by advertisers.
Talk about gender confusion! I can’t even remember them all let along figure out the correct use. It is going to take a year of English class just to teach personal pronouns.
How about just a place to check ‘I’ll let you know if you ever get close enough to need the information’.
Another affront to the laws of nature, with Facebook leading the charge. They want to live in confusion, and they want to confuse the rest of us too.
If we are on the cusp of a new era of thinking, expect all the male and female public bathrooms to disappear quickly and be replaced with unisex bathrooms.
I do not care if gays get married.
What consenting adult people do in their bedroom is their business.
I am just tired of the absurdity of things like this.
Why not four choices, Male – Female and one or the others more or less
Nothing but compensation for the loss of personal identity in declining culture. It’s why I would never wear a uniform or even a name tag. Or worse, sign up for a Facebook account.
“Are we at a the beginning of a new era of thinking?” – Darren
It is like when we left “roll-your-own” cigarettes and took up Marlboro.
Nobody cares what you think you are. If you can plop out a good-lookin’ baby for me, I’m calling you a woman and that’s that.
Oh how exciting! Now I can wake up and decide who I am or who I want to be for the day, and I have 159 choices! Thanks Face Book! Life is all about ME, ME, Me! 🙁 More useless dribble from Face Book and the idiotic people who just want to add to their confused or mundane lives.
Where does that commenter named HumpinDog stand on this?
I would still rather it let me fill in my own, rather than choose from its options. “Gender confrontational” rather appeals. Gender: “Mwah”. People would get creative.
Comments are closed.