Family Members In Facebook Can Now Be Gender Neutral! What Does This Mean?

Jan Omega

Over the course of last month, gender identity has been a major topic, especially in California. Here on The Inquisitr, we reported about how gender identity is now being determined by the gender one identifies themselves as instead of the gender they were born with. This includes California now recognizing gender identity among the recently passed in their death certificates and Facebook now allowing users to select more options with their gender.

Now, Facebook is extending the gender options not just with users, but also with users' family members, as they now have gender-neutral terms too.

According to an article by Mombian, it reports that Facebook's choice to keep family members traditionally gendered has changed, as they added numerous gender-neutral options. These options are included for children, siblings, sibling's children, cousins, parents, grandparents, step-siblings, step-parents, step-children, or in-laws. This doesn't mean that the gender-specific terms, such as mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, husband, and wife were removed -- they are still on the list. The gender-neutrality is just added as an option.

This addition should appease the LGBT groups, who have been calling for the recognition of transgender people though certain options, such as giving them the choice to appeal to whatever gender they choose to be. However, the fact that gender-specific terms are still used should appeal to those who want a more traditional moniker for family relationships.

Another article by The Huffington Post reports that an advocate for Facebook has made it known that not all the U.S. users' profiles have the update yet. Facebook hasn't issued a public statement on the changes and a media representative was not immediately available for comment with them.

In conclusion, it may be a fact that the update won't really mean much to most users, but it is still a change which caters to the few who wanted it. Brielle Harrison, a transgender woman, expressed her thoughts on the project in which she made the following statement.

"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. 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. 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."

Now that you know that Facebook is adding gender-neutral options for family members, we want to know your opinion of the change. Do you think this was a vital update in fairness of all gender identities? Did Facebook waste their time adding these options? Please let us know in the comments below.

[Images via Bing]