Facebook U.K. Unveils Over 70 Gender Options

By Mitch Kellaway

Originally published on Advocate.com June 27 2014 5:14 PM ET

Following its introduction of expanded gender options for U.S.-based users four months ago, Facebook has begun offering U.K. users the ability to select from over 70 custom gender options, as well as allowing them to choose either a female, male, or neutral gender pronoun for announcements.

Today's announcement indicates that U.K. users will have at least 20 more gender options than the 50 originally introduced to U.S. users, including "intersex man," "intersex woman," and "asexual," reports The Independent.

Building on insights from the U.S., Facebook also consulted with U.K.-based LGBT advocacy groups, including Gendered Intelligence and Press for Change. According to Gay Star News, the groups have particularly lauded Facebook for acknowledging non-binary gender identities.

"By challenging the gender binary, Facebook will finally allow thousands of people to describe themselves as they are now and it will allow a future generation of kids to become truly comfortable in their own skins," Press for Change's vice president, Professor Stephen Whittle, told The Independent.

Facebook has also acknowledged that some users may not want to be out about their shifting or multiple genders, and allows individuals to select the audience for their custom gender selection.

The company's marketing, however, will still fall along binary lines by drawing on pronoun usage. The Independent reports that Facebook currently has no plans to target particular advertisements towards transgender or "custom" users.

Contributor: 
Mitch Kellaway