Facebook Adds Gender-Neutral Terms for Family Members

Facebook gender-neutralWhen Facebook earlier this year added many nonbinary options for indicating gender, I complained that the range of choices to indicate family members who are also on Facebook remained traditionally gendered. No more. They’ve also added gender-neutral options for many family members — so, for example, you no longer have to say your sister’s genderqueer child is your niece, if ze isn’t.

You can now choose gender neutral options for your child, sibling, sibling’s child, cousin, parent, grandparent, step-sibling, step-parent, step-child, or in-laws if they don’t identify as male or female, instead of using gendered terms like son, daughter, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, brother, sister, and such. Kudos to Facebook for continuing to expand how its members can indicate their own identities and family relationships.

The only thing that would make this better would be a field for any family member titled, “What I call this person.”

Thanks to a friend with a genderqueer child for pointing this out to me!

[Update: Commenter Jonathan pointed out that this functionality has been around for a few months now, as noted in a post at SocioBits. Seems like Facebook rolled it out quietly, though, since my friend with the genderqueer child — whose's involved with PFLAG and usually on the ball with these sorts of things — would have been all over it had she known.]