Facebook now allows users to customise there gender and live with their true identity.
FACEBOOK the internet giant has come up with 56 new genders for the first time letting its users identify themselves as a gender other than male and female. The social media giant has added a customisable option with about 56 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them. A message on Facebook might now invite a user’s friend to write a birthday message on “their” wall, instead of “his” or “her” wall. You no longer have to be defined as either male or female on Facebook.
Facebook said it hoped the changes would help users be their “true, authentic” selves.
Facebook has announced that it will allow users to customise their gender, after consulting on the subject with gay and transgender advocacy groups.
The 50-odd options, which include “bi-gender”, “transgender”, “androgynous” and “transsexual”, will allow people “to express themselves in an authentic way”, Facebook said in a post.
Users are also able to choose a preferred pronoun to be identified by on the site: him, her or them. Users also can select “neither” or “other” and separately indicate whether they want to be referred to as he, she or they
The new options will initially only be for those using the site in US English.
The new options were formulated after consultations with five leading gay and transgender rights’ organisations, Facebook says.
Facebook engineer Brielle Harrison said “There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,”.
“For the first time I get to go to the site and I get to specify to all the people that I know what my gender is and I can let only the people that I want to know, see that,” she said. Facebook, which has 1.15 billion active monthly users around the world, also allows users to keep their gender identity private.
The move reflects the growing influence of the transgender rights movement in the US, which is demanding similar civil rights to the gay community, says the BBC’s Alistair Leithead in Los Angeles.
The San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center welcomed the move, saying “many transgender people will be thrilled” at the news.
One estimate in a report by the Williams Institute think tank in 2011 said that an estimated 0.3% of adults in the US were transgender, almost 700,000 people.Facebook said the changes for the company’s 159 million U.S. users are aimed at giving people more choices in how they describe themselves.
Here are all of the gender options currently available to choose as “custom”:
- 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
Facebook staff said the expanded options were never debated by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else.
“It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool so we did something,” 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.”
At this point, Facebook targets advertising according to male or female genders. For those who change to something neutral, ads will be targeted based on the pronoun they select for themselves. Unlike getting engaged or married, changing gender is not registered as a “life event” on the site and won’t post on timelines. Therefore, Facebook said advertisers cannot target ads to those who declare themselves transgender or recently changed their gender.
But what revolution does this step brings to our society is still going to be the deciding factor for facebook to follow the same trend or to revert back the changes. We will keep you updated with all such latest news as soon as it gets revealed.
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