Facebook adds new gender options to U.S. profiles

Posted Feb 13, 2014

Facebook has added new gender options to the social network. There are now about 50 different terms that people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him/her/them. Facebook said that the changes will cover Facebook’s 159 million monthly users in the U.S. and are aimed at people that want to describe themselves as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid, or transsexual.

“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,” stated Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison. Harrison is going through a gender transformation from male to female. She said that she is changing her Facebook identity from Female to TransWoman.

“All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it’s kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are,” stated Harrison. “This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is.”

There are an estimated 700,000 individuals in the U.S. that are transgender, which is a term that includes people that live as a gender that is different to the one assigned at birth.