FACEBOOK has announced changes to the way users can identify their own gender, expanding the binary male/female options to a list of over 50 options.

On the basis of consultation with people in LGBTI communities, Facebook came up with a list covering a wide range of gender identities, including many relating to trans*, intersex and queer communities.

The social media giant will also provide three pronoun options for users, available regardless of gender identification in a given category: him, her or them.

To address concerns from users a gender change would be made public by default, Facebook has said such changes won’t be automatically posted to users’ timelines. Facebook also said this means advertisers won’t be able to target people who have recently changed genders.

The move has been praised by Australia’s leading trans* and intersex organisations as a big step towards increased recognition of gender diversity.

“The announcement itself, the fact that it’s there and people will think about it, that alone increases awareness of gender issues, for a start,” Transgender Victoria Executive Director Sally Goldner told the Star Observer.

“One person I know has already said, ‘I’m reactivating my Facebook account now I can be more who I am.’”

Tony Briffa from Organisation Intersex International (OII) Australia gave more qualified praise.

“I congratulate Facebook on becoming more inclusive of gender diverse and trans people, but would rather see intersex off the list as a gender identity.  Intersex is about biology, not gender identity.  All the other options are wonderful so people born biologically intersex can use any of those options if they identify other than male or female,” Briffa told the Star Observer.

At the time of writing the changes had not yet been implemented on Facebook in Australia, but are expected to become available soon.

Other than the existing categories of “male” and “female”, the full list of gender options announced by Facebook is:

Agender
Androgyne
Androgynous
Bigender
Cis
Cis Female
Cis Male
Cis Man
Cis Woman
Cisgender
Cisgender Female
Cisgender Male
Cisgender Man
Cisgender Woman
Female to Male
FTM
Gender Fluid
Gender Nonconforming
Gender Questioning
Gender Variant
Genderqueer
Intersex
Male to Female
MTF
Neither
Neutrois
Non-binary
Other
Pangender
Trans
Trans Female
Trans Male
Trans Man
Trans Person
Trans*Female
Trans*Male
Trans*Man
Trans*Person
Trans*Woman
Transexual
Transexual Female
Transexual Male
Transexual Man
Transexual Person
Transexual Woman
Transgender Female
Transgender Person
Transmasculine
Two-spirit

 

 

© Star Observer 2019 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit starobserver.com.au daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.