Facebook has come up with good news for its millions of users in the U.S. who will now no longer be bound to identify themselves as either “male” or “female”. Meaning, the social media giant has introduced 50 different terms that people can utilize to describe their gender orientation as well as their pronoun preferences: him, her or them.
The Facebook page now features a “custom” category where you can find options like “transgender”, “pangender”, “cisgender” and “two-spirit” to name a few. The list includes some terms which you are aware of and some which you have never heard. So, a person needs to have an idea what the term actually means before picking the most suitable definition of your true self. The change is greatly welcomed by the gender non conforming people throughout the US.
Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who worked on the project and is herself undergoing gender transformation says, “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,” Harrison is also reported to have changed her Facebook identity to Transwoman. She also feels that 50+ unique options is a great opportunity to tell the world who you really are. However, it is also important to note that these gender choices have no correlation to sexual identity such as gay or lesbian. By allowing people to freely describe themselves as the way they want, Facebook is just trying to identify all the amazing types of people in the world and work towards equality and acceptance.
Google Plus offers male, female and “others” as options but Facebook puts the platform far ahead by allowing many unique choices for transgender community. This change is the outcome of consistent lobbying by thousands of US Facebook users who created individual changes petitioning for the change. Transgender activist Nori Herras-Castaneda said “We always talk about how gender is a spectrum. I can see a lot of people being extremely happy about this.”
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