Four years ago, at my first rails job, I worked at a company with a mostly-lesbian customer base. It turns out, in that context, knowing if someone is “male” or “female” gives you almost no useful information. The lesbian community has other widely-accepted categories of gender, but the company’s internal order tracking software — a well-known package from a national vendor — offered only male or female.
As a result, the company didn’t even bother to ask for gender when users created accounts.
That was my first real-life experience with the limitations of the gender binary. It was certainly interesting, but it was essentially academic. Not long after I left that job, though, one of my closest family members told me that he’s transgender. That made the whole subject way more immediate.” —Sarah Mei, Why Gender is a Text Field on Diaspora
Interesting turn of events. Although I’m not entirely surprised, I still didn’t really expect this. This makes me re-evaluate my plans of starting the Modernizr Blog on Tumblr.
— @teacup, during our video chat.