I am co-organising a retreat in which participants will share rooms in groups of four. I expect that some participants care about the gender of room mates, so I need to ask for participants for their gender and room-mate preferences in the registration form. I also expect that many participants won’t care, and I can use this for a more efficient room usage.
My problem is how to ask for this in a way that is accessible, inclusive, and actually gives us the information we need to produce a satisfying room-mating. The best I came up with so far is:
Someone who cares about room-mate gender will likely categorise me as:
(Select exactly one.)
I am willing to share a room with people who, in the previous question, selected:
(Select one to all.)
My thoughts on this are:
Rationale: I cannot simply ask for somebody’s self-identified gender, because this might not lead to satisfying room-matings. For example, somebody who doesn’t care about gender might select other in such a question but present as male (due to not caring). Somebody who did not choose male in the second question probably won’t like them as a room mate.
Concern: Asking participants how their gender is usually perceived might confuse, alienate, or offend them.
Concern: The questions are somewhat unusual, rather complicated, and might be misunderstood. The participants are educated (university degree), but most are not native speakers of English, which is the lingua franca.
Non-concern: I don’t expect silly choices such as male in the first question and only female in the second. (I might even code some logic into the form that excludes them.)
Is there a better way to do this?