Male, Female or Custom? Facebook Adds Dozens of Gender Options

What's your gender? Male, female, or 'custom'. You name it, says Facebook, with a new option that lets users of the social network describe their gender preferences and identities virtually any way they want.

Facebook said it collaborated with its Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations, to offer an extensive list of gender identities that many people use to describe themselves.

In addition, Facebook said, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun theyEUd like to be referred to publicly -- male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their).

Make Yourself Comfortable

A Facebook blog post touched on the thought process underlying the new options. An important part of being yourself and feeling comfortable, the post explained, "is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just EUmaleEU or EUfemaleEU.EU

EUWe also have added the ability for people to control the audience with whom they want to share their custom gender,EU the company said on its Facebook Diversity page. EUWe recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others, and this setting gives people the ability to express themselves in an authentic way.EU

The reaction so far has been mixed. Joseph L. Simonis commented on the Facebook post that it is EUlong overdueEU while Zee Huff hopes the next step is EUromantic preferenceEU and relationship options like polyamory. The conversation got controversial, with words like EUbigotEU being assigned to those who oppose FacebookEUs latest feature.

Others still arenEUt satisfied that the changes go far enough. Alderbran Longabaugh-Burg wrote, EUThere is still no option to identify my relationship with my queer/genderqueer child without selecting Son or Daughter, even after they changed their profile to neutral pronouns.EU

Extensive List of Gender Identities

For those interested in changing their gender identity on Facebook...

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