Flexible self-identification of gender, race,and pronouns
References for Supporting diversity with a new approach to software
Who needs it the most? Trans and gender-diverse people, anybody who doesn’t fit into male/female binary, multiracial people
Who else benefits? People who don’t want to unintentionally use the wrong pronouns for somebody
- Allow arbitrary text (rather than restricting people to a fixed list) for gender, race, and other information
- Allow multiple choices; e.g., somebody who’s multiracial may be white, black
- Allow people to decline to answer, or to limit the visibility of their response
- Consider collecting pronouns instead of gender
- Be careful about your terminology
- If there are easier ways to select from a short list of more-common choices, do not use the word “other” as a way of getting to the more flexible specification.
- Avoid the term "preferred name" (or "preferred pronouns").
OS Bridge sessions
More Than Binary: Inclusive Gender Collection and You, Anne DeCusatis (2016)
Male/Female/Othered: Implementing Gender-Inclusiveness in User Data Collection, Finn Harker and Jonathan Ellis (2015)
Best Practices for Collecting Names, Gender and Pronouns, by TJ Warfield, from TRANSform Tech, is a very good short overview.
Web Forms: When Someone's Gender is Your Business, Jennifer Zhu, OS Feels 2016, looks at situations like insurance where you do have to collect gender information
5 Simple Steps for Trans-Inclusive Data, Avory Faucette, AlterConf DC 2016
Open Gender Project, creating a simple API and library.
Disalienation: Why Gender is a Text Field on Diaspora, Sarah Mei, 2010
Why sharing gender pronouns at work matters, by Alexis Croswell on the Culture Amp blog, is a good overview and FAQ.