Gender Text Field

Today, I got an invitation to sign up for a neat new thing called Diaspora. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but that’s beside the point.

The registration process was typical: name, gender, birth date. But when I got to gender, I noticed something completely atypical: the gender field was not a drop down, but a text field. So rather than have to choose from the standard binary male/female, I was able to enter whatever I wanted. (I entered “yes.”) I was delighted.

And then I sort of forgot about it and started checking out Diaspora: their background, the blog, what ever I could find to help understand it. I saw they have a presence on Twitter and started following. This was the most recent tweet:

RT @sarahmei Why Gender is a Text Field on Diaspora: http://bit.ly/hTcgGf

where the person who developed it that way explains why.

This, in particular, blew me away:

I made this change to Diaspora so that I won’t alienate anyone I love before they finish signing up.

I made this change because gender is a beautiful and multifaceted thing that can’t be contained by a list.

Go tell that.

Please consider this my electronic standing ovation. Thank you, Sarah.

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2 Responses to “Gender Text Field”

  1. MHA Says:

    That’s pretty awesome! I often wonder why web site registration forms even want to know my gender. For the vast majority of them, there’s no possible reason for them to care, other than perhaps demographics for the purposes of advertising at me.

  2. Medley Says:

    Some discussion over at Flutterby on this: http://www.flutterby.com/archives/comments/13667.html

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