Facebook, the most popular social networking platform has long had a problem with pronouns. With only her/she and him/he, gendered notifications like “Robert updated his profile” or “Roberta updated her profile,” transgender users were left with choices that didn’t fit their identities.
Recently, Facebook added a raft of additional “custom” gender options for users’ profiles, including Agender, Androgyne, Androgynous, Bigender, Female to Male, FTM, Gender Fluid, Gender Non-Conforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Genderqueer, Intersex, MTF, Male to Female, Non-binary, Neither, Neutrois, Other, Pangender, Trans, Trans Female, Trans Male, Trans Man, Trans Person, Transgender Person, Transsexual Person, and finally, Two Spirit, which go a long way towards reflecting the range of self-identified gender(s) that their users might prefer.
Users can also select the pronouns with which they will be referred to, the male or female pronouns or the gender-neutral “them,” as in “Wish them a happy birthday.”
Other than unhappiness of over Facebook’s new inclusiveness from the usual suspects at Fox News and other “culture warriors” of the right, response has been overwhelmingly positive. And while the change from binary Male/Female choices that were previously available to the veritable rainbow now taken into account, is of little meaning for the site’s vast majority of users, for those who this does impact, it means the world and represents yet another baby-step towards full acceptance of the transgendered.
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