New Facebook Gender Update Lets Users Identify Themselves As They Wish


Facebook updated its gender selection option on Thursday so that users can identify themselves exactly how they wish.

The new fill-in-the-blank option box allows people to add in their word(s) that describes their gender. The social network previously updated its gender feature to include 58 options and preferred pronouns in February of 2014. Before this change, users could only identify themselves as male, female or hide their gender.

"Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own," Facebook says.

The dropdown menu that provides people the ability to select from terms like "Cis Female," "Two Spirit," and "Androgyne" will still be available; however, Facebook users can now further customize their gender to type whatever they want—probably as long as that the term is not offensive.

"As before, you can add up to ten gender terms and also have the ability to control the audience with whom you would like to share your custom gender," Facebook writes in a post. "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."

Users can change their gender by going to the "About" section of their profile, and click "Contact and Basic Info."

The new fill-in-the blank gender box is only available in the U.S. English-language version of the site.

Facebook is not the first to include a free-form gender box. Google+ added an infinite gender option in December 2014 which allows users to also identify themselves as they wish.

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[PHOTO CREDIT: Ted Eytan/Flickr]

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