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Google has announced a new update to the profile editor on Google+ which introduces a new “custom” gender option. Rather than take the Facebook approach and present a long list of options, however, the setting instead shows a free-form text box and allows the user to type in anything they want.

A second field below that allows users to select a personal pronoun, with options for masculine, feminine, or non-specific settings. The old option to choose who can and can’t see the gender information listed on your profile will remain as well.

The update isn’t live for all users just yet, but Google says it will be rolled out “over the next few days.”

The full announcement, via Google+:

For many people, gender identity is more complex than just “male” or “female.”  Starting today, I’m proud to announce that Google+ will support an infinite number of ways to express gender identity, by giving you the option to customize the way your gender is represented on your profile.

Previously, we provided options for “Male,” “Female,” and “Other,” to encompass both those who don’t fit into the traditional gender labels and those who don’t want to declare their gender to the world at large. Now, the gender field on your profile will contain four entries, “Male,” “Female,” “Decline to state,” and “Custom.”  When “Custom” is selected, a freeform text field and a pronoun field will appear. You can still limit who can see your gender, just like you can now. We’ll be rolling this feature out for all users over the next few days.

Many thanks to the people and groups who gave us advice on the best ways to do this. Your input has been really valuable to us, and we hope you like the result!

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