Tinder revolutionized digital matchmaking with its user-friendly interface that brought online dating to the masses. Where the app has lagged, much like it’s social networking counterparts, is its overly simple approach to gender. At present, Tinder users can only identify themselves as either male or female, with the same limited options attached to the gender they want to be matched with.
The company’s CEO, Sean Rad, said that he is well aware of the app’s restrictions and that he and his team are working on making it more gender-inclusive.
Rad admits that Tinder is consequently a tough app to navigate for transgender people. “For a long time we haven’t done enough to give them a good experience,” he told Recode. “It’s harder for them to get what they are looking for.”
To address those failings, Tinder will soon introduce enhancements to its interface to expand upon the available options. Rad didn’t specify what exactly the changes would look like, but he did add that the new feature would help users more accurately choose what they’re looking for and “be who they are.”
“It’s not only good for the Tinder community, but it’s the right thing to do for the world,” declared Rad.
Social networks have repeatedly been criticized for restricting the options available to transgender communities. Despite expanding its gender identity options in 2014, Facebook came under fire last year over its fake name policy. Protesters claimed that it was unfairly being used to target transgender users, as well as drag queens, and kings who identify themselves under a pseudonym.
Additionally, Rad’s comments come at a relevant time for the gender-inclusivity issue at large. On Monday, President Barack Obama defended the government’s decision to direct public schools to permit transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice. The directive was issued after several states — including Arizona, Maryland, Kentucky, and Florida — issued so-called “bathroom bills” that dictated that individuals use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate.
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