Tinder changes gender options to improve experience for trans users

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Dating while trans is about to get a little bit easier.

Tinder CEO Sean Rad announced on Thursday that the popular dating app would soon expand its gender options to let people identify as transgender.

Tinder currently only lets users choose between “male” and “female” identifications, alienating transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

In an onstage interview with Recode co-founder Kara Swisher at the media website’s Code Conference, Rad said the upcoming change was “not only good for the Tinder community, but it’s the right thing to do for the world.”

“For a long time, we haven’t done enough to give them a good experience,” he added. “It’s harder for them to get what they are looking for. We have to modify our experience to address that.”

The new gender-identity options will appear in about a month, Rad said. 

Twitter.com/recode

By expanding its gender-identity options, Tinder is catching up to dating apps like OkCupid and Thurst—the latter of which is geared specifically toward the trans community—as well as social networks like Facebook, which launched an “unlimited gender” option in February 2014.

Some transgender singles still may not feel comfortable using the app, given its long history of banning trans users for “misconduct” allegedly related to their gender identity. For gender-nonconforming people who crave a truly welcoming and safe online-dating environment, apps like Thurst may still be the best bet.

Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara

Mary Emily O'Hara is an LGBTQ reporter. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, NBC Out, Daily Dot, Broadly, Vice, the Daily Beast, the Advocate, Huffington Post, DNAinfo, Al Jazeera, and Portland's Pulitzer Prize-winning newsweekly Willamette Week, among other outlets.