Tinder offered only two gender picks prior to a major update Tuesday: female or male. Now, the dating app that boasts more than 20 billion "matches" is offering dozens more auto-fill options for trans and non-comforming users.
The update, Tinder CEO Sean Rad hopes, is the beginning of the solution to problems transgender app users have faced.
"Six months ago we discovered that the transgender community on Tinder was experiencing some harassment on the platform," Rad says. "When we initially heard about it, we were very angry."
Rad says team members regrouped and took their time figuring out a solution, working with influencers from GLAAD as well as their own transgender users. The result is an additional 37 gender options, including Transgender Female, Transsexual Male, Agender, Genderqueer and the option to write in your own term. Users are given the option to display their gender identities on their profiles.
The app update also works in "very significant algorithms that help us correct harassment early on," says Rad, who also notes that the Tinder moderation team has been trained to monitor when a transgender user has been unfairly banned after being reported by someone on the platform.
Nick Adams, the director of Transgender Affairs at GLAAD, sees the inclusion of trans terms and anti-bullying efforts on Tinder as "an important step forward (and) a message to its tens of millions of users that transgender and gender non-conforming people are welcome," he says. "What the app’s update does provide is the ability for people to self-identify in more expansive and encompassing ways that truly reflect who they are with a fill-in-the-blank feature."
According to Rad, Tinder will continue to evolve this update, because "gender is a complex conversation—it’s an ongoing dialogue."
Copyright 2016 KXTV