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Open letter to dA (Please add your thoughts below!):

For anyone that hasn't noticed or doesn't know, dA recently changed their gender options from "Male," "Female," and "Unspecified" to simply "Male" and "Female." On top of this gender on dA is by default public information with no option to make private, which technically violates their own Privacy Policy to which dA members agree when joining.

I have interests beyond privacy though, as I am a person (among many that have found refuge on dA) that doesn't actually fit into the "Male" or "Female" categories. I am androgynous and making a choice between one or the other, black and white options, basically, is extremely difficult and unfeasible. I run one of dA's largest and fastest-growing Lesban, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered clubs, :iconlgbt-on-da: (#LGBT-on-dA) and I can say personally as a transgendered individual it is not only unreasonable to rescind the Unspecified option, but is taken very personally by our community.

We all view deviantART as a very progressive environment in which our art can thrive and our social interactions can take place unfettered by real-world discrimination, but this move truly cuts us deep as both individuals and a community, especially since the difference for us is SO large on a personal level, but the difference to dA itself should be negligible.

We ask you to please reinstate the option. It's such a small thing in dA as a whole and would mean SO much to us to retain the option.

For the record we are aware that anyone currently designated as "Unspecified" will remain thus, but if it's ever changed, even by accident, we can't ever get the option back. Also we are deeply concerned with new members feeling at home and unrestrained by this new requirement.

Some quotes from the last few minutes:
wow. i personally am a female and wish to stay that way as a lesbian. HOWEVER, i am VERY supportive of the people who would use the unspecified option. My friend is a WTM transsexual, and I have some other friends who identify with this topic. I thought that DA was supportive of diversity. In art as well as other things. This is dissapointing to me.

Looking at deviantART's privacy policy, they say that "Personally Identifiable Information" will not be shared to third-parties.
In their list of Personally Identifiable Information, it includes gender.
Therefore this may be a violation of their own Privacy Policy, since they require this Personally Identifiable Information to be shared with users across the site.

You are right, it does violate rights for those who wish to not be open about there genders, what they dno not realize that gender orientation exists as male, female and the third gender, those who do not feel comfortable with male or female.

Original Blog:…
Original Screencap/Thumb: dA now REQUIRES gender by kproductions (

Viral blogs/journals/deviations:……

Forum Version of This:…

Plus maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany more across dA in just the last 1.5 hours since I made the original postings.
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GaiaMIX Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2017  Student Digital Artist
yeah there are a lot of nonbinaries on DA and tumblr.
mistystar12553 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
transgenders shouldent even be a thing you should accept what you have gotten and not decide HEY I HAVE DECIDED I AM NOW MALE/FEMALE its retarted YOUR THE GENDER YOU ARE like ughhh also i see it now a bunch of arguments started because i dont support transgenders please dont start an argument 
kproductions Featured By Owner Edited Nov 19, 2016  Student Filmographer
Going by your profile, you're responding to a thread that started when you were nine. Even at age fifteen I had an incredibly limited perspective on what a transgender person was. Try to keep an open mind. You're confusing sex and gender. Your sex is whatever your body's primary and secondary sexual organs happen to be. Gender is similar, but it is the psychological half. A person cannot choose to be transgender or to stop being transgender. It is a deep conviction that exists from birth until death. For most people, their sex and gender align with each other. For transgender people, they do not align. There is no way to alter a person's gender, while there *are* ways to alter a person's sex via surgery. If a person is transgendered, they can either choose to live in deep depression for their entire lives by acting in a way that goes against their every instinct, or they can embrace their identity and live freely...but run the risk of attracting hateful and uninformed comments, abuse, or worse. In far too many cases transpeople are killed for simply existing.

