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 Weird

Smelly Louisville

louisville

There's a bad smell in the city but nobody knows where it's coming from.

in Music

Kid Rock impressed with Bob Seger’s rewrite

kidrock

Kid Rock was so impressed by his pal's rewrite that he added both tracks his new album.

in Music

New music now comes out on Fridays

music

For decades, new music releases came out on Tuesdays, but not anymore.

in Music

Pantera call police after another band allegedly desecrates Dimebag’s grave

dimebag

The surviving members of the band say someone vandalized the resting place of late guitarist Darrell Abbott.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Dakota Johnson joins ISIS

17-overlay

The "Fifty Shades of Grey" star hosted "SNL" this weekend and a sketch featuring her joining the terrorist group has sparked controversy.