Spark

Transgender on Tinder

Slowly but surely, social media platforms are becoming more inclusive.
(Michelle Parise)
Listen8:33

Thanks to technology, life is getting a little easier for trans people who want to date online. Tinder, the popular dating app, recently updated its options to allow users to choose transgender or gender-nonconforming identities. There are no longer just 'male' or 'female' boxes.

The move came as a result of trans people being persistently harassed on the site by transphobic users. They were verbally attacked or unfairly accused of misrepresenting themselves.

"Trans folks were being flagged and kicked off Tinder for being themselves," says Zackary Drucker, an artist and producer for the hit Amazon show Transparent.
Zackary Drucker (photo: Ryan Pfluger)

The update, which occurred last month, was designed in consultation with Zackary and several other transgender leaders, including activists Andrea James and Nick Adams, and the musician Our Lady J.

"There was just a lot of confusion and room for misinterpretation, so adding these gender categories, and creating the opportunity for trans folks to self-identify however they like, is in keeping with the cultural shift that we're all a part of," Zackary says. "There's more than two ways to identify as, at this point."


In November 2016, Tinder made it possible to select “More” where you can type a word that describes your gender identity. (gotinder.com)

"Dating while trans is very difficult," she says. "I think that creating a safe space for trans people to identify themselves as trans is a great way to create a safer environment for all of us."

What does Zackary ultimately hope this update will result in? "I really hope that trans folks, that by being in a larger dating pool, are considered viable partners. I think that we have been isolated and segregated in so many ways despite always being present," she says.

"Everybody should have a fair shot at finding love and companionship."


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