The struggle of dating apps for trans people

The struggle of dating apps for trans people Gazette Culture SMS Dating apps have become the new normal way of meeting people and, although convenient, they don’t always serve as a safe space – especially for the trans community. Some apps, such as Tinder and Bumble, allow users to set their gender to what is most comfortable to them. This can go beyond just “male” and “female,” including labels like transmasculine, transfeminine and non-binary. Regardless of these efforts, not all users could be considered trans allies – making these dating apps restrictive for trans people. Chloe, a third-year management and organizational studies and French student, is a trans woman. She started the process of medically transitioning about two months ago when she began hormone replacement therapy. “I look almost nothing like a girl because I’m so early into estrogen, and if I tried to [use dating apps] now, it wouldn’t end very well,” says Chloe. The Gazette has removed Chloe’s last name to protect her privacy. Although she safely used dating apps before coming out as female, she no longer feels out of harm’s way as she now identifies as trans. Her biggest fear is encountering “chasers.” Chasers are people who seek out trans people solely because they are trans. They are only interested in trans individuals as a fetish and constantly bring up their genitalia even as it is an uncomfortable topic. While some trans people choose to be “stealth” and not openly tell others they are trans to avoid uncomfortable situations – Chloe believes that people who have medically transitioned for a longer period of time would have a safer experience on dating apps. Liam Pridding, a third-year sociology and criminology student, is a trans man who has been on hormone replacement therapy for just over a year. He has been using dating apps for almost a year on and off. “When I started out transitioning, I don’t think I would have ever gone on a dating app,” says Pridding. […]