Tinder Introduces More Inclusive Gender Options

Image: Tinder
Image: Tinder

Today, Tinder introduced a new update that expands the platform’s gender options. Now, instead of choosing between “man” or “woman,” a user can search for and add any term that reflects their gender identity.

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The new feature will live on the app’s settings screen. Users can now select the term that best describes their gender identity—there are more than 35 suggestions, as well as the option to type one in—and all users can now also choose whether they want their gender to be displayed on their profile.

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The update, which lands during Transgender Awareness Week, was designed with transgender and non-binary users in mind, according to Tinder CEO Sean Rad. It was conceived with the help of GLAAD’s Nick Adams and Alex Schmider and transgender advocate Andrea James.

The goal, the company says, is inclusivity. Though the new gender options may not show up publicly, having them there at all is an important—if slightly late—step in the right direction. (It’s also particularly prescient now, given that the country’s new presidential administration hasn’t exactly been a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ community.)

Some of Tinder’s competitors, like OKCupid, began featuring non-binary options a few years ago. Others, however, like Bumble and Hinge, still only have “man” or “woman” to choose from.

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Tinder initially hinted at a gender-related update back in June. “For a long time we haven’t done enough to give [non-binary users] a good experience,” Rad said at Recode’s Code Conference. “It’s harder for them to get what they are looking for. We have to modify our experience to address that.”

Of course, it might also be helpful to extend these gender options to the “looking for” section as well, but that doesn’t appear to be the case just yet.

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Sophie is a former news editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

So we’re all okay with implying that transmen aren’t real men and transwomen aren’t women all of a sudden? Why do I get the feeling that this is less about actually making things better for anyone than about showing social membership through overt displays of Wokedness, much like how speaking in tongues is a way to show allegience to the protestant religious community that masquerades as a supposed connection to god?

Of course, once you allow that trans people really are binary and then eliminate all the protest “identities” that are equivalent to putting down “mole person” on a census form proves that they exist (basically, the “identities” that are simply saying you’re something to prove a point rather than saying you’re something because you actually are), I’m not sure if there’s anyone left. That’s probably why posters proclaiming that there are many genders are always mostly things that aren’t genders (trans status, sexualities) and many synonyms for “trans” (I have yet to see one that doesn’t have both “transwoman” and “mtf” on it).