In an effort to promote inclusivity and safer online practices, today Instagram is rolling out a wider range of gender options as well as an LGBTQ+ youth safety guide for its users.
The gender options, which until today were comprised of male, female, and not specified, are now being expanded to include a Custom option, where users can indicate exactly how they identify — a feature that Instagram's parent company Facebook already incorporated in 2014. Before this addition, the only way a user could indicate their gender identity and preferred pronouns was in their bio. The move comes amidst other social platforms like Tinder and Lyft prioritising inclusivity and expanding their gender options beyond the binary.
For its youth safety guide, Instagram partnered with The Trevor Project, a national organisation providing crisis and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under 25. It encourages users to look out for others, mute and block negativity, and seek out supportive communities via hashtags like #YouAreNotAlone, #TransIsBeautiful, #LoveWins, and #YouMatter, all with the help of prominent LGBTQ+ activists like Leo Sheng and Corey Maison. And in celebration of Pride, Instagram is also partnering with GLAAD to highlight the most-used hashtags in the LGBTQ+ community — like #bornperfect, #equalitymatters, #accelerateacceptance — with the rainbow treatment when you post in your grid or Story.
For NYC Pride specifically, Instagram created 10 #UntoldPride installations throughout the city to celebrate the stories of LGBTQ+ pioneers, places, and organisations throughout history in collaboration with the queer history account @lgbt_history. You can catch them in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens throughout June.