Gender confused individuals such as transgender model Carmen Carrera, left, and transgender activist Janet Mock now have 50 new gender options to choose from on Facebook.com.
Facebook.com is adding 50 new options for users who self-identity as something other than what they were born as. Options include the usual pronouns: him, her, or them. Then there are the 50 tangential choices, such as androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid or transsexual.
"There's going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world," said Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison, who was born a male but now self-identifies as a TransWoman. Harrison worked on the project and is monitoring the software for any problems.
Reactions to the new Facebook changes have been mixed. Gender confused individuals, such as Harrison, see the new changes as a positive step in the right direction.
"All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it's kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are," Harrison said. "This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is."
But others take a more practical, real world approach to the new Facebook additions.
"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 Denver. "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."
Being politically correct is not always realistic or feasible. Reconciling gender confusion is not society's burden to bear. Biological men have the right to know if the person he is crushing on is actually a pre-op male. The media's attempts to validate gender alternatives only adds to the confusion and causes conflict and hostility towards transgender individuals.
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