“Starting today, no matter how you identify, you can express your authentic self on Tinder,” read Tinder’s blog post. On November 13, 2018, Tinder India while breaking away from the binary, introduced 23 new gender options for Indians to choose from. Introduced on the second day of Transgender Awareness Week, this feature is a collaboration between Tinder and The Humsafar Trust, India’s pioneering LGBTQ organisation.
“We believe we have a responsibility as a global platform to send a clear message about the importance of inclusivity, acceptance and equality. It has been a landmark year in the country for gender, sexuality and personal autonomy and the platform must reflect the reality of this time. There have been incredible strides in recognizing and embracing all gender identities, but there is still a long way to go. As a platform, we wanted to do our part and show our users that everyone is welcome on Tinder. We want make clear that we embrace inclusion of all genders and that we want all of our users to have a safe space to form new connections,” said Taru Kapoor, general manager, Tinder India.
Tinder collaborated with The Humsafar Trust, which helped them navigate around the “complexity of gender identity” in a way that was congruent with their product mission. “In India, dating apps have usually been skewed towards heteronormative relationships. This step is good for Indian trans persons and gender non-conforming persons because it will allow for all kinds of people — regardless of gender — find whatever it is they are looking for. For a lot of transgender/non conforming folks, they have been discriminated against for their gender identity and expression all their life. This gives them a chance to self identify and as well as the freedom they seek while navigating romantic spaces,” said Konika Sharma from The Humsafar Trust. The Humsafar Trust also advised Tinder with respect to inclusion of indigenous identities and internal gender sensitisation of the Tinder India team.
Apart from expanding gender options, Tinder India is inviting previously banned users — who weren’t allowed to use the app owing to being reported based on their gender identity — to email them in order to be reviewed by Tinder’s team.
“This is a first step, but we are always looking for ways to make the Tinder experience better and more inclusive for our global community of users,” signed off Kapoor.
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