Tinder, the app that's led to countless dating and hook-up stories from hell, just made a surprisingly awesome announcement: It's adding 37 new gender options and a feature that allows you to write in your own gender, from two-spirit to pangender — because you (and you alone) should get to define who you are.
According to Tinder's press release on the update, you can also display your gender on your profile and select to be shown in searches that best represent your personal identity.
The company's #AllTypesAllSwipes update is a major step forward in inclusivity and trans acceptance in particular.
"Every new person in your life expands your horizons in some way," Tinder said in a statement. "Inclusion and acceptance drive this expansion, and we want Tinder to reflect the world that surrounds us every day."
Nick Adams, director of GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program, worked with Tinder on the update, according to Bustle. In a separate statement, he commended the company's "strong message of acceptance."
"This update reflects a growing awareness that trans people are part of the fabric of everyday life, which in turn, accelerates acceptance for transgender and non-conforming people," Adams added.
Though Tinder's new update is a huge improvement in many ways, Leanna, a trans woman, told Complex she's still "super skeptical" about it and highlighted one key flaw.
"It's well-intentioned, but pretty much I foresee most people automatically swiping left on anyone trans, and then people who fetishize trans people will automatically swipe right," Leanna told Complex. She also wished Tinder added a "non-binary" option for users who didn't identify as a man or woman.
Another person pointed out that the update "could lead to chasers or anti-trans people finding trans individuals and targeting us" in a comment on one of Tinder's Instagram posts.
Tinder admitted in its press release that it "hasn't had the right tools to serve our diverse community in the past," but said that in addition to the new update, it will educate its support staff about the challenges that transgender and gender nonconforming communities encounter.
The company also invited those who suspect they were banned from the app because of their gender to send an email [email protected] with a link to their Facebook profile so they can be considered for re-adding.
Good for you, Tinder — while we don't doubt there are still bugs to work out, this is a great step forward. (And it's about time!)