Tinder launches new trans-inclusive gender options

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Tinder is rolling out new features to help its transgender users have a better experience in the app.

Beginning Tuesday, the dating app will allow users to identify as genders other than male or female on their profile and choose whether they want their gender displayed on their profile. The company says the update will make it easier for transgender people to make connections within the app.

Tinder is also taking new steps to tamp down on harassment on its platform, particularly harassment that targets the transgender community.

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With the update, launching Tuesday in the United States, Canada and UK, Tinder users are able to identify their gender using terms from the app's settings.

Previously, the app limited users to selecting man or woman, operating under the assumption that all users are cisgender, or identify with their sex at birth. This often complicated their experience using the app, says Tinder CEO Sean Rad. Now, Rad says, trans users should see better matches.

"We can help you match with people that acknowledge that you're transgender and want to meet you versus people who end up harassing you as a result," Rad tells Mashable.

Image: tinder

Rad had previously discussed the company's plans to make the dating app more inclusive to the trans community. He says the issue first came to his attention when he learned that Tinder's transgender users were often targeted by harassment and temporarily banned from the app after other users reported them.

The CEO says the company retrained its moderators and algorithms to better detect this type of harassment and that the company will now have a "far more aggressive" policy for banning users that violate its harassment policies.

"At the end of the day, as a trans user, what you would experience is higher quality matches. The users who were harassing probably won't be there because we would have banned them."

Whether the trans-inclusive gender options will positively impact the trans community remains to be seen.

Identifying yourself as transgender on a platform known to some extent for gender-based harassment, after all, still comes with risk. And some transgender users may still want to identify themselves as male or female without specifying they are transgender.

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