Binary no more: Facebook announces expanded gender choice for profiles

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After today, Facebook is binary no more.

The social media company announced via its Facebook Diversity page that profiles will now allow for a custom gender choice, a change long sought by transgender rights activisits. 

Traditional social networking (and even dating) websites mostly allow only the choice of male and female. But now Facebook has functionality to add multiple gender identifiers under a customizable text menu. The change was brought about through a collaboration with a number of LGBT advocacy groups, including GLAAD.

"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, in an announcement on their website. 

The new function has up to ten variable gender options: transgender, cisgender, androgynous, genderqueen, neutral, and others. The list will be added to in the future, GLAAD said. 

FBgender

Facebook's new gender customization option allows multiple identifiers. 

There's also an option to choose which friend groups (friends, family, or other circles) can see which of your gender identifiers. Facebook users can also change their preferred pronouns to "their/them/they."

fbgender3

The option, though only available in the United States, is seen as a major step forward for LGBTQ rights. The Bay Area's Transgender Law Center lauded the change.

"It may be hard for some people to understand the importance of having the ability to select from multiple genders online," said Masen Davis, Executive Director of Transgender Law Center, in a blog post on Facebook's update. "We applaud Facebook for making it possible for people to be their authentic selves online, and we are honored to be in the Network of Support that will continue to help Facebook improve this functionality."

Local transgender activist Gabriel Haaland said the change was "brilliant."

"In my 18 years of being openly transgender I've seen an arc of change" that surprised him, he said. "If my tea party Republican dad can roll with me be transgender, so can the rest of the world."

Haaland describes his gender as fluid. "I never experienced the world like any other guy, nor have I experienced it as a female. It's challenging terrain for me, and I suspect, others, who feel they don't fit into one category or the other," he said.

Now, on Facebook at least, he'll get the chance to review his options, and choose.

"Exactly," he said. 

To get started in changing your chosen gender expression on Facebook, click here.


Comments

"The new function has up to ten variable gender options: transgender, cisgender, androgynous, genderqueen, neutral, and others."

Only ten? I hear the city's employee database has nearly thrity categorizations for gender.

My favorite is "neuter" i.e. no gender at all.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

find it deeply offensive. ONLY 10 variations? My gender identity is a blend and that's not represented in these absolutes. When will MY identity be recognized and celebrated?

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 5:11 pm

fake phrase used by trannies to denigrate people who aren't confused about their gender.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 5:24 pm

I don't think that the use of cis is intended to be malicious as your post was.

No, the gender theory that gives rise to cis- usage in language seeks to toss traditional feminist conceptions sex and gender and replace them with gender-centric conceptions. Thus the need for the .5% to create language that requires 99.5% to redefine themselves in terms of this new conception.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

non-colored.

That is, not significant at all.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 7:02 pm

The special case does not get to redefine the general case in terms of the special case.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

straight and the appalling "people of color".

Posted by Guest on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 7:42 pm

The proper term is "colored people of color."

Posted by Chromefields on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 8:38 am

Because that makes it sound even more ridiculous.

I am a "white person of whiteness".

Posted by Guest on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 8:52 am

How amazing that you have the sense of privilege that you get to tell someone else what their race is. I am glad that you have straightened out all these people of color and let them know what the proper term they should use is. You are really an amazing example of a sensitive and politically aware human being. We should all strive to be more like you.

What term do you use to define non-white people?

I am curious, what race and ethnicity are you?

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 12:43 am

Evidently the same term that you use.

I don't use "colored person of color" because it is long, clumsy and contrived.

And yes, ultimately your race is defined by others. If Oprah said she was white, nobody would agree.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 9:36 am

okay tr*nny is a slur by the way

and im not confused about my goddamned gender just like someone who was born in their preferred gender's body is confused

cis gender means you were born in the body as your own gender, now shush

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2014 @ 5:39 pm

and there was a nightclub called "Trannyshack" in SF, or at least there used to be.

And yes, if you think you are a gender other than what you obviously are, then that is an increase in gender confusion over the vast majority who have no such issues.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 11, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

Good for Facebook.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 6:30 pm

I don't get a lot of these. How is cis-gendered different than just male or female? Is it someone informing everyone that they acknowledge that they (just so happen to) identify as their "birth-assigned" gender?

I also don't get the trans*. A google search tells me that it essentially means "all of the non-cis-gendered."

Could someone explain? I appreciate that gender identity is a spectrum, but some people are taking this over the top. For now, I'm forced to assume that either A) some people are just arrogant, thinking their state of being is so profound and expansive that it can't be contained or even understood, or B) they're just really confused--perhaps younger and trying to find their identity.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 4:40 am

sound like they are somehow normal and the rest of us, who don't spend all day agonizing over what gender we are, are somehow not.

I'd bet that 95% of Americans have never heard of the phrase, and care even less.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 5:42 am

I don't get a lot of these. How is cis-gendered different than just male or female? Is it someone informing everyone that they acknowledge that they (just so happen to) identify as their "birth-assigned" gender?

I also don't get the trans*. A google search tells me that it essentially means "all of the non-cis-gendered."

