For the first time ever, Facebook Inc. allowing its users to identify themselves as not only male and female.
This feature, which was announced on Thursday (13/2), is temporarily only available to users in the United States who use English as their preferred language for Facebook. Facebook users currently can choose 1 of 10 gender options that can be written by themselves; these include “transgender,” “intersex” and “fluid.”
Facebook says it is working with leading gay and transgender advocacy organizations to formulate these identity choices. Before this feature was introduced, 1.23 billion Facebook users were required to choose between male and female as the gender indicated on their profile. Meanwhile, Facebook’s competitor, Google+, has entered “other” options for gender.
Facebook says its users can also control which audience can see their choice of gender, given that there are consequences of publishing unusual choices and not everyone can accept those choices.
Apart from that, users can also choose the first person pronoun they want. A message on Facebook now allows a user’s friend to post a birthday message on “their” wall, instead of “her (boy)” or “her (girl) wall.”
“We want you to feel comfortable being who you really are,” Facebook says.