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Facebook offer 56 new gender options. Here’s what they mean.

  • Posted on December 9, 2017 at 7:19 am

Dear Readers,

I have wanted write a blog on all the new terminology for gender and came across this helpful article. I didn’t realize Facebook was so forward on gender vocabulary way back in 2014! This article helps you navigate these new terms.

By Christine Cantrell, PhD, LP
www.christinecantrell.com
christineccantrellphd@gmail.com

Facebook offers users 56 new gender options: Here’s what they mean

PeterWeberhttp://theweek.com/articles/450873/facebook-offers-users-56-new-gender-options-heres-what-mean

Facebook on Thursday started allowing users to self-identify as something other than male or female. Good. There may be some cynical ad-targeting motive at work, but as Facebook spokesman Will Hodges explains, “While to many this change may not mean much, for those it affects it means a great deal.”

You can make the change in your Facebook settings, and choose who will (and won’t) see your new gender nomenclature. You can also change the pronoun Facebook uses when it talks about you, to the gender-neutral (but grammatically problematic) “they” (not “xe” or “thon”). The new options are only available in the U.S. so far.

So, if you don’t identify as male or female, then what? Well, Facebook offers 56 options. You can use up to 10 of them on your profile. Fifty-six sounds like a lot, but actually a lot of them are variations on a theme —”cisgender man” and “cisgender male,” as well as “cis man” and “cis male.” In terms of broad categories, there about a dozen. Here’s a look at what they mean:

1. Agender/Neutrois—These terms are used by people who don’t identify with any gender at all —they tend to either feel they have no gender or a neutral gender. Some use surgery and/or hormones to make their bodies conform to this gender neutrality.

2. Androgyne/Androgynous—Androgynes have both male and female gender characteristics and identify as a separate, third gender.

3. Bigender—Someone who is bigender identifies as male and female at different times. Whereas an androgyne has a single gender blending male and female, a bigender switches between the two.

4. Cis/Cisgender—Cisgender is essentially the opposite of transgender (cis-being Latin for “on this side of” versustrans-, “on the other side”). People who identify as cisgender are males or females whose gender aligns with their birth sex.

5. Female to Male/FTM—Someone who is transitioning from female to male, either physically (transsexual) or in terms of gender identity.

6. Gender Fluid—Like bi-gender people, the gender-fluid feel free to express both masculine and feminine characteristics at different times.

7. Gender Nonconforming/Variant—This is a broad category for people who don’t act or behave according to the societal expectation for their sex. It includes cross-dressers and tomboys as well as the transgender.

8. Gender Questioning—This category is for people who are still trying to figure out where they fit on the axes of sex and gender.

9. Genderqueer—This is an umbrella term for all nonconforming gender identities. Most of the other identities in this list fall into the genderqueer category.

10. Intersex—This term refers to a person who was born with sexual anatomy, organs, or chromosomes that aren’t entirely male or female. Intersex has largely replaced the term “hermaphrodite” for humans.

11. Male to Female/MTF—Someone who is transitioning from male to female, either physically (transsexual) or in terms of gender identity.

12. Neither—You understand this one: “I don’t feel like I’m fully male or fully female. ‘Nuff said.”

13. Non-binary—People who identify as non-binary disregard the idea of a male and female dichotomy, or even a male-to-female continuum with androgyny in the middle. For them, gender is a complex idea that might fit better on athree-dimensional chart, or a multidimensional web.

14. Other—Like “neither,” this is pretty self-explanatory. It can cover everything from “I’d prefer not to specify how I don’t fit in the gender dichotomy” to “My gender is none of your damn business, Facebook.”

15. Pangender—Pangender is similar to androgyny, in that the person identifies as a third gender with some combination of both male and female aspects, but it’s a little more fluid. It can also be used as an inclusive term to signify “all genders.”

16. Trans/Transgender—Transgender is a broad category that encompasses people who feel their gender is different than the sex they were born —gender dysphoria. They may or may not choose to physically transition from their birth sex to their experienced gender.

17. Transsexual—Transsexual refers to transgender people who outwardly identify as their experienced gender rather than their birth sex. Many, but not all, transsexuals are transitioning (or have transitioned) from male to female or female to male through hormone therapy and/or gender reassignment surgery.

18. Two-spirit—This term refers to gender-variant Native Americans. In more than 150 Native American tribes, people with “two spirits” —a term coined in the 1990sto replace the term “berdache” —were part of a widely accepted, often respected, category of gender-ambiguous men and women.

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Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
Psychologist

Christine C. Cantrell, PhD
1026 W. 11 Mile Rd,
Suite C
Royal Oak, MI 48067
248-591-2888

Click here to email Christine.

