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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

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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…