Popular dating mobile application Tinder just rolled out a new update in India that includes 23 genders in its list of options outside the binary male and female.
India’s oldest LGBTQ+ organization, The Humsafar Trust, and LGBTQ+ author and inclusion advocate Parmesh Shahani were part of the advisory panel that helped guide the development of this new update, according to First Post.
“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,” Taru Kapoor, general manager of Tinder India, said in a statement.
“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.”
Before the update was rolled out, Tinder reportedly banned transsexual users from the dating app as the company apparently did not have the right tools to serve the community, Gay Star News reported. Fortunately, things are now changing in the dating app.
“In addition to this new feature, we are learning to be a better ally to transgender and gender non-conforming communities by allocating additional resources to our support team, which includes educating our staff about the challenges facing these communities,” Tinder wrote in its statement.
“We know that we haven’t been perfect in the past. If you believe you were ever wrongfully removed from Tinder because another user reported you unfairly due to your gender, we want to invite you back to our platform.”
In addition to the new update, Tinder also shared some details in its blog post for LGBTQ+ support services that are available in India.