Science and Tech

Grindr is no longer ‘men-only’ as update adds support for women, trans people

Nick Duffy November 21, 2017
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Grindr (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Grindr is being used to sell drugs (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Grindr has added options to cater for women and transgender people as well as gay men.

The hook-up app, which has traditionally been for gay men, rolled out the changes this week to become trans-inclusive.

The changes allow users to add their gender identity to their profiles, with a number of options available – including ‘woman’, ‘trans woman’,’ ‘non-binary’, ‘non-conforming’ and ‘queer’.

Users can also specify the pronouns they use on their profile, including ‘he/him’, ‘she/her’ and ‘they/them’.

A release explained that the app has introduced “system-wide gender-neutral language”, despite its traditional audience of ” gay, bi, curious and queer men”.

The app has long included a “transgender” category frequented by trans women, but the official change in policy to include women marks the official end of the app’s men-only stance.

The site has also launched an FAQ to help non-transgender users “interact respectfully”.

The guide, written in consultation with the National Center for Transgender Equality, warns users “to avoid making assumptions” about the genitals of the person they are chatting to.

It adds: “Many trans people are asked questions about what surgeries they’ve had all the time, and often the people asking are being inappropriate and have no business knowing about their genitals. This constant sexual harassment can have a profound negative effect on a person.

“Before you ask a trans person about surgeries, ask yourself whether you’re in a situation in which you’d ask a cis person about their genitals.

“Of course, if people are discussing a potential hook up, it might be an appropriate time to ask. But even if it is, asking something else that’s broader like ‘What are you into sexually’ may open the door to the discussion without associating you with the people who ask in an offensive way.”

It advises users to “stay open to whatever an individual might say they enjoy.”

The guide continues: “Some trans people may use words that are new to you altogether. For example, a trans man might refer to their front hole.

“Getting these words wrong could result in hurt feelings and a failure to connect so it’s always a good idea to ask.”

Grindr implemented the update to users worldwide at the end of Transgender Awareness Week, and brought on transgender activist, writer, actress, and producer, Jen Richards, to feature in a new video promoting the changes.

(Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Peter Sloterdyk, VP of Marketing at Grindr: “As the largest global queer social network, Grindr has always had trans men, trans women, and non-binary users on the app. 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 all trans people.

“To ensure we heard from a range of trans people, we polled trans users and consulted transgender community leaders to guide our thinking.”

Jack Harrison-Quintana, Director of Grindr for Equality said: “One thing we heard over and over again from trans people using Grindr was that they felt unwelcome as other users would often only want to ask them about what it means to be trans or approached without knowing how to speak respectfully about trans issues.

“That’s why we created written resources linked from the gender identity fields in the profile to answer users’ questions and decrease that burden on trans people.”

Earlier this year it emerged that police in Egypt used Grindr to lure gay and bisexual men to hotel rooms to arrest them.

Dalia Abdel-Hameed, a gender rights researcher with the Egyptian Initative for Personal Rights unearthed dozens of police reports.

In the reports, a “cultivation” technique is set out which sees targets seduced using Grindr.

They are lured to hotel rooms and arrested by authorities.

(Photo by STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

She described a “mania” around penetration.

“It’s related to the fact that men are using apps more than women and an obsession of who is being penetrated.

“There is this penetration mania in Egypt due to religious reasons, mostly.”

A homophobic crackdown began in Egypt after a rainbow flag was waved at a concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay.

Since the concert Egyptian authorities began a ‘purge’ targeted at the country’s gay community, raiding homes and arresting more than 60 people to date, according to sources.

The country also banned the media from reporting on the issue – while imposing a Russia-style ban on LGBT people being mentioned on TV and film, as well as radio, online or print media.

More: Gay, Grindr, LGBT, tech, Trans, Transgender, Women

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