U.S. News


Facebook Expands To More Than 50 Gender Profile Options

The move, made in collaboration with several LGBT organizations, has been widely praised and continues Facebook’s progressive social attitude.
Posted at 6:35 PM, Feb 13, 2014

Male, Female or… Custom?​ Facebook announced Thursday it's rolling out more than 50 new gender options for users to select, including androgynous, transgender and intersex. Also changing is the ability to choose your pronoun: he, she or they.

According to the site, "We want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender."

To make the edit, users can simply edit their About page and choose their gender from the "Custom" menu.

LGBT organizations are already praising Facebook for its due diligence, directly developing the new options with Network of Support, an LGBT organization alliance established in 2010.

One of those groups is the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), whose president Sarah Kate Ellis lauded the site for, “Once again, [being] on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users.”

And the LGBT community north of the border commended Facebook as well, with the Egale Canada Human Rights Trust calling the move “a principled initiative that responds to the need for dialogue pertaining to gender identity and sexual orientation on a global level."

Nearly 42 percent of LGBT teens say they've been bullied online, compared to 15 percent of non-LGBT youth, according to a 2013 survey by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

Still, many religious groups — such as Focus on the Family — continue to insist male and female are the only possible gender identities.

With the change, Facebook adds on to its legacy of pro-LGBT work, establishing the Network of Support and even winning a GLAAD Media Award in 2012. (Via Mashable)

For now, though, the additional options are only available on the site's U.S. English version, which accounts for just 13 percent of Facebook’s user base.