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As of today, Facebook users in the UK will have over 70 options from which to express their gender. Users will be able to pick from identifiers such as trans person, cisgender and androgynous – and there is also an option for people to introduce their own preferred terms. The US version of the social network introduced the extensive gender options back in February and users have been waiting for the UK to follow suit.
Speaking to The Independent, Facebook’s policy director in the UK Simon Milner said: "It’s all about Facebook enabling people to be themselves, and making users feel comfortable in how they express themselves and how they talk about the issues that matter to them. There will be different reactions to it but we think it’s the right thing to do and in tune with the vast majority of people in the UK and how they think."
Users will also have the chance to pick their preferred pronoun, choosing from male (he/his), female (she/her) or neutral (they/their). You can also control which Facebook friends get to see your custom gender identity.
It's an excellent move by the networking site to allow their users freedom to self-identify on the platform and portray their individuality in the truest sense. Pressed on the idea that there may be any negative responses to the move, Milner simply said: "Those kinds of people haven’t figured in our thinking on this".
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot