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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

Just female, male no more: LGBT groups hail Facebook’s new move

Medha Shri Dahiya, Hindustan Times   February 16, 2014
First Published: 14:34 IST(16/2/2014) | Last Updated: 14:46 IST(16/2/2014)

You no longer have to be a ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ ­on Facebook. The social networking site, on Thursday, introduced new gender options and now ­people can choose if they want to be referred to as ‘he/him’, ‘she/her’ or a neutral, ‘they/their’.

While Nepal’s gay MP Sunil Babu Pant, who had quit the popular site to ­protest against the limited gender ­choices has joined it again, the move is being applauded by Indian LGBT ­community as well.

“Earlier, it looked like I was scared of announcing my identity, but in reality, I had no choice,” says Yukta, a member of the homosexual community.

Read: You don't have to be just male or female on FB anymore

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/2/16_02_14-htcity_img7.jpg

"This move will send a subtle psychological message that other genders are also ­normal. Gradually, people will become more accepting of us. I hope some Supreme Court people are also on Facebook," says another LGBT member, on the condition of ­anonymity.

The site has explained this move in a post.

"While to many this change may not mean much, for those it affects it means a great deal (sic)," the post reads.

Slamming claims that Facebook is trying to cash-in on niche ads by targetting special genders, ad guru Prahlad Kakar says, "It’s a democratic move to recognise special genders, a step at ­creating a homogenous ­society. Where are thespecial products for sexual minorities, so, where is the question of making profits from this?"


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