Take a look at your “about” settings on #Facebook. They’ve introduced about 50 new custom #gender options, as well as a choice of personal pronoun preference. The pronoun preference is a dropdown, and currently allows masculine, feminine, or “they” as a gender neutral option. The actual gender identification options are much more diverse, and you can explore them by typing letters into the box and seeing what pops up. You can’t come up with your own custom gender identity; I tested it, and you have to select from one of the options they have programmed in. You can, however, choose multiple options. I’m not sure if there’s a limit, but I have two listed, myself.
This is a great progressive move on Facebook’s part. They may be an evil empire and an often frustratingly dickish service, but this is at least a good PR move on their part, and a move that will make a lot of people feel much more accepted for who they are on a social network that seems impossible to completely escape.
Now the only thing I and many friends need to accurately fill out our profiles are poly relationship options allowing us to list multiple significant others. But the fact that such an option isn’t there, yet, should in NO WAY diminish the incredible news about gender identification options. There’s been a push for more gender options, or at the very least a neutral option, for a long time. I think this move is actually a lot more than any of us really expected Facebook to accomplish.
I will say that I hope they expand the option beyond US English. Even if they’re just catering to the US audience (kind of silly, given the commonality of international friendships), US users speak a myriad of languages.
We also still need a bit more flexibility in the “interested in” section to reflect this leap forward on Facebook’s part. But, again, that should not diminish the fact that this is a huge step in the right direction.