thank you for your feedback.The source of the original story was here, which is an entry on the Dreamwidth account of a former Livejournal employee who is one of the founders of Dreamwidth, which is in direct competition with Livejournal for customers. Just sayin'.
However, the code update that you refer to is not live and did not have any chance to go live. That was a beta release, we always push code to beta to see if everything works correctly. In many cases it does not and we either fix bugs or pull the code from the final release plan.
We were going to add a gender field to the sign up user flow, which is fine, but by mistake it became a mandatory "female/male" field for everyone. This is why this is not going live. And this is what beta releases are for, to see problems and solve them before any user faces a problem.
I would appreciate if you share this information with your friends that are also concerned. I am sorry that you were misinformed.
Edited to add: I also received this response from LJ's feedback team:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. We understand that gender is not binary, and intend to respect that understanding for our users.See also sensible contributions from uitlander in comments below.
At this time, the code you reference is not live on the site, and will not become so in the future. We know that you, and many other users, have serious concerns about any requirement to specify gender, so we'd like to take a moment to explain events and our position further.
The intention of this code was to change the sign-up process to include a field for the selection of gender; that the code would completely disable the "Unspecified" option at the same time was deemed unacceptable. While the code in question had gone to our beta (testing) server, it had not gone to our production server, and will not do so due to this problem. Furthermore, we'd like to clarify that code posted to the changelog community is not always final, as such code must then go through the beta testing process and can often be changed before actual implementation.
Additionally, some erroneous information has been spread regarding the potential public display of the gender field. We would like to clarify that gender is not currently publicly displayed on the profile, nor anywhere else on the site, and there are no plans to change this behavior.
LiveJournal Community Care Team