Alex just squealed “OH MY GOD” and ran over to me, showing me a Transgender Law Center post on Facebook about how to change the gender titles you use on Facebook.
“It’s about fucking time,” I said, breaking my sabbatical from Facebook to change my gender from “female” to “non-binary” (“femme” was not an option) and my pronouns from “she” to “they.” I don’t really care if someone calls me she, or they, or “hey you” even, but I try to use gender neutrality as much as possible to help make it a commonplace occurrence.
Facebook says it allows you to customize your gender, but really, it limits what you can and can’t use to about 50 preselected gender options, and it only lets you choose from “she”, “he” and “they” for pronouns. Here’s what happened when I tried to make my gender “Femme”.
While Facebook is a bit behind Google Plus, which launched with a third gender option, it is still really spectacular to have the ability to choose your gender beyond the binary.
“There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,” Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who worked on the project, told the Associated Press.
I am one of those “few” people. Alex is one of those “few” people. Almost everyone I know is one of those “few” people. And to all of us, having our gender properly identified in public is a very big deal.
Thanks Facebook. I’m still not using you for a year, but I appreciate the public recognition that gender is beyond binary.
To learn how to change your Facebook status to something custom (I suggest ALL people, even cis-gender people, do this in solidarity), check out this post by FB.
To learn more about how not to be a jerk when it comes to talking about someone’s gender, check out this post I did for Kinkly.