Mumbai: Tinder, the world’s most popular app for meeting new people, today announced its latest update: Tinder will now support more ways to express gender identity, by giving users the ability to add information about their gender outside the binary. Users now have the opportunity on the platform to identify as any gender that they believe represents them most authentically.
Until now, Tinder users in India were offered only two options when selecting their gender: man or woman. For users who identified as transgender, gender neutral or somewhere between or outside the gender binary, that limitation posed an obvious challenge. Tinder now empowers users to just be themselves by adding 23 new genders to the list. From the ‘Edit Info’ screen, users can now type any word that describes their gender identity. Tinder users may also choose to display their gender on their profile.
Tinder instituted an advisory panel comprising The Humsafar Trust, India’s oldest LGBTQ organization working for the health and human rights of the community since 1994 and LGBTQ Author and inclusion advocate, Parmesh Shahani who helped guide local development of the update, help be more inclusive with indigenous gender identities and to reflect cultural nuances of the community in India.
Ashok Row Kavi, Chairperson, The Humsafar Trust, said, “Tinder’s new initiative celebrates the diversity and pluralism and truly represents the idea of India. For numerous Indians who identify as trans and non-binary, this will be their chance to be their true selves online and in person. It gives us great pleasure to be associated with Tinder on this bold move.”
“I am proud to be a part of this. While this is an important effort by itself I believe that the ripple effects will be tremendous,” said Parmesh Shahani. Headds, “I hope it enables Tinder users to express their authentic selves or to express themselves more freely, but beyond that the hope is that this act will empower other institutions, whether government or private to widen the framework with which they approach gender and offer their employees as well as customers a range of gender possibilities.”
Taru Kapoor, GM, Tinder India said, “Inclusivity, acceptance and individuality are core values of Tinder. Users are best to assert their own identity, and our latest update gives them the opportunity to decide how to express themselves authentically. I think it is vital to be reflective of our time, and it has been a good year in India for gender, sexuality and personal autonomy. What has been crucial is the assistance provided by The Humsafar Trust and Parmesh in customising the update for our community and including indigenous identities. Ensuring users feel like their true selves while using the platform is paramount. Everyone is welcome on Tinder.”