Facebook Users Now Have New Gender Option: Fill in the Blank

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/ Source: Associated Press

Facebook users who don't fit any of the 58 gender identity options offered by the social network are now being given a 59th option: Fill in the blank. "Now, if you do not identify with the pre-populated list of gender identities, you are able to add your own," said a Facebook announcement Thursday. Facebook software engineer Ari Chivukula, who identifies as transgender and was part of the team that made the free-form option, thinks the change will lead to more widespread acceptance of people who don't identify themselves as a man or woman. "We're hoping this will open up the dialogue," Chivukula said. In February 2014, Facebook expanded gender identity from male and female to a list of dozens of options, including Androgyne, Gender Fluid, Intersex, Neither and Transgender. Those choices will all still be available. People who choose a custom gender can also choose the pronoun they would like to be referred to publicly: he/his, she/her or they/their. Facebook has a setting for users to control the audience who sees their gender.

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— The Associated Press