Dec. 14th, 2009

dieselsandwich: (pain)
This is unacceptable:

In case you don't like following links, LJ has decided to remove the unspecified option for gender and will require you to fill in either male or female.

This is bigoted. This is wrong. There are people out there who are not male or female. Genderqueer people, androgyne people, neutrois, etcetera. And there are even binary transgender people who may prefer to use unspecified to prevent outing or other issues. Removing this option is destructive, it is transphobic and it is wrong. I can even think of a few reasons why cisgender people would want to unspecify gender on their journal. I am joining in this protest by changing my own gender on my profile to unspecified and by adding to this post the copy of the letter in the post I linked as well as sending it to LJ feedback (with edits to represent my own writing style). Get all the details from synecdochic on any other relevant stuff to this.

My feedback sent to LJ staff:

Dear LJ staff

I, like many others, have recently read and related posts, particularly the part where gender is now a) a required field and b) a binary option. This is not an acceptable way of doing things because gender is not a binary. There are people who do not identity as male or female and such an adjustment of LJ's system will exclude and hurt these people.

Your previous policy on the gender field had been fairly good, not requiring gender specified and not requiring a binary choice meant that you were at least slightly more inclusive to transgender people (genderqueer or otherwise) who did not wish to disclose their gender. You haven't really gone far enough in that you lack an Other option (or even options that cover at least some of the diversity in genderqueer, neutral, mixed and other identities in the transgender community that are not strictly male or female). This has been brought up before and you can read the early history of the "gender_petition" community for details. ( and earlier entries). This change now is even worse of a backward step and is made especially troublesome in the face of repeated assurrances from LJ under both Danga and Six Apart that a). the Gender field would never be a mandatory field to fill out, and b). if it became so, the options would be expanded to include "Other". (

A simple interest search on "transgender" or "genderqueer" will illustrate how many people are aware of this issue, and you can review suggestions going back to 2001 ( about it.

Those of the transgender community who do not fit the binary experience discrimination every day when they are forced to identify themselves with the gender binary when it doesn't apply to them. Those of the binary transgender community who for whatever reason cannot afford to go by their preferred pronouns are also often forced to go by their old pronouns, instead of avoiding specification altogether, causing further harm. Please do not contribute to this oppression even more.

Please keep the "Unspecified" option for gender, and add an "Other" option, if you are making the gender field mandatory. Please do not contribute to the suffering of the transgender people who would be affected by this. While I recognize that having a user's gender makes advertisers happier, collecting revenue at the expense of human suffering is not the action of a company I want to do business with.

Sophia Lafergola

Please protest this. Raise your voices. This will hurt a lot of people who use LJ as a way to discuss with the world what they're going through. Allowing this to happen is not acceptable.


dieselsandwich: A picture of me with purple hair (Default)
Sophia Lafergola

October 2010

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