This is great news. I must have missed it. That's no surprise since I am cis. I knew Facebook's gender choices were restrictive - I just haven't been following it. But I am happy to see this. From the CNN article:

In a nod to the "it's complicated" sexual identities of many of its users, the social network on Thursday added a third "custom" gender option for people's profiles. In addition to Male or Female, Facebook now lets U.S. users choose among some 50 additional options such as "transgender," "cisgender," "gender fluid," "intersex" and "neither."

[side note/question: can one identify as cisgender, but not male or female? I was always under the impression that cis meant you fell under the category of most of the world - strictly male, or strictly female.]

Am I remembering correctly, that the choices were "male", "female," or "other"? Now that I think about it, "other" seems pretty harmful - right? You are one of us [cis], or you are "other." Now, there are over 50 new genders to choose from.

What's also great is that you can choose your pronouns, as well. You don't have to identify as gender neutral, for instance, and be referred to as he, she, or it.

Bonus points: you can customize how your gender appears to different people - so you don't have the choice of either operating under an identity that isn't what you feel, or outing yourself to people you don't want to have that discussion with.


Slate has offered a list and definitions of all the new gender options on Facebook. Do any of you more versed on gender issues have any comments about this list? Did Facebook cover the necessary bases? Did Slate define everything correctly?