Archive for December, 2010

Gender Text Field

December 9, 2010

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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