Imagine being transgender. That you were totally certain of being a girl but were stuck in a boy's body (or vice versa). What do you think you would choose?
mistystar12553 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the heck  tottally being certain your a girl?.?.? thats just stupid
Tesuka-Hilu Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What if you're trans?
Tesuka-Hilu Featured By Owner May 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
xxRisunaxx Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is simply RIDICULOUS - DA should just freakin fix this problem & add on "non-specific" option! This seriously shouldn't of been made a big deal of but because DA admins refused to do anything bout it... well, look where we are now?
RockOpossum Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Male or female is plenty of choices as far as I can see, what do they want, a squid option? My gender is squid.
profchallenger Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Professional General Artist
There is no "Gender" option. It is a "Sex" option. Words mean things and Gender and Sex are related but not the same thing. If they listed the options under "Gender", this would be an issue, because "Gender" deals with behavior and self-perception...which is what those who are transgendered are about. Self-perception versus biology. "Sex" is strictly a biological determination and no matter how you feel about yourself or do to yourself with sex reassignment surgery, drugs, or doesn't change the basic DNA.

If Deviant was rude in response to complaints, perhaps it was an unfortunate reaction to people complaining about something that they did not do.

I know I am sometimes impolite when that happens to me.

A couple of things at play here. First is the bastardization of the language. Second is the victimization mentality jumping on DA without pausing to really consider the issue first. Third is DA reacting badly.

But the bottom line is that nothing DA did was insensitive to the LGBTG community by limiting "Sex" to 2 options...because there are only 2 options available in biology.

What people will glom onto as an issue during a slow news cycle....
kproductions Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Student Filmographer
" it was until* very recently."

kproductions Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2010  Student Filmographer
The term "gender" was replaced by the term "sex" just a few days ago, while this news article is five months old. I do not have the ability to append, close, or otherwise edit this article and the dA staff cannot help me because it violates TOS for staff members to modify users' articles. Also, I never stated that dA was intentionally attacking us (though many took that tone) and my intention was to make our voices heard to bring about a change. I made it clear that dA's intentions (or lack thereof) were unknown. We got a big change five months ago, just five days after we started this viral petition, and now suddenly in the last week or so people have become upset over this exact issue again. We have again achieved change, and this time it was extremely progressive and positive, especially considering dA is one of the top 100 internet sites and the premiere website for art throughout the world wide web. (See $spyed's recent journal on sex and gender for the full details on the changes already made and the rest of the changes soon to come. $spyed is the CEO of deviantART.)

That being said, the LGBT community includes those who are intersexed and thus do not fit into the sexual binary, so it would have applied (albeit to a far lesser extent) even if "sex" had been the term used in user settings at the time this article was published, rather than "gender" as it was under very recently.
SweKat Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
The mere thought of deviantART doing this to people..Its appauling. I myself am a girl, but i feel as if DeviantART has done a personal injustice. This isnt right, and they know it. I support you completely. Hopefully the DeviantART staff can pull themselves out of the grave they have been digging. But of course, theyre gonna make some sort of bull apology, and do NOTHING about it. It sickens me to think that this is happening.
weirdtakoyaki Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Professional Artist
for a site focused on expressed of oneself a restriction such as this seems highly redundant.
Abi-Rose-Official Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
On mine, there is an option to show wether or not you are M or F.
I myself cross-dress... So I have it on 'Don't show'
rachlouise3 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Student General Artist
They should really put back the 'Unspecified' option so everyone would just stop with the debates, calm down, and get on with the ART already.

I personally think that removing the unspecified option was a bad idea and the only profit that dA gets from it is a more black-and-white set of statistics to show. Seriously, dA.
adrawer4ever Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010   General Artist
*sigh* I've been bearing through dA's growing list of offenses as just part of it's overall growing popularity, but this is an deliberate step backwards when it could have been left perfectly fine as is. Ugh.
Grays0n Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
I sent in another ticket to the help desk, pointing out the site's own breach of it's privacy policy. This is rediculous.
jessegeek Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
Wow. Dear dA, I am female, was born female, and identify as female, but if you don't reinstate the 'Unspecified' gender option, I'll close my account permenantly. dA, you are being fucking ridiculous.

SirEgglington Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer

Is there a petition we can put in place to have people sign in support of bringing the option back or is there SOMETHING we can do about this? I have countless friends, particularly in the cosplaying community, who aren't comfortable with their gender and I have a feeling they'll really appreciate this. I currently hide my gender, but it's a part of myself I don't want to keep deliberately hidden from people.

