The dating app Tinder added 35 new gender options in addition to male and female on Tuesday.
According to Tinder's blog, users can choose between any of these options or create a new label for their gender identity. They can publicly display their gender on their profile. Tinder is also inviting back users who were previously reported by others on the app for their gender choices.
Riley Rudy, a sophomore majoring in theatre, thinks Tinder's update was smart and necessary.
"More and more people don't feel they should be labeled and I think Tinder adding these gender options will not only make more people use the app, but it will also spark a larger conversation about gender," she said.
She believes the update will expand Tinder's user base.
"I think it will definitely increase LGBT users on Tinder, because many of them have probably not used it for that reason, and now they have the opportunity to be accurately represented," Rudy said.
USC Student Programs Advisor Michael Gorse agrees Tinder update promotes inclusivity for the LGBTQ community.
"Traditionally trans and genderqueer members of our community have been ostracized by dating apps in general because they conform to the gender binary of male-female," Gorse said. "This is nice that Tinder has made it more inclusive for the members of our community."
He believes it will make it easier for trans and genderqueer people to feel comfortable using the app.
"It feels more accessible to them and that they don't have to necessarily choose labels that they might not want to go with just to do something as simple as date or even just meet people," Gorse said.
Gorse believes Tinder is trying to help stop transphobia and bullying on on the app from cisgender people. But he says, "I don't think it will completely stop that."
Still, Gorse hopes other dating apps, which cater only to males and females, will make similar updates.
"So ideally the mainstream ones like ChristianMingle, eHarmony, and OkCupid would become more inclusive. OkCupid is pretty good overall at least in terms of sexual orientation, but I think gender identity it could do a better job," he said.
Isabelle Chua, a senior communication major, believes Tinder's addition of 35 new genders is especially timely.
"In light of the recent election and fear about racism, sexism, bigotry in general, this is a really cool way to show that Tinder is inclusive to the LGBT community."
Rudy thinks the election influenced Tinder's update as well.
"Now more than ever, the LGBT community is feeling very scared and isolated and I think platforms like Tinder reaching out and saying, 'We're here for you and we see you' is very powerful and important after the election," she said.
Reach Staff Reporter Charlotte Scott here.