Dating App Hinge Is Sorry for Banning Two Trans Actresses for Alleged Violations
Hinge has issued an apology to Laverne Cox and Trace Lysette after blocking the transgender actresses’ dating profiles for allegedly being in violation of the app’s terms of service.
Lysette, star of the recent hit "Hustlers" and scene-stealer on “Transparent,” tweeted out her frustrations earlier this week. She shared on Twitter that she had been banned from Hinge, feeling "so exhausted with these dating apps allowing people to report trans women for no reason."
More transphobic dating fun. This time from @hinge – so exhausted with these dating apps allowing people to report trans women for no reason. As if dating isn’t exhausting enough.
— Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) July 24, 2020
Hinge publicly reached out to Lysette on Twitter, noting that her account was taken down because their moderators didn’t believe it was actually her. In return, Hinge reinstated her account with a lifetime preferred membership. They added their "sincere apologies" and that they are "truly honored" to have her on their app.
Though Lysette was appreciative of the quick fix, she urged Hinge to look into whether or not she was being reported simply for being trans as that has become a persistent issue for trans women on dating apps. So persistent, in fact, that Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox ("Orange Is the New Black") quote-tweeted Lysette’s original message to share that she, too, had been blocked on Hinge at one time.
The dating app responded to Cox in a similar manner, stating that they were "so sorry our people thought having you on Hinge was too good to be true." Cox also received a lifetime preferred membership for which she was thankful, but once again urged the app to look into the true reason why her and Lysette’s accounts were reported in the first place.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 25, 2020
"I appreciate your intent for inclusivity," Lysette responded to Hinge’s apologetic message. "It’s rough out here."
In an official statement shared with AskMen, Hinge explained that they have a zero tolerance policy for hate, and that Cox and Lysette’s profiles were indeed taken down because they were reported as fake impersonations of the celebrities — not for being trans. Hinge went on to say that "anyone exhibiting transphobic behavior on Hinge will be banned from our community."
Though that’s reassuring, trans women and men have been getting reported and blocked on dating apps for years — a digital manifestation of real-world discrimination and transphobia. Tinder, one of the worst offenders in years past, pledged in 2017 that no user would ever be removed because of their gender, but the problem unfortunately remains. Many feel that the app’s pledge was simply an act of virtue-signaling and a half-hearted attempt at appearing to be "woke."
Since then, Tinder has made significant strides to be more inclusive with new sexual orientation options and a Travel Alert that protects users when they are visiting countries with anti-LGBTQ laws.
While Hinge and Tinder are both striving for improvement with their dating platforms, there are still plenty of other apps that are more trans-friendly than others. Gay dating app Scruff was actually the first dating app to offer an option for the transgender community. For a larger pool of singles, however, OkCupid ranks surprisingly high when it comes to inclusivity, offering 22 gender and 13 sexual orientation options when setting up your profile.
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