In an announcement yesterday on the "Facebook Diversity" page, found here, the staff of Facebook informed the general public that it would now be offering customizable gender options for users with the US English setting. Facebook said that this feature was created after "[collaborating] with our Network of Support, a group of leading LGBT advocacy organizations," including GLAAD. Facebook and GLAAD have worked together in the past, including their educational initiative, titled "Network of Support," which started in 2010. Facebook has also shown their spirit by "going purple" on Spirit Day every year since 2010.
The feature also offers advanced privacy settings, allowing the user to control who can and cannot see their gender options. In the announcment, Facebook said, "We recognize that some people face challenges sharing their true gender identity with others."
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality reports that transgendered or gender non conforming individuals in K-12 schools reported a 78% rate of harrassment. In the workplace, the rate of harassment jumps to 90%.
Former GLAAD vice president Allison Palmer worked with Facebook on the project. Yesterday, she noted, "Facebook's new gender options will make a difference to many transgender and gender nonconforming users, who are now empowered to accurately describe their own identities on the platform."