Dear Christine, Reasonable in Rochester Part III

  • Posted on December 3, 2017 at 7:48 am

By Christine Cantrell, PhD, LP www.christinecantrell.com christineccantrellphd@gmail.com Dear Christine, I wonder if you have any good articles or references about transgender or more specifically, non-binary people that describes the uses of pronouns. We have a situation in our Indivisible group that people have taken offense and some are not understanding about pronouns. Sincere leaders are trying to mend fences and have withstood some kind-of mean attacks and their apologies weren’t accepted. We can’t get anything done if we can’t talk to each other. What would you suggest? Signed, Reasonable in Rochester, MI Dear Reasonable, This is a complicated topic, so I will answer in three parts. Part 1 is on Gender Identity Part 2 is on Transgender Issues. Part 3, today, will explore Pronoun Issues Part 3 When I was in elementary school in the ’60s, the school secretary was “Mz Smith,” with a distinct southern accent. The title “Ms” was popularized to signify a woman so that her marital status (Miss or Mrs) wasn’t known or wasn’t a focus of the interaction. In 1972, The Us Government Printing Office approved this title for official documents. You can’t go wrong with Ms, so that has become the standard default title…

Dear Christine, Reasonable in Rochester, Part II

  • Posted on November 27, 2017 at 7:37 am

By Christine Cantrell, PhD, LP www.christinecantrell.com christineccantrellphd@gmail.com Dear Christine, I wonder if you have any good articles or references about transgender or more specifically, non-binary people that describes the uses of pronouns.  We have a situation in our Indivisible group that people have taken offense and some are not understanding about pronouns.  Sincere leaders are trying to mend fences and have withstood some kind-of mean attacks and their apologies weren’t accepted.  We can’t get anything done if we can’t talk to each other.  What would you suggest? Signed, Reasonable in Rochester, MI Dear Reasonable, This is a complicated topic, so I will answer in three parts. Part 1 is on Gender Identity Part 2 is on Transgender Issues. Part  3 will explore Pronoun Issues Part 2 By age 3 or 4, most children comprehend gender and identify themselves as a specific gender.  Sometimes a small female looking child might wish for a penis, not understanding what surgery would entail, but by age 13 or 14, children are mature enough to make decisions about their lives. This is gender dysphoria. One treatment decision might be to block hormones in puberty to give these children a few years more to decide what…

Dear Christine, Reasonable in Rochester

  • Posted on November 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

By Christine Cantrell, PhD, LP http://christinecantrell.com christineccantrellphd@gmail.com Dear Christine, I wonder if you have any good articles or references about transgender or more specifically, non-binary people that describes the uses of pronouns. We have a situation in our Indivisible group that people have taken offense and some are not understanding about pronouns. Sincere leaders are trying to mend fences and have withstood some kind-of mean attacks and their apologies weren’t accepted. We can’t get anything done if we can’t talk to each other. What would you suggest? Signed, Reasonable in Rochester, MI Dear Reasonable, This is a complicated topic, so I will answer in three parts. Part 1 Gender Identity Part 2 will explore Transgender Issues. Part 3 will explore the Pronoun Issues Part 1 Most of us go through life as male or female and never think anything more about it. It seems that the all creation divides in two, every species… well, most of them at least! However, there are about 2000 children born each year with genitalia that doesn’t look normal. Until 50 years ago, surgery was performed to “fix” these babies’ genitals to look “normal,” sometimes without the parents’ knowledge. The non-conformity was hidden. Sometimes those…

Dear Christine, Cinderella in Clinton Township

  • Posted on November 12, 2017 at 10:40 am

Dear Christine, Sometimes I feel like Cinderella in my family. I went to college, have always been ambitious, have always been responsible. I got a great job after college working at a successful law firm, I saved enough money to buy my first house. On the other hand, my brother has accomplished nothing yet has the heart of my parents. He’s way too attractive for his own good and my parents have done nothing but coddle and support him. At a family dinner last week, my parents suggested I take on Billy when they are gone! I was too shocked to say, “oh hell no,” which Is what I was shouting in my head. I’ve always been obedient and good and never heard a word of praise from them, yet they lavish it on my lazy, live in the basement of their home brother. He’s 35 by the way. How can I stand up to them and let them know I don’t want to pick up where they left off? They are getting older and having health problems. I don’t want to be my brother’s keeper! Thanks for your thoughts, Signed Dear Cinderella, This is not a news flash for…