Could someone explain? I appreciate that gender identity is a spectrum, but some people are taking this over the top. For now, I'm forced to assume that either A) some people are just arrogant, thinking their state of being is so profound and expansive that it can't be contained or even understood, or B) they're just really confused--perhaps younger and trying to find their identity.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 4:41 am

people for whom this kind of thing is important.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2014 @ 10:14 am

Yep, a pretty easy way to tell if someone is obsessed with the ever so interesting and exciting frontier of gender politics (*rolls eyes*) is if they use the word "cisgender."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2014 @ 11:05 am

"Gender doesn't matter except when it does - which is all the time."
"Gender is between your ears, not your legs except when it's important to pay for the sex change - then it's all about what's between your legs."
"We are all one family except for the 50 different variants we have to chose from when it comes to picking gender."

Posted by Guest on Feb. 15, 2014 @ 6:46 pm

Yep, the transgender communities are in themselves as diverse, conflicted and contradicted as the non-trans queer communities. I do not think that there is a grand unified queer theory and I'm beginning to think that there is not even a grand unified trans theory.

Practically, people get to be free to live their lives as they see fit and be equitably tolerated by the greater society, theory or not, that is the public policy question.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

obsess about all this stuff, whereas straight folks just got on with living. Sex and gender issues are only this important for people who aren't straight. You'll never see a straight white male march, for instance.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 9:31 am

It seems.

White people laugh at the race obsessed, other races nuts get a lot more traction.

http://www.anthonyflood.com/Rockwell_at_Nation_of_Islam_Rally.jpg

Posted by guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

You carve people up into good and bad e.g.

tenants (good) - landlords (bad)
non-white (good) - whites (bad)
anything other than straight (good) - straight (bad)
city worker (good) - tech worker (bad)
illegal (good) - citizen (bad)

and so on

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

and you pretty much sum up the philosophy of every conserva-troll on here.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 6:14 pm

So you admit that ultra-conservatives and progressives are two (extreme) sides of the same coin. The ultra-right and progressives have more in common with each other than the majority of the population. I'd just as soon take religious advice from Fred Phelps as get economic advice from Greg.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

Just because I'm pointing out that the conserva-trolls espouse the opposite of what was in that post, does NOT mean that I agree that the post is an accurate representation of what progressives believe. Logic 101 here, matlock. Either that, or Reading Comprehension 101.

Progressives do not say that all whites are automatically "bad," for example. Or all citizens. Or all straight people. That's rubbish, and I've never heard any such thing out of the mouths of progressives. Demanding rights for the undocumented, for people of color, for LGBT people, and others, does not negate the rights of those who don't fall into those groups. It's actually a much more moderate position than the exclusionary politics of conservatives (many of whom, like yourself, deceptively refer to themselves as moderates). In reality there is nothing moderate about denying social justice for people of color, LGBT people, working class folks, tenants, and others.

Posted by Greg on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 11:28 pm
Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 9:50 am

Greg, as I read it, was just saying the poster he was responding to was completely wrong. The difference between progressives and conservatives is progressives are interested in facts and let the facts dictate what their opinion is such that the opinion is for helping out most people and the least powerful which is the exact opposite of the constituency conservatives are for.

Since conservatives tend to support those with the most power (unless they are shut out of it), they tend to not have any problem with corruption since often corruption and power go hand-and-hand.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

left and right. I'd put it this way. The right believes that individuals will do the right thing if only the government leaves them alone. The left believes that the government must micromanage everyone and everything because people cannot be trusted.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 9:52 am

That's why there is so much hypocrisy on the left, because they approach everything with a set outlook and design.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 9:58 am

But he is by any normal reasonable standard.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 9:55 am

But no one that is non progressive here is claiming to know how to remake the world.

You want to make the world along your views of race, while few people care all that much about race, your straw man screams about them aside.

Posted by guest on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

"My views on race?" I don't think I've ever said anything about "my views on race." I didn't know I had "views on race," except maybe that no one should be discriminated against. Do you disagree with that "view on race," troll?

Posted by Greg on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 11:17 pm

That doesn't sound like someone with no views on race.

Nor does it sound like someone who wants to stop crime but that's another topic.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 9:53 am

those that don't agree with you on illegal immigration are racists shows one of your views on race.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 12:12 pm

I don't think that most LGBT obsess with this stuff, just a small subset of us that is sensitive enough such that a lack of external validation threatens their self esteem.

The leftist language of oppression and privilege is nonsense to most members of "oppressed communities," the inclination is to persevere over adversity and to deal with setbacks in an empowering rather than pitying way.

Generations past, Stonewall and Compton's, ACTUP not to mention the Civil Rights Movement saw people doing what it took, putting their lives on the line to move the agenda. Today's minority segment of identitarian activists, advocates and academics prefer to document their outrage as a substitute for organizing to build unstoppable coalitions as was done in times past.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

that you are not looking at this the way a straight person would, which is essentially that it's a load of BS about nothing.

Sex and gender don't matter, just like race doesn't matter. Progressives who obsess about identity groups defeat themselves through irrelevance.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 9:54 am

Clearly the identities do matter to varying extents because the outcomes for women, blacks and Latinos and queers vary from the market background due to some level of discrimination.

The issue is what language is being used to communicate those recognized disparate outcomes based on identity. The left communicates in alienating language of victim and powerlessness. People respond favorably to affirmative and empowering narratives.

I think that it is cool that an impossibly diverse community is coalescing. Yes it can be annoying but I'd imagine that we were 20 years ago during the ACTUP and queer nation days. Nobody should have to pay an economic or safety penalty because of what they are.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 17, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

well. The mistake is thinking that the cause of that disparity is the eye color rather than individual variations.

Your categorization leads to identity politics, and all that that implies.

Once you catch yourself classifying and stereotyping, check yourself. That way, irrelevance lies.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 18, 2014 @ 7:01 am

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