Sex and gender are two different things. For many people, these match. Using myself as an example, I was born biologically male and identify my gender as such. I prefer to be called “him” and “he.” For some other people, however, their gender does not match their sex. And yes, despite what some ignorant people may think, this is absolutely factual — sex is biology while gender is a social construct.
This is why you really can’t assume someone’s gender or pronouns. Just because someone looks to you like they are biologically female, for instance, that doesn’t mean the person wants to be referred to as “she” or “her.” Heck, some people identify as a gender that is neither male or female. In theory, there are infinite genders — and infinite pronouns.
Today, Instagram makes it easier for users to proudly display their gender. You see, in some countries, including the USA, you can now add your preferred pronouns when editing your Instagram profile. And no, this is not limited to him/he, her/she, or they. Believe it or not, the Facebook-owned service is surprisingly more enlightened than that.
While Instagram does force you to choose from a set list of pronouns, there are quite a lot of them, and you can add up to four. In my testing, for instance, I was able to add a quartet of pronouns to my profile that I didn’t even know existed — xyr, zir, ve, and thons. How cool is that? Unfortunately, at this time, you cannot add a custom pronoun if it isn’t already included in the list.
Thankfully, you can limit the pronouns to only display to your followers. Why is this important? Because sadly, there are some ignorant people out there that might harass someone based on their pronouns. If you make your account private, people that you do not permit as followers won’t see your pronouns.
Are you happy to see Instagram make it easier to display your pronouns? Are your preferred pronouns included in the list? Please tell me in the comments below.