Facebook users no longer have to identify their gender as male, female or hide it altogether, a major change for the social network.
Starting Thursday for U.S. users, Facebook will allow users to select from approximately 50 alternative gender options as well as 3 possible pronouns: “His,” “her” or “them.”
Facebook users can change their gender to a custom setting by visiting their Facebook profile, clicking “Update Info,” then “Edit” at the “Basic Information” setting.
Here’s a screenshot of what the new entry field looks like:
“This new feature is a step forward in recognizing transgender people and allows them to tell their authentic story in their own words,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, president of LGBT rights group GLAAD, of Facebook’s changes. GLADD assisted Facebook in developing the new feature. “Once again, Facebook is on the forefront of ensuring that the platform is safe and accessible to all of its LGBT users.”
Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, have long been publicly supportive of LGBT rights. Zuckerberg and other Facebook employees marched in San Francisco’s gay pride parade last year.