A social media app that lets users switch faces with the opposite gender has transgenders complaining that it reinforces the gender binary.
The FaceApp allows users to remake themselves as the opposite gender, reports Vocativ. Users are able to recreate themselves into either the male or female gender by choosing long hair, beards and a feminine or masculine face structure.
An intersex activist, Pidgeon Pagonis, protested the app, saying it promoted the idea that there are only two genders and that everyone falls into either category.
“The idea of sex and gender falling neatly in a binary is a violent construction that needs to be abolished,” Pagonis, who goes by “they,” told Vocativ. “The belief in the dogmatic idea that sex and gender exist in a neat binary is one of the main reasons why intersex kids aren’t left alone and are often forced to endure unnecessary intersex genital mutilation.”
Chris Lowrance, a man who identifies as “genderqueer/trans-feminine,” said the filter for an old person concerned him because he looked like his father.
“It’s the most realistic, and makes me think of my father,” Lowrance said. “It makes me worry it’s going to get harder for me to be seen as ambiguous or femme as I age, really.”
A trans woman’s blog also expressed worry over how the Face App would affect transgenders and other gender nonconforming people.
“As a trans woman, I was highly worried about trying the app at first, knowing that seeing myself with short hair and a beard could be distressing and Dysphoria inducing to see,” he noted.
Some transgenders disagreed with the assessment, saying it actually made them feel better about themselves. Being able to switch between genders gave them the opportunity to envision themselves in the gender of their choice.
“I was really impressed, and it made me feel better,” one trans woman said.
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