The dating app Bumble is known for its policy where “women make the first move,” meaning only women-identifying people can message matches first. What this policy means for non-binary daters is less clear—one TikToker says they set their gender on Bumble to non-binary, and now the app won’t let them start conversations.
Kay (@stupidfairyfox) posted the clip on Wednesday, which shows themselves in the mirror with the text overlay reading, “Bumble let me set my gender as non-binary and now it won’t let me message first.” It shows a screenshot of their app saying a match has to message the TikToker first because their gender isn’t set as a woman.
@stupidfairyfox this feels validating and also like a hate crime #greenscreen #lgbt #foryou #lesbiansoftiktok #nonbinary ♬ Conceited – Flo Milli
The caption reads, “This feels validating and also like a hate crime.”
As of Friday, the video has over 858,100 views.
In the comments, the TikToker wrote that when their gender was set as a woman, they could message any other woman they matched with.
Commenters were surprised the dating app wouldn’t allow a non-binary person to message first.
“Is this…..equality???” one TikToker commented.
“You should be allowed to write half a message,” one person joked.
“NOT BUMBLE BLOCKING SHOTS,” commented another.
Others said they were able to message first while being set as non-binary: “I have mine as nonbinary and i can still message first.”
“Lolll!!!! What if 2 people are nonbinary? Where will the loop end??” commented another user.
Bumble’s website says the company partnered with GLAAD, the media advocacy group for advancing LGBTQ+ acceptance, to come up with inclusive gender identities that users could choose from. Users can also choose the gender identities they are interested in dating.
Bumble explains further on their website: “Bumble is for everyone, and we’re committed to providing a safe and empowering platform for our LGBTQ+ members. In same-gender matches, matches with two non-binary people, or matches between non-binary people and men, either person has the power to make the first.” However, it doesn’t say whether non-binary people can message women.
According to the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, about 11% of adults in the United States identify as non-binary. Using dating apps while non-binary has made many people feel “disappointed” and “othered.” There seems to be a long way to go to make these folks feel safe and supported in online dating spaces.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Kay via TikTok comment and Bumble via email.
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