Is Tinder anti-trans?
Since its creation six years ago, Tinder has become one of the most popular and well-known dating apps and is used by people around the world. However, there is a group of people who are finding Tinder less than welcoming. Despite Tinder’s claims to be open to all people no matter their gender identity, there have been many reports of transgender people being banned at a rate much higher than would be expected.
Once such case that recently drew my attention was that of Ella Grant, an 18-year-old Canadian conservative YouTuber with 44,000 subscribers, who just so happens to be trans.
She signed up for Tinder without even being offered any gender options for transgender people, so instead mentioned the fact she was trans in her bio instead - only to have her account banned soon after with no explanation. It seemed that someone did not read her bio before swiping right and was not pleased about matching with a transgender woman. Instead of unmatching like a reasonable person, they went on to report her account.
Interestingly, the reaction from some people (mainly on the left) was not to be supportive and speak out against a situation which could happen to any trans person, but instead attack Ella for using the word ‘trap’ to describe herself. Putting aside the fact that using the word ‘trans’ instead would have almost certainly led to the same result anyway, I can’t help but think if the political affiliations were reversed, a right winger would be accused of victim blaming. To me, this is yet another example of far-left support of minorities disappearing when it comes to minorities who don’t share their politics.
Tinder are not explicitly banning people for being trans – which would be a breach of anti-discrimination laws – but it’s clear their policies are disproportionately effecting trans people. Some may argue that it’s Tinder’s right as a business to be able to ban any users they want. This strikes at the heart of the question of what is more important – the rights of a business to chose their customers or the rights of minorities not to be discriminated against?
In theory I agree that businesses should have discretion over who they serve. However, a distinction must be made between whether something is legally allowed and whether it’s the right thing to do. Sure, Tinder can ban whoever they like, and don’t have to give explanations as to why they ban people, but it’s also completely legitimate to be unhappy with their decisions, to argue that Tinder should change their policies and to use social pressure to achieve this aim. A free market does not mean companies should be free from criticism. Thankfully, the free market also provides competition, meaning Ella can continue her search for love on other dating apps, until Tinder finally do the right thing and unban her.