Dear Christine, Unsure at University of Michigan

  • Posted on November 6, 2017 at 10:50 am

Dear Christine, I’m a young just out gay man. My question is, do all gay men have anal sex? When I goggled that to find some answers, it just took me to porn sites and sex toys. So far, I’m a virgin to that and the truth is, I can’t see myself ever doing that. I know I’m gay. I’ve only ever been attracted to men. My experience is limited to the one boy I kissed in high school. It never went farther than kissing. I just have no desire to experience anal sex as the receiver or the giver. I seriously am just coming out. Where can I find this info? I don’t even know any gay men well enough to ask. I’m afraid to start dating or go to a bar.  I want to date men, I’m just a little nervous of what’s expected of me when intimacy begins. Signed, Unsure at University of Michigan Dear Unsure, The quick answer to your question is there is no one thing that all gay men do, or don’t do.  Humanity is predictably unpredictable and there’s a myriad ways that we express ourselves, gay or straight, male or female.  In fact…

Dear Christine, Annoyed in Adrian

  • Posted on October 30, 2017 at 11:51 am

Dear Christine, Every year for the past 10 years me and my wife travel either to her families home for the holiday or mine. We trade off each holiday between Florida and Southern California. Either way–nice to go to a warm place! This year it’s her families turn–that’s California. I just found out, however, that my mother is starting to fail. She’s 89 and my sisters are telling me this might be her last Christmas. My suggestion to my wife is that we go to visit my family this year and double up on hers for the next two years. She wasn’t having that so I suggested we each go our separate ways, me to mine and her to hers and she’s freaking out. We are at a standoff with neither of us giving in. All I know is, I AM going to see my mom! I can’t understand why my wife is not being more supportive. Any suggestions? I’m feeling angry at her. Signed, Annoyed in Adrian Dear Annoyed, I hear you! We all have limited days and we each have one Thanksgiving, one Christmas and one New Years per year. How to divide holidays between your two families…

Dear Christine, Sending Signals in Shelby

  • Posted on October 23, 2017 at 10:00 am

Dear Christine, I’m very femme. I couldn’t stop looking girly if I tried and I wouldn’t anyways.. I love my aesthetic of Curled Hair, Pin-Up looks. I have all kinds of “macho” skills but I appear to be a “Straight” gal to other Lesbians. I’ll admit I’m newly Out…. It’s always been nearly impossible to meet women. Even at an all Lesbian event women will ask if I “just broke up with my boyfriend”. Is there some kind of button I should wear? Is Femme really that offensive? I’ve heard that some Lesbians are into it. I would never change this about myself but I’d sure love to learn to Send out the Right Signals. Any suggestions..?? Sending signals in Shelby  Dear Sending Signals in Shelby, There’s really no right or wrong way to be, as long as you are yourself! Femme is attractive, to all kinds of lesbians, trust me! I used to serve on the PFLAG Detroit Board, and that was the only place I was “out”. I was disappointed that various parents who came to the table at various public events always assumed that I had a gay son or daughter! All because I wear a skirt…

Dear Christine, Concerned in Canton

  • Posted on October 16, 2017 at 11:04 am

Dear Christine, Every year it’s the same thing with my wife. I love her dearly and really try to understand but I am struggling. Both of her parents are gone and so is a sibling. They’ve been gone for over 20 years but each holiday she becomes so depressed that it practically ruins our holiday. She makes excuses not to attend parties and events because she says she’s too sad. I’ve had losses too. My parents are also gone and have had my heart broken a few time but I just want to choose to be happy and to enjoy the friends and family we do have. I’ve tried everything to talk her out of this seasonal depression to no avail. She’s fine the rest of the year but the holidays from Thanksgiving till the end of the year she just chooses to be miserable. This year I choose to be happy so I am going to accept invitations and let her make her choices. She passed on family Thanksgiving, I went to Christmas Eve party without her and Christmas she stayed home. Am I wrong to leave her at home alone? Signed, Concerned in Canton Dear Concerned, I think…

Dear Christine, Nervous in New Haven

  • Posted on October 9, 2017 at 11:08 am

Dear Christine, I’ve been asked to do a 10 minute speech to my coworkers because I won sales person of the month for 8 consecutive months. They want me to speak at our annual banquet in late November. I have a secret that no one knows at work. I am terrified to speak in public. Last time I did it in college I got tunnel vision during my speech but somehow managed to finish it. At least I think I did. It was all a blur afterwards. Should I tell them and decline, or is there a way to get over the fear? I’m embarrassed by it. Signed, Nervous in New Haven Dear Nervous, Welcome to the club!  The number one fear that human beings share is fear of public speaking!  More of us fear that than death!  There are some things you can do to prepare and possibly reduce your anxiety before your debut performance in November.  Prepare, of course.  Know yourself.  Do you do better by reading directly from a script or using notes or an outline.  I just read an interview with Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.  She wouldn’t show the interviewer her script she reads from, as…