Custom genders on Facebook now available in the UK

Wouter van Dijke

Wouter van Dijke is a biology and journalism student from The Netherlands. Besides his passion for writing, Wouter loves to travel and party. He's quite good with science-y stuff, too, as long as no maths are involved.

As of today, Facebook’s custom gender options are available for users who have set their language to UK English. Earlier this year Facebook added the option not to be identified as ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ and allowed users to choose from a list of 54 custom gender options, such as Transgender, Genderqueer and Androgynous. Up until now these options were only available when using Facebook in US English.

Facebook has worked with trans rights organisations Press for Change and Gendered Intelligence to make sure the list is appropriate and relevant for people in the United Kingdom. Jay Stewart, a Director at Gendered Intelligence, says in a statement issued by Facebook:

“Gendered Intelligence supports the launch of Facebook’s custom gender options. The comprehensive range reflects the diversity of identity among trans people in the UK. We welcome the inclusion of non-binary identities that are so often overlooked or erased. Facebook’s decision to better reflect trans lives online sends a message to young trans people that their identities and concerns are legitimate and that their voices have been listened to.”

Facebook’s policy director for the UK, Simon Milner, is also quoted, stating:

“When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organisations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true self.  An important part of this is the expression of gender especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female.’ Today’s announcement provides significantly more options for people in the UK.”

Besides the ability to identify as something else than male or female on your profile, the update includes the possibility of choosing your preferred pronoun, offering a choice between male (he/his), female (she/her) and neutral (they/their).

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