Tag Archives: number of transgenders in USA

Facebook now offers 58 gender choices

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) is so very passé.

YAWN….

cat yawn

The AP reports that on Feb. 14, 2014, social media giant Facebook added a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them. 

Facebook said the changes initially cover the company’s 159 million monthly users in the U.S. and are aimed at giving people more choices in how they describe themselves, such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.

“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,” said Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who worked on the project and is herself undergoing gender transformation, from male to female. She said she was changing her Facebook identity from Female to TransWoman.

Facebook, which has 1.23 billion active monthly users around the world, also allows them to keep their gender identity private and will continue to do so. The company does not routinely publish data about users, and had no early figures about people changing their gender identity or leaving Facebook on Thursday.

The Williams Institute, a think tank based at the University of California, Los Angeles, estimates there are at least 700,000 individuals in the U.S. who identify as transgender, an umbrella term that includes people who live as a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth.

The move by Facebook represents a basic and yet significant form of recognition of the nation’s growing transgender rights movement, which has been spurred by veteran activists and young people who identify as transgender at younger ages. The Human Rights Campaign last year found that 10% of the 10,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender youths it surveyed used “other” or wrote in their own gender terms.

Blogger and computer coder Meitar Moscovitz, in Santa Fe, N.M., points out Facebook has a commercial interest for expanding the standard male-female gender choices to a legion of 50 options: “This isn’t about Facebook being inclusive. It’s about Facebook making sure people remain ignorant of exactly that facet; that they are categorizing you anyway. The more information you give Facebook, the more money you’re worth to Facebook.”

Indeed, Facebook already targets advertising according to male or female genders. For those who change to something neutral, ads will be targeted based on the pronoun they select for themselves. But Facebook says that advertisers cannot target ads to those who declare themselves transgender or recently changed their gender because, unlike getting engaged or married, changing gender is not registered as a “life event” on the site and won’t post on timelines.

Facebook came up with its range of terms after consulting with leading gay and transgender activists, and the company plans to continue working with them. It plans to take the initiative global after working with activists abroad to come up with terms appropriate in other countries.

Actually, the AP report is wrong. Facebook offers not 50, but at least 58 gender options, according to ABC News:

  • Agender
  • Androgyne
  • Androgynous
  • Bigender
  • Cis
  • Cisgender
  • Cis Female
  • Cis Male
  • Cis Man
  • Cis Woman
  • Cisgender Female
  • Cisgender Male
  • Cisgender Man
  • Cisgender Woman
  • Female to Male
  • FTM
  • Gender Fluid
  • Gender Nonconforming
  • Gender Questioning
  • Gender Variant
  • Genderqueer
  • Intersex
  • Male to Female
  • MTF
  • Neither
  • Neutrois
  • Non-binary
  • Other
  • Pangender
  • Trans
  • Trans*
  • Trans Female
  • Trans* Female
  • Trans Male
  • Trans* Male
  • Trans Man
  • Trans* Man
  • Trans Person
  • Trans* Person
  • Trans Woman
  • Trans* Woman
  • Transfeminine
  • Transgender
  • Transgender Female
  • Transgender Male
  • Transgender Man
  • Transgender Person
  • Transgender Woman
  • Transmasculine
  • Transsexual
  • Transsexual Female
  • Transsexual Male
  • Transsexual Man
  • Transsexual Person
  • Transsexual Woman
  • Two-Spirit

There are some terms I’ve never seen before:

  • Cisgender: According to Queer Dictionary, a cisgender person is someone who identifies as they gender/sex they were assigned at birth. For example, your birth certificate says female, and you identify as a female woman.
  • Intersex: According to the Intersex Society of America, “intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that seem to be in-between the usual male and female types—for example, a girl may be born with a noticeably large clitoris, or lacking a vaginal opening, or a boy may be born with a notably small penis, or with a scrotum that is divided so that it has formed more like labia. Or a person may be born with mosaic genetics, so that some of her cells have XX chromosomes and some of them have XY.
  • Neutrois: A non-binary gender identity that may refer to neutral-gender, null- (or no) gender, neither male nor female, genderless, and agender.

~Eowyn

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