Back in 2016 we added in a ‘non-binary’ gender option to our sign up forms having previously only female and male options. We want IGGPPC to be inclusive to everyone and we never want our members to feel alienated, so adding in the non-binary option was as important for us as for the people who have requested it.

By adding non-binary in we had to make a compromise in other areas of the registration form so we were still able to pair people up effectively. We analysed the data from the previous years and the number of people who used each of the original pairing preference options was as follows:

  • 40% – “Someone of the same gender” (NB everyone, bar one person, who chose this option was female)
  • 53% – “Anyone! I’m not fussy”
  • 7% – “Someone of the opposite gender”

As you can see the “match with opposite gender” was the least popular choice so with that in mind we scrapped that option and changed the wording of the remaining two. The current options reflect the most popular choices and are now:

  • “I am female and want to be paired with another female”
  • “I am OK being paired with anyone”

These options allow us to be inclusive while still enabling us to effectively pair pen pals.

Note: Though we recognize that “male” and “female” are not themselves gender identities in the English language, due to our role as an international club with many non-primary English speakers, we have elected to keep these in use. You can read more about our inclusivity policy at our “Who is a ‘geek girl’?” page. If you have any questions about this, or anything else, please reach out to us via email.