I sighed a breath of ultimate triumph when the supremo of online dating websites, Tinder, finally announced the news of making their platform more inclusive. Through the commencement of the campaign #AllTypesAllSwipes, they updated their function with the addition of more than two gender options, to offer space to people of diverse identities, allowing them to choose whatever they felt was most authentic to their experience. Users can now see this option by tapping on “I am” under the “About me” section. There’s a list of various “More” gender identities where people can fill in what represents them suitably (for example agender, transmasculine, Hijra, non-binary, and many more) or even choose to not show it altogether. After realising the need to build a space for the community of transgender and gender non-conforming users, this is the outcome of an effort to fixing this issue of exclusion.
This way, Tinder has brought a completely new wave of awareness and visibility for trans individuals. More people are talking about it, which strikes up a huge conversation in the country about gender equality for all identities. But especially for the queer youth, which has been pretty active and outspoken on social media and other platforms. This step will really increase awareness about every identity that is included in Tinder’s list, and urge people to learn about them.
So what are other trans and gender non-conforming people saying about it? Read on!
“I think what they have done is great. Being inclusive is important. And a dating app needs to be welcoming of everyone. It makes me really happy to see that Tinder is taking an initiative to make dating safer for all queer bodies. I think what it will do is start a conversation. Which is very important. It’s going to be a slow change though. Because the stigma that people have towards trans bodies is a result of centuries of marginalized oppression and a lack of education. I changed my gender on the app just two days ago and yesterday someone messaged me inquiring about the same. But on the brighter side, we at least have a dialogue now. One in which trans people get to define themselves. So here’s to hoping Tinder and its new gender options will help queer bodies, make more healthy, human connections.”
“Tinder’s step is an ode to the ‘miniscule minority’ struggling for their individuality. Now I can finally be my authentic self without telling it to everybody and going through the phase of revealing it over and over. Sometimes, with having a healthy and flirtatious conversation, very indecent questions are asked after disclosure. I believe people will now come with actual acceptance for trans and non-binary individuals.”
“It is now an even playing field, and everyone is available to everyone now. [I believe] identity is a collection of things one is perceived as. One does not have to invest in it.”
“With full support of gender-queer people, it finally all makes sense. I authentically identify as female but I can’t deny the fact of being trans. It’s information that is important for people to know in order to develop deeper connection. Now it’s easier for me to express my truth. And this is for every person who’s involved in dating but does not fit in traditional ‘male’ and ‘female’ category. I’m sure they’re just as grateful as I am.”
“It’s fantastic. Being a gender non-binary transwoman myself, I feel it’s time we look beyond the binary. Binary is for computers, most people I interact with today are somewhere in the spectrum.”
Tinder is welcoming back all those users on their platform whose accounts were taken down because another user reported them for freely expressing a non-cis gender identity. In a wide angle, this shows a great growth in the mainstream world regarding the acceptance of and affirmation for people who don’t fit in the general theory of gender binary system. With this campaign, trans people are finally leading towards the shattering of stigma and blemishes associated with the notion of anyone being romantically involved with a trans person.
It’s easy to connect with someone when you’re not expected to disclose your identity and go through ‘that conversation’ over and over again. Having an option to choose your identity, with all the freedom of expression―and without being force to fit in the gender binary structure―validates your truth and shares a message of recognition with a verified trademark that no one can legitimately argue against. Even the number of messages, catechising your looks, your gender, your genitals―stops to some extent and people can be enlightened and well-informed about the next person without feeling obligated to shoot indecorous questions.
I remember a time when I repeatedly had my account submitted for reviewing and eventually getting blocked. It brought on a lot of self-doubt, as I tried to figure out what possible violation had happened on my part. I never suspected that people would try to prevent me from using an application! Going through posts and claims of other trans people sharing the same difficulty exposed me to a harsh truth: They were reported due to their gender. Sadly, I lost contact with many potential friends.
Advancing towards progress, Tinder’s decision of taking this step, is an acknowledgement of a deed: smashing the construction of gender roles appointed by society. An effort to transform this platform into a more inclusive and diverse community. It reflects the emerging belief that trans-identifying people have always shared some portion of our regular life, that further escalates consciousness and understanding for people of all gender alignments. It spreads the message of integration and reception among trans community which has been, throughout history, the target of ostracism and expulsion from mainstream spaces. I remain optimistic; this will light a candle of hope for finding love in the midst of revulsion and encourage trans people to participate in this fun life of dating.