Advice / Announcement / Opinion / Reviews

Facebook: New Gender Options

Image via Flickr Scott Beale

By: Emily Theodore 
Facebook just made living life as an LGTBQ individual a lot less complicated.

From androgyne to pangender, the website added 58 new gender options for English-speaking users to choose from to display on their profile.

If not just one of these terms stick, users can regard several gender profiles to their name.

Your new personalized gender can be viewed by the public, your friends or remain private under your discretion.

“Facebok is definitely moving in the right direction,” said English student, Kristen Jess.

“Not only does this technicality allow more people to feel included, but it also helps put it out there that there are perfectly acceptable gender identities besides male and female. And that there really are no ‘wrong’ ways of identifying. “

Another addition to Facebook’s revamped gender profile is the new pronoun option.

As pronouns are a direct implication of how we view ourselves and may be chosen wisely by many transgender people, the site now prompts users to choose between a male, female or neutral pronoun for the public to see.

Users can chose to portray themselves as either: “her”, “him” or “them.”

“Although I think that most people prefer to be called either him or her, this new addition to Facebook caters to people who want to portray their gender profile more specifically,” said 19-year-old Cameron Miller.  “Their gender will be clearer for others to understand.”

But what if you’re a 16-year-old boy who isn’t quite sure who they are?

While these embellishments to the site are liberating, they can also be viewed as overwhelming.

“With the laundry list of choices to pick from, subjecting yourself to pick a gender profile that may be viewed by the public seems daunting,” said Josh Chew, 19.

“It’s a lot of pressure, especially with so many young people on Facebook. Identifying yourself as something other than male or female could just become the ‘in thing’ to do.

Whether one chooses to use Facebook’s customized gender selection for their profile or not, some believe that the site’s openness towards LGBTQ rights is key to eliminating discrimination against people of different gender identities.

“Stigmas attached to gender identities might be broken because of what Facebook has done,” said Jess.

“It will become much more common to see other identities shown on Facebook, which may (and hopefully will) ingrain in the minds of bigot’s that identifying yourself with the pronoun “they” is just as normal and acceptable as being “he” or “she.” M


2 thoughts on “Facebook: New Gender Options

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