Facebook adds 50 gender options for users
Are you confused about your gender? You know, man, woman, trans, queer, neutral...and on and on.
Well, there's good news for you people who can't seem to make up your minds. Facebook is adding 50 options to identify what gender your are...or, rather, what you see yourself as...or maybe what you think is hip.
With a click of a cursor, Jay Brown in Cheverly, Md., went from Male to Trans Male. A few states away, Debon Garrigues of Asheville, N.C., switched from Male to Neutral. In San Francisco, Marilyn Roxie, formerly Female, chose three: Androgynous, Transgender and Genderqueer.
Across the country Thursday, news swept through the transgender community that social media giant Facebook had added a customizable option with about 50 different terms people can use to identify their gender as well as three preferred pronoun choices: him, her or them. And one after another, they made their changes in a quiet revolution of sorts.
"For me, this is about much more than a button on a monitor," Garrigues said. "This encourages people to think outside the binary spectrum. It means I don't have to try to fit in the wrong boxes."
For many others, the change went unnoticed - or too far.
"Of course Facebook is entitled to manage its wildly popular site as it sees fit, but here is the bottom line: It's impossible to deny the biological reality that humanity is divided into two halves - male and female," said Jeff Johnston, an issues analyst for Focus on the Family, an influential national religious organization based in Colorado Springs, Colo. "Those petitioning for the change insist that there are an infinite number of genders, but just saying it doesn't make it so. That said, we have a great deal of compassion for those who reject their biological sex and believe they are the opposite sex."
"Just saying it doesn't make it so" sums it up. These are psychological issues far more than they're genetic or actual physical manifestations of a "different" gender. Some people apparently just hate stereotypes of any kind and seek to invent a niche for themselves. Others - about 0.025% to 1% of the population according to The National Center for Transgender Equality - are actually born transgender and need surgery to settle on a gender ID.
The problem as I see it is that the LGBT activist community wants to latch on to this gender ID craze and sweep these confused people into their organization to increase their lobbying clout. Granting special treatment to people who choose their own gender is about as radically idiotic as it gets. But that's where we're headed.