1. Facebook announced Thursday that it is now allowing users to select a custom gender for their Facebook profile. The new initiative was announced by the Facebook Diversity program.
2. Previously, Facebook only allowed users to pick Male or Female. But they’ve now opened up the options to reflect the needs of the online transgender community.
3. As of Thursday morning, users are now given an option for custom gender.
4. Along with a menu that allows them to fully customize which pronouns Facebook refers to you as.
5. The settings also allow users to toggle whether or not their gender change appears on their timeline.
6. A user can also toggle what kinds of users can see their gender.
7. Per statement from Facebook’s Diversity team, there will be a handful of genders and settings users will be able to set-up:
This will open up a menu where you can select up to ten gender definitions. Among these are genders such as “cisgender,” “transgender” and “intersex,” as well as many other nuanced options.
Beyond that, we are now allowing people to select a “neutral” pronoun on the site. For those not comfortable identifying as traditionally male or female, there is now an option to be referred to as “they/their/them.” For instance, instead of saying “Write on Matt’s wall for HIS birthday,” the text will read “Write on Matt’s wall for THEIR birthday.”
8. Facebook has added the new gender settings to their privacy help page, which further explains the default privacy settings of a user’s gender and how to change them.
9. GLAAD released a statement about the new changes, lauding Facebook’s efforts to make the platform safer and more comfortable for Facebook’s tansgender community:
The new feature, which GLAAD helped develop, enables users to select a custom gender option, indicate preferred pronouns and adjust privacy settings for the custom gender field. It will be available to those who use Facebook in U.S. English…
“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. “Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users.”