Following similar moves by OkCupid and Tinder, Grindr has unveiled new options for users who identify as transgender and gender non-conforming. Options for gender now include "cis man," "trans man," "non-binary," "non-conforming," "queer," and "crossdresser." Users can also specify a custom identity if theirs doesn’t appear on the list.
The changes coincide with the end of this year’s Transgender Awareness Week, and are the result of a survey of current trans users, as well as a consultation with the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Along with the expanded options for gender identity, the app and website have been updated to include gender neutral terms, and users can now choose from pronouns such as "he/him/his", "she/her/hers" and "they/them/theirs." Users whose preferred pronouns are not listed may write in their own.
The company also published a new section on gender identity in its FAQ. The resource defines relevant terms, compiles safety resources, and offers advice on how to interact respectfully with transgender and non-binary people.
"One thing we heard over and over again from trans people using Grindr was that they felt unwelcome and that their non-trans peers only wanted to ask them about what it means to be trans or approached without knowing how to speak respectfully about trans issues," said Jack Harrison-Quintana, Director of Grindr for Equality. "That's why we created written resources linked from the gender identity fields in the profile to answer cis users' questions and decrease that burden on trans people."
Grindr had faced criticism for its lack of inclusivity for some time, with many questioning why an app dedicated to the queer community took so long to introduce these options. In 2013, the app debuted “Trans” as a self-descriptor within its “Tribes” feature, but it was not the extensive update many were hoping to see.
The company chalks the slow pace up to due diligence.
"Trans men, trans women and nonbinary people have been part of the Grindr community since the very beginning,” Harrison-Quintana said. “We had been on a journey of making sure that what we were doing as a company was affirming their presence on the app.”
"As the largest global queer social network, Grindr has always had trans men, trans women, and non-binary users on the app," added Peter Sloterdyk, VP of Marketing. "We are proud to release these updates to our core functionality to firmly establish that we are committed to making Grindr a welcome and safe space for trans people."
This is not the not the first big news for Grindr in 2017. The year also saw the launch of Into, the company’s foray into digital publishing, and a partnership with the queer-themed podcast “Food 4 Thot”, all designed to bring Grindr to a new audience while maintaining its core LGBT+ identity.
For more on this service you can check out our Grindr app review.