A new type of social media

Facebook now allows users to choose among fifty genders

Story by Emily Albrent, News Editor

I am all about equality. It’s a basic human right for people to be happy no matter what gender they affiliate with. And it’s about time Facebook jumped aboard that train.

Recently, Facebook made it possible for people in the U.S. to edit their genders. Genders. Not sex. This is huge. Sex is biological, gender is a social construct, but it is also a very important part of who we are as humans.

Facebook now will allow users to choose from up to 50 additional options, such as transgender, cisgender, gender fluid, intersex and neither. Fifty? A round of applause for a social networking site that frequently I can’t stand. Yet I’m on it everyday like it’s my job.

According to the Mail Online, Facebook came up with these 50 different genders by consulting with leading gay and transgender activists.  One of Facebook’s software engineers, Brielle Harrison is undergoing a gender transformation from male to female and by working on this project she was able to change the Facebook world.

Users can also pick the pronoun they would like to go by such as he/she, or the gender-neutral they/their. Facebook said on their Diversity page,

“When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self.” Who wrote that?  I just want them to be my life coach forever.

But what gets me is this: why in the heck is no one talking about this? I only saw this shared on my Facebook newsfeed twice. Maybe I live under a rock, maybe tons of people are talking about this, but I wanted balloons, streamers, and those loud popper things that scare the heck out of you on the Fourth of July.

Should these gender options have been available in the first place? Yes. But they weren’t and now they are so let’s talk about it.

I don’t know about you, but I wanted to knock on all my neighbors’ doors and tell them about the news. Regardless if you believe this was the right thing for Facebook to do, regardless if you are liberal or conservative, this is something to be talked about. Be mad, be happy, but dang it, I want to hear what you have to say.

Being able to express yourself beyond male or female is something everyone can appreciate. You don’t have to be trans* or intersex to appreciate this monumental time in social media history.

You can appreciate this for the fact that we are getting closer everyday to a more accepting world. Sadly, the world will never be fully accepting, but if big websites, especially social media sites, start doing more of what Facebook is doing, they can open up many doors for people to become more accepting of the people around them and even themselves.

Facebook has a lot of pull in today’s world and economy. You can’t go one day without hearing about a social media website. This is the chance for change because people will have to hear news about a big company doing big things.

As of Feb. 13, according to CNN, it is not known if the new gender options will be available outside of the U.S., but let’s hope they are.  Everyone deserves this even if it’s just on a social media site.