Well what do you know! Tinder's CEO Sean Rad, who famously did not know what the word sodomy referred to, isn't a total idiot! In fact, he and his company have made a positive effort to embrace and protect, in particular, trans people who are using Tinder to get out there, get laid, and not be attacked online by strangers for their gender identity/expression. That's to say that Tinder has broken the gender binary and is now offering a spectrum of ways to identify, almost 40 options by one count, including non-binary and two-spirit, a term used by indigenous people. Some heads will explode at this number, and that's just wonderful.
Where Tinder ran into particular difficulty in the past: In addition to your usual online harassment, users have reported other users who appear to be transgender. Reported enough times, and profiles can be frozen, which many trans users report was their experience.
According to the New York Times, who covered the change, Tinder realized the issue about seven months go and began working with trans activists and leaders to arrive at solutions.
“Dating for trans people is generally safer via an app like Tinder,” trans activist Andrea James, who worked with Tinder on the change, told the Times. “I find it much safer to make connections online versus having a stranger approach me in a cafe or bar.”
Facebook opened itself up to the spectrum of genders by which people identify themselves in 2014, allowing for a "write-in" option as well as providing options for neutral or preferred pronouns. Now Tinder is apparently on board, which would only make sense as it uses your Facebook profile. But I'm left with one question for Tinder after this change. How does one identify one's interest in a particularly gender or genders on the app now? Has that changed, or will it?
“Part of the problem is a lot of tech platforms try to stay out of complex issues because they don’t want to alienate any of their users,” Tinder's CEO told the Times. “For us it’s very important to come in and particularly now given what’s going on in the world, with all the division in the world, it’s particularly important to step in and make a statement of inclusivity and acceptance.”