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

US Rep. Davis: OK With Lawsuit Against Obama

davis

Whether President Obama winds up at the defense table or not, one of Illinois' Republican Congressmen is defending the move to sue him

in Local

Audit: State Wait Times for Nursing Care Claims 3 Months

state_capitol_1

Audit finds may seeking state-paid nursing home care have been waiting more than 90 days for a decision on their cases

in Local

The Fix for Illinois in 98 Steps

illinois flag

Ex-lawmaker, ex-revenue chief co-write new book

in Local

State Fairgrounds Repairs Are Ongoing

state fair logo

IHPA is also short of cash

in Local

A New Law Will Support Community Health Workers

local_news_generic

Sponsor: Current status is unofficial