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The truth about dating as a trans woman on Grindr

Grindr is the world’s largest social networking app with millions of active monthly users worldwide, a place where gay, bi, trans and queer people can chat, make friends and meet up with new people in their area.

For trans women, using mobile dating apps can be quite a harrowing experience.

“It’s not always an enjoyable experience using Grindr, or other dating apps for that matter. Sometimes straight men use words without realising the impact they may have on trans people,” says Katrina Parker, 52 from Berkshire. “I have suffered abuse a few times on Grindr and Tinder. I feel like I don’t belong on these sites.”

Chat rooms, articles and surveys show that trans women are met with strong disapproval, bias, curiosity, and questions about their genitals on apps such as Grindr and Tinder.

Many trans users often complain about being used as a pool of information and those who identify as transgender on Grindr are lucky to find anybody to treat them with respect and dignity.

Trans people identify as transgender on other dating apps, but not always on Grindr.

It can be the worst dating app for members of the transgender community because some gay and bi men consider them “filthy and disgusting” and send them messages full of spite and anger.

Grindr has denied the allegations elaborating it bans profiles with hateful content, as stated in the app’s terms of service, and investigates users’ reports of such activity daily.

“We take the experience and the safety of all our users seriously, both in and out of the app,” a Grindr spokesperson wrote in an email to Vice in August 2016. “While we can’t make people behave better overnight, we in no way support any form of discrimination.”

On the Tumblr ‘Trans Men of Grindr’ blog, users post screenshots of discussions on gay networking apps to show some of the most hostile, inconsiderate and selfish comments sent to them by other users.

Digital dating can be precarious, and often wounding, for the trans user.

A post shared by Trans Tinder (@transtinder) on

“I choose not to use Grindr because I don’t like giving out my phone number to strangers who may not be who they say they are,” states Huggy McGuire, 30 from London. “And, I have heard stories about men becoming victims of violent crime in America as a result of trying to hook up. Hence, I stay away from the app.”

Trans users of Grindr in America were disgusted with the app and its present-day variety of gay discrimination. They boycotted it by deactivating their accounts until Grindr develops and ends transphobia against trans users and their lovers. Fortunately for them, Grindr introduced trans and non-binary features last November to make the app more inclusive.

We’re celebrating #TransAwarenessMonth with new, more inclusive features to help trans and non gender conforming connect better. ⠀ Grindr users now have the option to customize gender identity and preferred pronouns. We’re also introducing a new Gender Identity Help Center so everyone can get up to speed on everything from gender definitions to how to respectfully message a trans person. ⠀ To get the message out, Grindr partnered with Emmy-nominated actress/writer and trans activist Jen Richards (@smartassjen) for “Hi! Bye!” In the video, Jen and friends have a funny but frank discussion about what to say (and what not to say) to a trans person with some help from a few Gaymoji-themed signs. ⠀ Visit the link in our bio for the full video and to read more about our new features. Also let us know what you think in the comments below ⬇️⬇️⬇️

A post shared by Grindr (@grindr) on

Furthermore, users can now opt for their preferred pronouns from ‘he/him’, ‘she/hers’ and ‘they/them’.

Although great progress has been made, there’s still a lot to be done when it comes to trans dating apps.

Featured image: Vdovichenko Denis / Shutterstock.com

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