Your sexual orientation does not matter on Facebook. The largest social network has rolled out dozens of new gender options to help LGBT users, display who they really are.
Since this week, everyone who uses Facebook in US English can now select a gender from a list compiling 50 options. Previously, users could only select either male or female but now, by choosing the “custom” option that sits in the “basic information” section, users can show their true identity – Trans Male, Trans Person or Trans woman, among others. It should be highlighted that the new feature falls under privacy settings and users can control who can see their gender selection.
Following major change on Facebook, GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis said in a blog post statement that, “this new feature is a step forward in recognising transgender people and allows them to tell their authentic story in their own words”. For newcomers, GLAAD or Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, is an organisation which fights for the rights of LGBTs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) through the media.
Facebook is one among the big tech companies which overtly support the LGBT community, hoping to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Last year, Mark Zuckerberg and some Facebook employees even participated in the gay pride parade.
Facebook Statement on its Diversity Page
When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just “male” or female.” So today, we’re proud to offer a new custom gender option to help you better express your own identity on Facebook.
We collaborated with our Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations, to offer an extensive list of gender identities that many people use to describe themselves. Moreover, people who select a custom gender will now have the ability to choose the pronoun they’d like to be referred to publicly — male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their).
We also have added the ability for people to control the audience with whom they want to share their custom gender. 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.
The new custom gender option is available to everyone who uses Facebook in U.S. English.