The popular dating app Tinder is making a “big change” after facing criticism for not providing gender options for trans and gender non-conforming people in its profiles.
On Tuesday users in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada were given a choice between 37 different gender options to self-identify in their profiles, CNNMoney reports.
Tinder previously only offered Male and Female options when selecting a gender in an auto-fill section of a user profile.
In addition to the new gender options, Tinder has taken measures to cut down on bullying that targets transgender people on the dating app.
— Dateworking (@dateworking) November 16, 2016
“The tone of the elections forced us to look at what we are doing to help define what is acceptable for our community,” cofounder and CEO Sean Rad told CNNMoney.
The LGBT advocacy group GLAAD helped Tinder determine what changes the dating app needed to make and advised the company in compiling the list of nearly 40 new auto-fill gender options the app now offers (you can see the full list below). Users may also type in their own customized gender identifier if none of the ones offered fit.
Before the updates, transgender Tinder users were often harassed or “reported” simply for being trans on the dating app, according to the CNNMoney report. To address this issue, the company adjusted its algorithm so that users will now be banned only for behavior that violates Tinder policies rather than complaints based solely on gender identity.
GLAAD and other LGBT advocacy organizations welcomed the news.
— GLAAD (@glaad) November 16, 2016
“Today, Tinder announced a significant update to its dating app that welcomes transgender and gender non-conforming users to add information about their gender identity to their profiles and be their most authentic selves on the platform,” Alex Schmider, a senior strategist for transgender media with GLAAD, wrote in a post to the group’s official website.
“It sends a strong message of acceptance when a platform like Tinder clearly tells its users that transgender people are welcome,” added Nick Adams, director of GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program, according to Schmider’s post.
Adams elaborated on what the updates mean for members of the trans and non-conforming community.
“Trans people who use Tinder are, like all other users, looking to form relationships and find the right match. Tinder’s update allows trans users to be themselves on the platform, and makes it clear that Tinder is committed to inclusion. This update reflects a growing awareness that trans people are part of the fabric of everyday life, which in turn, accelerates acceptance for transgender and gender non-conforming people.”
Some users, however, might take issue with the new changes, and Rad acknowledges this.
“We are a business, but we are in the business of making sure everyone can meet someone special,” Rad told CNNMoney. “Letting our users be who they are is the right thing. If anyone has a problem with that, then they are welcome to not use Tinder.”
The social media network Facebook took similar steps in 2014 when it added 58 gender options for users’ profiles, ABC News reported at the time.
“There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world,” Facebook software engineer Brielle Harrison told the Associated Press then, according to ABC. Harrison worked on Facebook’s project to update its gender identifiers while going through the process of gender transition.
Here is the list of the new gender options available on Tinder:
- Female to Male
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- Male to Female
- Trans Man
- Trans Person
- Trans Woman
- Transgender Female
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Transsexual Female
- Transsexual Male
- Transsexual Man
- Transsexual Person
- Transsexual Women
[Featured Image by Tinder/Press Release]