Facebook users having a hard time identifying with the terms “male” or “female” now have more than categories 50 different ways to express their gender.

This week, the social media giant unveiled a wide range of selections from “androgynous” and “bigender” to “intersex,” “transsexual male,” and “trans female.”

“When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self,” said the company on their Facebook Diversity page.

“An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female.’

The company said it worked with a variety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations to come up with the list of terms they hope will offer better options for users when it comes to expressing their identity on Facebook.

To access the new gender options, users must first go to their profile, click on the “update info” button on the bottom right-hand corner of the cover photo, and click “edit” next to the gender category for basic information. Under the “custom” option, users can begin to type their preferred gender and an automated list will suggest the new terms.

“We also have added the ability for people to control the audience with whom they want to share their custom gender,” said the company. “We 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.”

Aside from expanding the terms offered to identify gender, the new options also give users a way to regulate what pronouns are used on their page when referencing the account holder.

For instance, when the site asks friends of a user to send birthday wishes. Users now have an option for their friends to “Wish her a happy birthday,” “Wish him a happy birthday,” or “Wish them a happy birthday.”


Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer