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 Local

Drone flying over Seattle parade crashes, strikes woman

Fresh
Photo provided by Amazon

Seattle police say a 25-year-old woman was knocked unconscious when a small drone aircraft crashed into a building and fell, striking the woman in the head.

in Local

Seattle teacher pepper-sprayed after MLK march files lawsuit

Fresh
courtroom

Seattle high school teacher was pepper-sprayed by a police officer after giving a speech at the city's Martin Luther King Jr. Day march.

in Local

Sheriff: Man dies after Washington music festival

Fresh
ambulance

The Grant County sheriff's office says it has assigned a detective to investigate a 22-year-old Portland, Oregon, man's death.

in Local

Washington Legislature passes state operating budget

Fresh
Photo provided by the State of Washington

The Washington Legislature has approved a $38.2 billion two-year state operating budget, taking swift action to avoid a government shutdown.

in Local

Senate passes $16.1 billion transportation package

Fresh
olympia

The Senate has passed a $16.1 billion transportation revenue package that includes an 11.9-cent gas tax increase that would be phased in over two years.