Without doubt, gender has been a fluid concept for as long as humanity has been around but recent years have seen a much greater understanding of just how little the binary terms male and female can mean to some people.
With increased awareness comes increased sensitivity, and Facebook has become one of the first major websites to embrace that change. From today, Irish users of the social media service will be able to choose from more than 70 gender options rather than the original two.
It's a move which had already been introduced in America and the United Kingdom and gives users much greater freedom to express their unique gender identity with options including trans, intersex, fluid and many more.
And it's not just a static list - reflecting the true multiplicity of identities out there, you'll be able to add your own tag to your profile. And very importantly, users will be able to easily define the visibility of this field, keeping it open only to friends for example, especially for those who might feel reticent to reveal this kind of personal information to more casual connections.
According to the Irish Times, Facebook worked closely in Ireland with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organisations, including Irish LGBT youth organisation BeLongTo, to get these new categories right.
You can make changes to your existing gender settings easily in Facebook by clicking About and Contact and Basic Info. Then go to Gender and click Edit and move the dropdown to custom. Terms can be added in the field below, and you can use multiple entries and decide on the visibility here.