Wikidata:WikiProject LGBT/gender

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Wikimedia projects have had challenges modeling gender. Wikidata has the particular challenge of modeling gender as structured data (cf. extant relevant properties). This documentation page is WikiProject LGBT's guidance on the topic.


Under the following scheme, sex and transgender status would only be used when they are notable aspects of the person.

 Comment @Bluerasberry: In Western cultures at least, that notability criterion would seem to easily skew toward notability of transness and non-notability of cisness. Some anti-bias clarification might thus be in order, e.g., “Wherever a person is notable as something like ‘first trans given type of accomplished person’, the cisness of any cis given type of accomplished person is notable also” (with given type of accompished person being “state-level politician”, “X-award winner”, “Olympic medalist”, etc.)
Current Scheme Future Scheme
Caitlyn Jenner (Q365144)
Caitlyn Jenner (Q365144)
Kitty Anderson (Q59160028)
Kitty Anderson (Q59160028)
Ruby Rose (Q3942185)
Ruby Rose (Q3942185)
Oprah Winfrey (Q55800)
Oprah Winfrey (Q55800)
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi (Q6505228)
Laxmi Narayan Tripathi (Q6505228)
Public Universal Friend (Q10306630)
Public Universal Friend (Q10306630)
Dolly (Q171433)
Dolly (Q171433)

Collection of discussions[edit]

Date Subsection Page
2023/03 Overreaching Quickstatements/Bot Activity for P21 Property_talk:P21
2023/03 Quickstatements assigning gender on large scale based on labels User_talk:Dsp13
2022/11 Genders (spinoff to Nonbinary genders vs. groups of humans) Wikidata talk:WikiProject LGBT
2022/11 Nonbinary genders vs. groups of humans Wikidata:Project chat
2022/11 Labelling of gender items Wikidata:Project chat
2022/08 Wikidata weekly summary #531 Wikidata:Project chat, "Gender diversity inspector"
2021/06 Citation needed constraint Property talk:P21
2021/04 Gendered first names added by bot User_talk:Jura1
2020/08 Deutsche Beschreibungen für nichtbinäre Personen Wikidata:Forum
2019/12 Discussion Wikidata:Property_proposal/feminine_form
2019/12 Discussion Wikidata:Property_proposal/masculine_form
2019/12 Wikidata:Property proposal/sex Wikidata:Property proposal
2019/09 Sex or gender data model Wikidata talk:WikiProject LGBT
2019/09 Conflation of trans status with gender identities Wikidata:Project chat
2019/08 Sex or gender User:Kaldari
2019/06 Gender Identity should be a multi-select Wikidata talk:WikiProject LGBT
2019/05 female form of label (P2521) archive of Wikidata:Properties for deletion
2019/03 Let's talk about gender Wikidata:Project chat
2019/01 Property talk:P6553 Property:P6553
2018/05 Property talk:P887 Property:P887
2016/08 For humans Gender Identity should be used Property talk:P21
2015/12 Gender variants for labels? Wikidata:Project chat
2015/07 Is "writer" the only gender-related occupation (P106)? Wikidata:Project chat
2014/07 Gender redundancy Wikidata:Project chat
2013/08 Separate fields for 'sex' and 'gender' Property talk:P21
2013/05 What do you enter when sex and gender do not agree? Property talk:P21
2013/03 Limits on number of specific statements for the same item Wikidata:Project chat
2013/02 Problem with property "gender" Wikidata:Project chat

For a collection of discussions and resources on other projects, see

About this model[edit]

What's important in a model[edit]

  1. It should be possible to enter complex gender-identities into Wikidata
  2. Everybody should feel comfortable with the way their gender is modeled in Wikidata
  3. The way we model gender should be in line with our general data standards and the way our semantics work.
  4. For statistical purposes data-consumers want to be able to see statistics about our coverage in specific areas as they relate to the gender of the involved people. A data-consumer who uses a simple data-model of (male/female/other) should get valid answers. The same goes for data-consumers who want to automatically generate text based on Wikidata and care for the correct grammatical gender that they should use.
  5. Given that in many nonenglish languages grammatical gender is very important, we should make it easy to enter basic gender information even if we don't know much about the subject.
  6. Data-consumers like infoboxes that ask Wikidata for a truthy value should get a value that's not misleading (a truthy value returns the highest-ranked statement and strips qualifiers away).

Why modeling gender matters[edit]

Modeling gender matters for several reasons:

  1. Wikidata is currently the world's authority on the gender of individuals
    1. Practically all Internet users who seek gender information will receive and consume Wikidata content
    2. Wikidata has an extraordinary position of influence and popularity
  2. There are years of advocacy in Wikipedia seeking to develop and promote Wikimedia content related to gender issues. This is only possible when Wikidata has data about the gender of people profiled in Wikimedia projects. Programs reliant on gender data include the following
    1. WikiProject LGBT studies (Q15092984)
    2. Wikimedia LGBT+ (Q67184848)
    3. Art+Feminism (Q24909800)
    4. Women in Red (Q43653733)
    5. gender bias on Wikipedia (Q17002416)
  3. Gender is the most popular personal yet public seeming detail which is a challenge to model in Wikidata. If we develop the discourse and guidelines for modeling gender, then we also get insight to model traits which we protect in the en:Wikipedia:English Wikipedia non-discrimination policy
  4. Modeling gender in Wikidata happens at scale now anyway
    1. Avoiding, ignoring, or denying this issue is not productive because Wikidata does gender modeling anyway at scale, globally, for every language and culture with more data and distribution than any other resource
    2. There is a status quo and either we develop that into a discourse or it proceeds organically

Wikidata origins of this data model[edit]

  1. As of August 2019 no one in the Wikidata network has identified any authority more knowledgeable and insightful on the topic of modeling gender as structured data than the Wikidata community. Many people in the Wikidata community intuitively grasp the complexities and implications of this challenge, and through conversations in the Wikimedia network, no one has identified the academic article, professor, advocacy organization, community organization, or insightful commentator who is capable of articulating what a large number of Wikidata contributors already understand clearly.
  2. Since there is no external authority with the answers, the Wikidata community has to originate its own recommendations and guidance.
  3. The issue is complicated and various community groups have their own strong opinions. If anyone claims to have all the answers, or to speak for a certain authoritative organization, community, or demographic, then invite them to either share their published guidance or come to Wikidata talk pages to share their knowledge.
  4. The discourse on this subject is outlined here first. When someone publishes more papers then share them.
  5. This is Wikidata, so experiment with different models and try to document why each is useful. Experiment even if it seems wrong. Many people hesitate to model gender because it seems challenging or incorrect, but even incomplete or incorrect attempts are useful for discussion especially when documented and shared.
  6. Assume good faith and friendly collaboration...
  7. ...and everyone follow the meta:friend space policy and en:Wikipedia:English Wikipedia non-discrimination policy