Facebook and nonbinary gender
I have mixed feelings about Facebook and gender.
I love that people are no longer being shoved into the pronoun boxes of “she” or “he” - people who’ve got their language set to US and UK English can now be referred to as singular “they”, which would suit me just fine. They can also be agender or nonbinary or any of the other 50+ options. (It remains to be seen whether anyone will draw attention to “asexual” being on the list despite it being a word for a sexuality rather than a gender.)
However, you must still choose a binary gender when you sign up - which they have admitted they still use to target ads, even if you change your gender to something other than male or female later on. Imagine choosing male or female at random just to get an account and then having the marketing treat you like someone you’re not. Marketing based on gender is bad enough when you’re not gender-nonconforming, but this way is a massive dysphoria-inducing ick-fest.
And on a neutral observational note, their choice of singular “they” does reflect the majority of nonbinary people accurately - about 62% of nonbinary people are happy with singular “they”, though often not as the only pronoun they’ll accept - but there’s still a sizeable proportion of the population that don’t like he, she, or they. In other words, there is no consensus, and it’s not likely there’ll be one for a long time. Facebook choosing the oldest and most common inclusive pronoun is not a surprise, but I wonder whether it’ll be suitable for all nonbinary Facebook users, and I wonder whether it’ll affect the pronoun climate in the future. Will this bring us closer to what many nonbinary people want, which is a consensus on one inclusive pronoun, so that people can use our pronouns more easily and social dysphoria is thus reduced? Will binary cis people be all like, “Facebook says nonbinary people are called “they” so I’m going to call you “they” even though that’s not what you want me to call you”?
Petitions you can sign to support nonbinary genders
- Gender Neutral Gender Markers For ID
- Reform the Gender Identity Clinics (in support of the “informed consent” model)
- Rape law to be made gender neutral (advocates for “they” to be used instead of “he”)
- Help get gender-inclusive title Mx added to online forms (this is mine! I’d forgotten about it!)
- Legal protection for all trans* and intersex in the UK (seeking to include nonbinary and intersex people in anti-discrimination law)
- In support of ‘X’ passports in the United Kingdom
Any more for me to add? I’ll edit as and when. :)
We’re crowdsourcing a document to give to organisations to tell them how to be gender inclusive!
The Non-Binary Gender Inclusion Project
You should go and have a look at the Non-Binary Gender Inclusion Project. From their Facebook page:
Aiming for non-binary gender inclusion on the forms and literature of every organisation which interacts with the public in the UK.
Imagine having to lie about your gender to register for a bank account or not being able to get post from your utilities with an appropriate title. That’s the day-to-day reality for many of us who have a non-binary gender identity. We plan to change it.
We’re asking for companies and groups who interact with the public to make their literature and forms non-binary inclusive by taking these 3 easy steps:
1) If you ask for people’s gender, the options should include male, female & other
2) If you ask for a title you should allow users to both type in their own title and to select no title
3) Avoid using phrases like “men and women” if you intend to refer to everyone. For example, instead of saying “men and women welcome”, you could say “people of all genders welcome”.
Please join and help us campaign.
They also have a Twitter account: @nonbinaryUK
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Legally Recognize Non-Binary Genders
Facebook has just updated to let users choose the gender pronoun they associate with. Aside from the usual “male” and “female” options, users can choose from..
You can fill in any gender you like!
Meet transgender woman and coder Teagan Widmer, whose latest app, Refuge Restrooms, highlights the importance of providing safe public accommodations for trans people.
And here is the website: Refuge Restrooms
It’s open source, yay! But new and lacking somewhat in UK listings. I encourage you to add your local safe toilets.
That this House
- recognises the issues faced by those in the UK who identify themselves as non-gender, bi-gender or intersex;
- believes that many of those who are non-gendered or bi-gendered feel compromised and diminished as a result of inappropriate gender references on their personal identity information;
- acknowledges that all passports issued by HM Passport Office are currently gender-specific and it is therefore not possible to obtain a passport that contains no reference to gendered identity;
- understands that, alongside F (Female) and M (Male), the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Document 9303 already contains X (unspecified) as a permitted character for three permitted characters under the mandatory sex element for machine-readable travel documents;
- notes that in Australia and New Zealand citizens are able to obtain a non-gender specific X passport and that India, Nepal and Pakistan also recognise the legitimacy of X as a preferred option when M and F are not appropriate;
- further believes that allowing this possibility in the UK would go a long way to amend this discriminatory policy which denies non-gendered and bi-gendered people a legitimate identity;
- and therefore urges the Government and HM Passport Office to make non-gender-specific X passports available to those UK passport holders who do not identify with a particular gender.
As promised, Julian Huppert MP has replaced the previous version of this EDM, 889, which was untabled within 48 hours because Simon Hughes was promoted to Justice Minister. Wow, someone in the House really doesn’t want to talk about this, huh?
This is a new EDM, and so it will need resigning by the MPs who signed it last time.
My last version of this post has over 1,600 notes and a dead link. Please reblog, and if you’re in the UK please write to your MP asking them to sign.
This motion is a really big deal for nonbinary and intersex folks in the UK. As far as I’m aware it is the only way we’re ever going to have official documentation that doesn’t have M or F on it.
If you’re in the UK, find your MP and write to them using WriteToThem.com (it’s so easy, great website, takes 5 minutes) and ask them to support this motion. Mention EDM 889 for X on passports.
If you’re not in the UK and you think you have British followers, please consider reblogging.