The dating site, which has always strived to be LGBTQ-inclusive, takes a step to make trans and non-binary users feel more welcome.
Marilyn Drew Necci | September 12, 2018
On Monday, OKCupid announced that it will soon allow a dedicated space on its profiles where users can share their pronouns. The online dating service, which started over 15 years ago as a website before expanding into an app, has always worked to make their service as inclusive to LGBTQ users as possible. “The most beautiful, meaningful and rewarding connections are formed when people are able to identify, and are celebrated as, their authentic selves,” OKCupid’s chief marketing officer, Melissa Hobley, said in a statement.
The new feature was designed by Rowen Rosenthal, an OKCupid employee who uses they/their pronouns themselves. “One of the main reasons I was drawn to working at OkCupid was because it was one of the few mainstream dating apps that felt more inclusive, and I felt I’d be able to express my own identity fully and openly within the workplace,” Rosenthal said. “As a gender non-conforming person, I wanted to ensure the product that I work on everyday empowers the LGBTQIA+ community.”
OKCupid collaborated with GLAAD on the feature, in order to ensure that it would accurately reflect the interests and concerns of LGBTQ users. “Everyone should be able to express who they are, in their own words, and to have the opportunity to find romance with someone who respects and appreciates them,” said Zeke Stokes, GLAAD’s Vice President of Programs. “By creating a dedicated space for personal pronouns on profiles, OKCupid has taken an important step forward that raises the bar for LGBTQ-inclusion on dating apps.”
This is not the first time OKCupid has made news by being at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusiveness in dating apps; in 2014, they increased available options for gender identity and sexual orientation to 22 and 13, respectively. The move closely followed a similar 2014 decision by Facebook, and made OKCupid the first dating app to expand gender identity and sexual orientation options in this way. OKCupid calls these moves “a natural extension of OkCupid’s mission of matching people on what matters to them.”
Here at GayRVA, we have found OKCupid to be surprisingly useful for LGBTQ people — especially if you check that box marked “I don’t want to be visible to straight people.” In fact, on a personal note, I actually met my wife on OKCupid — and today’s the one-year anniversary of our marriage. If it worked for me, it can work for you. So take heart, lonely queers; online love is possible. Set those pronouns, upload a few selfies, and dive in!