Updated Mon, Feb 17, 2014 10:40 am
It’s a right of passage for this generation to sign up for a Facebook account—this process, however, just got a little more complicated. No longer is a Facebook user forced to solely identify as a male or female; there are now an additional 48 options underneath the “Custom” category ranging from the more common “transgender” to the less common “two-spirit” and “cisgender.”
Many of these terms are words of which people have never heard. How can somebody identify as “pangender," for example, if they have no idea what it even means? Here is a comprehensive list of all of the new gender choices Facebook is offering.
Female: Biological female
Male: Biological male
Agender: A gender-neutral term that describes people who lack a gender
Androgynous: Having both male and female characteristics
Androgyne: A non-binary gender identity category of people who possess traits that are simultaneously feminine and masculine, or neither.
Trans Female/Trans* Female: A male-to-female transgender person who now identifies as a female
Trans Male/Trans*Male/Trans Man: A female-to-male transgender person who now identifies as a male
The asterisk: Above are two examples of gender terms that are differentiated by an asterisk. Trans (without the asterisk) is best applied to trans men and trans women, while the asterisk (Trans*) includes all non-cisgender gender identities.
Trans/Trans Person/Trans* Person: People whose biological assignment at birth does not match the gender they feel like
Transgender Female: A transgender person who currently identifies as a woman
Transgender Male: A transgender person who currently identifies as a man
Transmasculine: A female-to-male transgender person who was assigned female at birth but identifies as more male than female
Transsexual/Transsexual Person: A person whose biological sex is the opposite as to what they feel like; they may undergo medical treatments to change their biological sex, often times to align it with their gender identity, or they may live their lives as the opposite sex
Transsexual Male/Man: A person who was born biologically as a female but identifies as a man
Transsexual Female/Woman: A person who was born biologically as a male but identifies as a female
Cis/Cisgender: A person whose gender identity, gender expression, and biological sex all align (ex. man, masculine, and male)
Cis/Cisgender Man/Male: A person who identifies as a man, presents himself with masculinity, and has male biological sex, often referred to as simply “man”
Cis/Cisgender Woman/Female: A person who identifies as a woman, presents herself femininely, and has female biological sex, often referred to as simply “woman”
Gender Fluid: An identity that is a fluctuating mix of the options available (e.g., man and woman, gay and straight)
Gender Nonconforming: Behaving and appearing in ways that are not considered typical for one’s gender
Gender Questioning: The process of exploring one’s own sexual orientation, including influences that may come from their family, religious upbringing, and internal motivations
Gender Variant: Behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female
Gender Queer: A person who identifies as both a man and a woman, or as neither a man nor a woman
Female to Male/Male to Female/FTM/MTF: A person who has undergone medical treatments to change their biological sex (Female To Male, or Male To Female)
Neither: A person who does not identify with either a male or female
Neutrois: A non-binary gender identity that falls under the genderqueer or transgender umbrellas
Intersex: A person with a set of sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit within the labels
of female or male
Bigender: Describes a person who feels they exhibit two genders, including any particular gender on or outside of the gender spectrum
Pangender: A term for people who feel that they cannot be labeled as male or female in gender
Non-binary: An umbrella term covering any gender identity or expression that does not fit the normal gender spectrum
Two-Spirit: A term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities or fulfill roles of both genders
Once the user has selected their preferred gender terminology, they can also now choose their preferred pronoun.
It is important to note that these choices have no correlation to sexual identity, such as gay or lesbian. Facebook is merely recognizing all of the amazing types of people there are by allowing them to freely identify as whatever they want. This is a step towards acceptance and equality.
Do you “like” it? Let us know your reaction to this change in the comments below.