News

Man? Woman? Facebook gives you 50 more options

Man? Woman? Facebook gives you 50 more options

FACEBOOK CHANGES: Until now, Facebook's 1.23 billion members could only select male or female for their genders, which Facebook requires users to state in their profiles. Users of rival Google Inc's Google+ social network already had an "other" option for gender. Photo: Reuters

By Alexei Oreskovic

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – For the first time, Facebook Inc is letting users of its online social network identify themselves as a gender other than male and female.

The basic user profile for members in the United States now includes a customizable category among the gender types that users must select, the world’s No.1 Internet social network announced on Thursday, the day the feature became available for U.S. members using the site’s English-language version.

Those who select that option can select up to 10 gender identifications, including “transgender,” “intersex” and “fluid.”

The company said it worked with a leading group of gay and transgender advocacy organizations to come up with the selection of identity options.

Until now, Facebook’s 1.23 billion members could only select male or female for their genders, which Facebook requires users to state in their profiles. Users of rival Google Inc’s Google+ social network already had an “other” option for gender.

Facebook said users also can control the audience who can view a custom choice, noting the challenges that some people may face in publicly sharing their gender identity.

Users can also choose the personal pronoun to which they are referred publicly. A message on Facebook might now invite a user’s friend to write a birthday message on “their” wall, instead of “his” or “her” wall.

“We want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self,” Facebook said.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Amanda Kwan)

(In 2nd paragraph, this story corrects date of announcement to Thursday, not Wednesday)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Friday Hearing in Schock Case Cancelled

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

A judge has canceled a Friday hearing on former Congressman Aaron Schock's cooperation with a federal investigation.

in Local

Judge: Salaita Can Amend Lawsuit Against U of I

illinois logo

Steven Salaita can amend his lawsuit to include the previously dismissed claim that administrators deleted emails pertinent to the case.

in Local

Protest Over GMO Labeling at Sen. Durbin’s Office

durbin_protest

A small protest outside U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin’s Chicago office asked for him to vote against a bill which would prevent states from making the labeling of genetically modified foods mandatory.

in Local

Rauner Vetoes Bill For Better Police, Fire Pensions

pension

Rauner says public -- not city councils -- should decide.

in Local

Springfield Unemployment Down, but “Skills Gap” Remains

unemployment2

4.9% unemployment, but skills gap still a concern.