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Pinterest offers Gen Z a choice of gender pronouns

The image-sharing platform will let 475 million of its regular users choose their own gender pronouns from a list of nine options

A file photo of the company logo for Pinterest. This change reflects a sharp increase in searches about sexuality and gender identity among the so-called Generation Z users. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A file photo of the company logo for Pinterest. This change reflects a sharp increase in searches about sexuality and gender identity among the so-called Generation Z users. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (REUTERS)

Image-sharing platform Pinterest will let its 475 million regular users choose their own gender pronouns from a list of nine options, the company said on Tuesday, following similar moves by other social media networks.

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The site, which allows users to "pin" or save pictures, GIFs or videos to curated pinboards, said the change reflected a sharp increase in searches about sexuality and gender identity among so-called Generation Z users—people born after 1997.

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Members of Gen Z increasingly identify as LGBT+, and Pinterest joins Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn in offering non-binary—neither male nor female—pronoun options on account profiles.

Also read: How to become an LGBTQ+ ally at work, home and life

Once the change is rolled out in the coming weeks, Pinterest users will be able to pick pronouns ranging from the more traditional he/him or she/her to others such as Xe/Xem or Ze/Zir, a company statement said.

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In 2014, Facebook announced a "new custom gender option to help you better express your own identity", the social media platform said at the time, allowing users to opt for non-binary definitions of their gender.

A February Gallup poll of more than 15,000 American adults found that almost 16% of Gen Z respondents said they were LGBT+, compared with 5.6% of all U.S. adults.

Also read: Lesbian feminism breaks new ground in post #MeToo France

But the changes in language have provoked controversy—some people say that the popular gender-neutral pronoun 'they' is ungrammatical when applied to an individual.

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Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for the U.S. Merriam-Webster dictionary, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in May that while most English speakers accepted language changed over time, "they don't accept the changes made in their own time".

As countries around the world celebrate Pride Month in June, Pinterest said searches for terms such as pansexual—someone who is attracted to people regardless of their gender—had risen 85% over the past year, driven by younger users.

  • FIRST PUBLISHED
    09.06.2021 | 10:30 AM IST

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