Over the summer, transgender activist Zinnia Jones tweeted: “I don’t see a problem with telling straight guys who are exclusionary of trans women partners that they should try to work through that.” That’s a different sentiment than what Cox was expressing—and probably a more radical one—but Jones followed that tweet up with ten more, beginning by saying that “nobody has to be with anyone they don’t want.”Jones added that while there may be some “baseline rate” of people who have an “actual true preference” for a non-transgender partner, the fact that “incredible numbers of straight men” secretly date us suggests that “touching a trans woman’s body or genitals is probably way less of an issue than most people think it is.”Jones was not commanding anyone to sleep with transgender women, but she was suggesting that people could probably stand to examine their aversion to us as viable romantic options.It was a point that required a thousand characters of text to express properly.So it was sadly unsurprising when that Laverne Cox interview got quoted on another news site beneath the headline: “Laverne Cox says men who are ashamed of dating trans women are ‘insecure as f*ck.’”If you scroll through the many disgusting responses to that article on social media—which I won’t dignify by reprinting here—you’ll find dozens of people reacting as if the actress had been talking about all straight men, not just the subset of straight men who are already interested in dating transgender women.
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The move is seen as a step forward for people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming who wanted to be better represented by the popular app.
Crucially, these updates also aim to create a safer, more accepting environment for transgender users.
In 2014, Facebook started letting users choose from more than 50 different terms for describing their identity.
Tinder engineers adjusted the field where a user enters a chosen gender identity to leave it completely open, giving users the freedom to enter whatever term they’re most comfortable with, rather than having a restrictive drop-down of options.
Tinder co-founder and CEO Sean Rad told CBS News that several of the company’s own employees shed light on the problem of in-app harassment against transgender users that many others in the company at large weren’t aware of.