Facebook has unveiled new options for the gender field in order to more accurately reflect a user’s identity.
Facebook announced that they had added new gender options for users, with new privacy settings. It is hoped that it will help indicate which pronouns a user would like others to use when describing them or wishing them a ‘happy birthday’ for instance.
‘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.’
Up until now users of the social media giant had to choose between Male or Female in the gender category, now members have the option to choose up to 10 terms to better describe their gender.
Jennie Kermode, the chair of Trans Media Watch in the UK said:
‘We welcome Facebook’s move and we’re especially pleased that they consulted thoroughly with stakeholder groups first. Things are changing in a big way for non binary identified people this year, and we’re glad to see a big company like this taking the lead. We hope it will inspire other companies and state bodies to do likewise.
‘We are pleased that the new options are a completely free choice so no-one will feel forced to identify in an uncomfortable way, and we’re glad that Facebook is opting to keep changes of gender status out of timelines, so people can move between them more discreetly. We are also glad that, going forward, it is taking a flexible approach which acknowledges the varied concepts of gender in different cultures around the world.’
The 50 genders chosen by Facebook are:
Agender (describes people who lack a gender)
Androgyne (is a non-binary gender identity. Androgynes may possess traits that are simultaneously feminine and masculine, or neither)
Bigender (a person who feels that their gender is fully male and fully female, or any pair of genders, generally by switching between the two)
Cis (cisgender and cissexual are a closely related class of gender identities where an individual’s gender identity matches the behavior or role considered appropriate for one’s sex)
Female to Male
FTM (FTM is an abbreviation for ‘female-to-male’ transsexual)
Gender Fluid (those moving between genders)
Gender Nonconforming (or gender variant is behaviour or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female)
Genderqueer (a catch-all term for gender identities other than man and woman)
Intersex (a person born with sexual anatomy, reproductive organs, and/or chromosome patterns that do not fit the typical definition of male or female)
Male to Female
Neutrois (taken to mean ‘non-gendered class.’ It refers to a gender identity which is also called null-gendered on occasion)
Non-binary (gender identities that don’t fit within the accepted binary of male and female. People can feel they are both, neither, or some mixture thereof)
Pangender (similar to Androgyne)
Trans (transgender people are people who are born into a body not associated with their gender, or were assigned a sex that does not match their gender)
Trans*Female (the asterisk creates an umbrella term that specially encompasses every single gender identity)
Transexual (a subset of transgender, and refers generally to people who identify as a sex other than that they were assigned at birth)
Transmasculine (describes those who were assigned female at birth, but identify as more male than female)
Two-spirit (describes Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations indigenous groups)