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“I’m pleased that Tinder decided to include a range of gender identity keywords, because there are many different ways to identify,” Drucker wrote.
“This update shows to me that Tinder is able to see around the corner and plan for the future — the next generation will have a much more expansive understanding of gender than we do today.”These new gender options are now available to users in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
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Crucially, these updates also aim to create a safer, more accepting environment for transgender users.
The changes come after complaints that many transgender users were being inappropriately “reported” and subsequently blocked by other users, in addition to the reality that after matching with prospective dates or partners, many transgender users received derogatory or threatening messages through the app.
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In the past, the app only allowed users to select “man” or “woman” when listing their genders on their profiles; now, it allows people to move beyond that binary choice.The tech company then partnered with GLAAD, the nonprofit organization aimed at raising awareness and advocacy for LGBT issues, to figure out the best way to make changes to the app that would be most beneficial to the transgender community.“We realized this is a very complex issue and we wanted to take the time to get this right,” Rad said.“We started put together the ‘dream team’ around not just understanding issues surrounding the transgender community but also understanding the harassment that’s out there in the real world.”Rad said that the overriding goal is for transgender users to ultimately “get matched with people who appreciate who they are.” Beyond that, the company hopes to reduce the harassment users encounter through the app.“The least visible but most impactful thing that we worked on was through back-end algorithm moderation.Tinder engineers adjusted the field where a user enters a chosen gender identity to leave it completely open, giving users the freedom to enter whatever term they’re most comfortable with, rather than having a restrictive drop-down of options.For Drucker, this was one of the most progressive changes made to the app.