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Tinder is rolling out a new sexual orientation options to users in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland, India, Australia, and New Zealand this month. following a collaboration with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Once the update is available, users will be able to select up to three terms to describe their orientation – straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, queer, or questioning. There will also be the option to keep your orientation private, if you prefer, and to show people of the same orientation first when swiping.

Tinder, which is currently available in 190 countries and 40+ languages, has not yet commented on whether it will expand this feature beyond the countries named – presumably not, considering that same-sex relationships are still illegal in some places.

An inclusive disconnect

Tinder has come under fire for not being inclusive enough and has introduced multiple campaigns, typically during ‘Pride season’, to appease people’s concerns about the app.

In July 2018, Tinder started a petition for interracial couple emojis in their #RepresentLove campaign, including same-sex interracial couples. In June 2017, more gender options were introduced to include trans individuals in their #AllTypesAllSwipes campaign.

Despite these efforts, and these newest changes, it seems that there is still some disconnection, as trans people are reportedly still being banned from the app (as they’re reported as fake by other users).

While the ‘Orientation’ update might be a step in the right direction, there’s evidently a long way to go to protect and serve the LGBTQ+ community, that goes beyond an annual pride campaign.

SEXTECHGUIDE contacted Tinder but had not received a response at the time of publishing.

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Oli Lipski
Oli is a freelance sex tech researcher based in London. With an MA in Sexual Dissidence, researching sex tech, and a BA in History, researching gender and sexuality, she has a keen understanding of the past, present and future of sex.

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