I don't mind how facebook does it, if I choose the blank, or 'choose a gender' option (niether male nor female), then it comes up on people's notifications with 'they have commented on their status' (and I've asked someone to check this on their account so I could see it for myself!) - which I don't mind.
SilentAsShadows Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
...Oh that is just -CREEPY-... I was taking a break from my english assignments, and ran across this while I was goofing off...

I left a few comments, and when I came back to my assignment and started the next proof editing section... it popped up with a paper written about this very subject, about gender not being sex related necessarily...

...can we say freaky coincidence?
madeofpaperclips Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist


IntricateGoldFish Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
I get an absurd amount of stalkers, so "unspecified" is my best friend. I know you changed something with this article, but isn't there more we could do to bring "unspecified" back?
IslandheartStudio Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010  Professional General Artist
Thanks for posting this. I was unaware of this policy until tonight, but I have since made some changes in my own approach to dA and have posted an accompanying journal of my own: [link] It's about time this type of behavior from deviantART stops.
apocalypse-ca Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010
dA's behavior with this has been pretty disgusting and bigoted. I'm only a casual lurker, so I can't even remember my password to delete my account, but I really don't want to have any association with a site/organization like that. I might miss out on seeing some pictures here that aren't elsewhere, but you know what? I can live with that. I'll take my traffic elsewhere.
just-nuts Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2010
dA needs to join the rest of us in the 21st century.

JFC I can't believe they'd be that stupid.

MarzEz Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
What was wrong with the "Unspecified" option anyway? Why did dA feel the need to change it?
I hope they do bring the option back, and i certainly hope they don't become like Facebook; I'm on the verge of deleting my Facebook account. (Whether they allow you to or not.)
kproductions Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Student Filmographer
On Facebook you used to be able to simply not select a sex/gender, but I don't know if that's changed. I know FB used to bug me every now and then to actually specify, but it eventually gave up. It refers to me in the third-person plural/unspecified gender now. [link] It also still at least has the option to hide sex.

As far as dA, they implemented an option to hide gender a few days after we started this fuss, so the issue is much less of a deal now, but "unspecified" still isn't an option for those who hadn't already picked it before the switch to v7.
MarzEz Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
I don't use FB much anymore; That's why I hope dA stays as dA, and doesn't turn into Facebook. (Although I support adding some features such as a "like" button.)
PhoenixArisen Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I believe that I have found a real niche with my community. I'm not certain if it matters too much, but having people read my comments, fave my works, and participate in chat has really shown me that a lot of people in my genre really do care about me as an artist.

I remember when I first started to update my profile when I came back. Once I saw that everyone that made an account HAD to specify a gender I just shook my head in sadness. While I am still not quite ready to transition from M2F, it is a nice blanket of security that my gender is still unspecified. At least I got here early enough to be able set that and I will never change that. I just feel sorry for other people who come here now and are transgendered that don't have that option. I keep watching my various account settings to make certain that there isn't anything gender identifying about me because I have been hurt before when someone thought that I was one thing and then when I told them about my gender issues they just left me to my own devices.

There is one line in this article which really hits the entire issue home to me: this move truly cuts us deep as both individuals and a community

It does indeed cut me deep and makes me slightly hesitant to reveal my tg side to others. Thankfully while I do have some friends that are entirely supportive through notes and chatroom conversations, this move really hurts the community and makes it that much harder to find acceptance in a world that refuses to even acknowledge our presence. I keep hoping one day that we will be able to find some place to call home (and DA is pretty close) but moves like this drive a wedge through our emotional, mental, and spiritual health once again. :cry:
Emiel-Amadare Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2010
I support this completely.
sharded Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2010
First of all, I fail to see how it is any of DA's business what anyone's gender is. It simply is not important for the site to know and allowing people to not disclose that is a good thing.

Secondly, physical sex is not even as simple as a binary system. Its possible for people to have other than just XX and XY as chromosomes, not to mention hormone conditions that can cause intersex. So even if they had it set as "sex", the "male" and "female" would be too limited to be accurate.

But no, the box says "gender" which is even more complicated and varied than physical sex. Requiring people to pick between male and female means they are presenting some people with two wrong, inaccurate options. Not only is this annoying/upsetting/distressing to some people, but it means DA forcing them to lie.

