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Grindr Launches New Gender Options in a Bid to Be More Inclusive

Grindr is now open for transpersons and women, and is set to revolutionise the dating scene.

Updated
Love and Sex
5 min read
Grindr  Launches New Gender Options in a Bid to Be More Inclusive
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Grindr, widely known as a dating app for men who look for men, is now open for trans people and women. This is a landmark move which could revolutionise the dating scene. 20 November is Transgender Day of Remembrance and this gift came right in time from Grindr. Transgender persons, intersex persons and even women find a place in this app.

This is the first step of setting things right. Because, truly gender is fluid. It is a spectrum and when you define your app as something that men who date men use, the biggest question is how do you define a man.
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Times have changed and there is deeper introspection, and we now know that just having a penis does not exactly make one a male, unless one identifies as one. Some people don’t conform to their sex on the basis of the body organ they are born with. It doesn’t always mean a confirmation that they belong to the other populous sex – female or even identify as trans. They could just be non-confirming. That’s it. In a way, in a deep intellectual sense, not just gender, but also sex is fluid.

In all of this complex hotchpotch of jargons on sex and gender, to have something strictly and purely for men is a challenge.

That said, I am sure, Grindr has braced itself for the challenge of the century – to keep up as the premium geo-tagging based dating app for “men” who date “men”, while also getting rid of the quotation marks and broadening its wings to be inclusive and thereby tapping into a larger pool of people who are deprived of online and app spaces for love.

There is a lot that needs to change yet, in terms of design and content. Most of the features only cater to men who have sex with men. (TOP/bottom/versatile).

Most of the features only cater to men who have sex with men.
(Photo: Screenshot)

But they also have an amazing help center with which people can update themselves.

The help center on the app that offers various options. 
(Photo: Screenshot)

There is also a variety of pronouns that people can choose to refer to themselves.

Custom pronouns. 
(Photo: Screenshot)

Though there are some unique challenges that Grindr would have to face.

The Underlying Misogyny In The Gay Men Community That No One Speaks About

I have been old enough in the gay movement to understand the underlying misogyny within the gay male community. Men who are feminine are in many cases despised by self-identified fellow gay men themselves. There is also a lot of bottom (i.e. male persons who desire to be anally penetrated) shaming that exists. The fact that even in our lingo, the penetrator is considered as “active” and the one penetrated is considered as “passive” is enough to validate this thought. By this rule, cis sexed women are forever passive as they lack a sexual appendage to penetrate. Also there is a dearth of women only spaces, which gay men don’t understand mostly, because they look at themselves as the non-sexual interest group. The spaces should be outright classified as women dating women spaces, which could be inclusive of men with women in larger numbers so that they don’t feel intimidated. This doesn’t go down well with gay men sometimes. However, one needs to be aware that women, who look empowered today have also battled patriarchal norms. While we wish for equality, the path from where women began is way behind the one where men are running. This viral video will address what I am trying to say.

How Grindr will address this division in the gay world will be interesting to watch.
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Transgenders Are Not Understood

While women are misunderstood, transgenders are not understood at all. There is below zero awareness about transgenders, with them being either deified or despised. Many don’t know the right terms to use to address transgenders, or even details about the anatomy. They say familiarity breeds contempt, maybe in the long run. In the short run though familiarity breeds awareness and acceptance. With abysmally low awareness about transgenders, how is it that transgenders are going to feel safe while using Grindr?

Biphobia In The Gay And Lesbian Community

Many in the gay and lesbian world are wary of dating bisexuals. “He will get married to the other gender, it’s an easy thing,” said a gay friend. “What if I get heterosexual diseases, if she has sex with men,” said one lesbian friend. The fact that bisexuals are capable of falling in love with people regardless of their genders should be celebrated and envied, but instead it elicits a lot of hate and ostracism. How will bisexuals take this move by Grindr? Will they see it as a bigger pool or a source of greater prejudice and longer explanations?

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Safety Of Gay Men And Women

Anyone can download Grindr and make a profile there. It is less likely though, that men would randomly make profiles on Grindr to feed their curiosity. The few straight men on the app are simply extortionists and fakers who are true to their deviant criminal intentions. That’s not the case with women spaces. Many men trickle inside lesbian spaces to simply proposition a threesome or to get an orgasm watching two women make love. How will Grindr safeguard the space from “Will you frannnship with me” messages from creeps?

However, this move by Grindr to become inclusive from being exclusive is a welcome move and sets a positive note. The challenges will mount, and we need to proceed further. I think the Grindr “all inclusive” avatar is well intentioned and though ridden with challenges, it will emerge a winner. Here’s wishing you the best from India.

Good Luck Grindr.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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