If there is some research purpose or some kind of statistics that DA hopes to generate, then the results will be inaccurate. Some people male choose the opposite of what they were assigned at birth even if they still identify that way. And, some people who do not identify with their assigned gender may, when forced between to wrong answers, be so uncomfortable associating with the one assigned that they chose the other.

So, DA, please go back to allowing the "non-specified" gender option. It is very important to many people and is just more sensitive to both people with non-binary gender identities and to others who may not want to disclose their gender for any reason.
wisekidk Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2010  Student Filmographer
Yea, when making a plz the other day, I noticed that you couldn't pick unspecified, and I could've sworn that I had the option of doing that when I first joined here.

I do agree, that you should add back on the unspecified option. I don't see why you HAVE to pick one or the other.

But I would add that you can actually choose whether or not you want it to show on your profile, so honestly, I don't think that this is too much of a big deal.

But I do agree- bring back the unspecified button.
kproductions Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2010  Student Filmographer
The ability to hide it came as a result of this hubbub a few days after I posted this article and the accompanying forum, blog, and deviation posts I made. ;)
jacmac Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2010
Not that that change allows anyone to *acutally* hide the selected sex. The account will still use gender-specific pronouns, so it really doesn't hide anything at all. :|
wisekidk Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2010  Student Filmographer
I see :nod:
GenreChowderStudios Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2010  Professional General Artist
What?! That is completely unfair! I don't like specifying my gender because I'm wish I wasn't what I was. Hundreds of thousands of deviants feel the same, so why the heck are they doing this?!
psychotic-conviction Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
I've been on and off of dA since 2007. DeviantART was the first non-LGBT community that I had joined that gave me an option other than 'male' or 'female'. I don't think people realize how difficult of a question that really is.
LadyGri Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
what in the world is the point of this? O_o It's not like it's gonna hurt anyone if the gender is unspecified. Immediately when I saw the title of this post I started to feel a bit annoyed. How do they try to justify this?

but anyway, I hope for LGBT people, that this is changed back how it was.
danielnikolic Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
I think there's also another issue: some people (e.g. a couple) would like to open a joint account. Now they are unable to. For example me and my wife could do so.

I think the issue is that people are starting to use DA as a social network. Well it's not.
Zoe-the-Pink-Ranger Featured By Owner May 27, 2010
You can hide the gender choice so it doesn't matter and offer some explanation (perhaps on the deviant ID) that the account is shared.
That's probably as close as we're going to get for new people to having the old "unspecified" option back :(
5-7x28mm Featured By Owner May 26, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
I am androgynous and making a choice between one or the extremely difficult and unfeasible

What the fuck...? No. You still have a gender. Dressing yourself to be androgynous doesn't magically negate the fact that you are either male or female.
Cedarbox Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
Androgyny is a gender. What you are talking about is sex, which is different. Consult the DSM V if you require professional reinforcement.
GLIECo Featured By Owner May 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Okay, man, Why should there be a conformity among the sexes? If someone doesn't feel safe about their gender, then... why the hell make them choose? I am a female to male Transgender, and for the longest time, I had "No Gender Specified" marked down because I wasn't really sure about myself, and was afraid that conforming to either the "Male" or "Female" label would make me prone to harassment (since I am an innie that should be an outie). Bah.

I think I am going to cut this short before it becomes a rant, but really, dA, why? Whether someone has a dick or a vagina does not change who they are or what art is. Come on, man. This is just uncalled for.
VioletisBlue Featured By Owner May 24, 2010
"Whether someone has a dick or a vagina does not change who they are or what art is"

Yeah, actually, it kinda does.
GLIECo Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Not really.
Cedarbox Featured By Owner May 28, 2010
What organs you have does not change who you are any more than having/not having an appendix changes you or having/not having your tonsils changes who you are. The only way it could change who you are is if you come from a society where gender roles are a big deal.
VioletisBlue Featured By Owner May 30, 2010
Generally speaking, gender roles are a big deal.

A woman gives birth. That is a gender role.
A man provides the sperm. That is a gender role.

You can say you're a woman all you want, but that doesn't mean you can give birth.
Cedarbox Featured By Owner May 30, 2010
Those are biological functions, not gender roles. A gender role is a societal assumption of a person's preconceived behavior based on their gender.
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