Dating app Hinge apologizes for banning two trans actresses for alleged violations
Hinge has apologized to Laverne Cox and Trace Lysette after blocking the dating profiles of transgender actresses for allegedly violating the app’s terms of service.
Lysette, star of the recent hit “scammers“and thief of scene on”Transparent”, Tweeted his frustrations earlier this week. She shared on Twitter that she was banned from Hinge, feeling “so exhausted by these dating apps that allow people to report trans women for no reason.”
More fun of transphobic dating. This time of @hinge – so exhausted with those dating apps allowing people to report trans women for no reason. As if dating someone isn’t exhausting enough.
– Trace Lysette (@tracelysette) July 24, 2020
Hinge publicly contacted Lysette on Twitter, noting that her account was deleted because their moderators didn’t think it was her. In return, Hinge reinstated his account with a Lifetime Preferred Membership. They added their “sincere apologies” and that they are “truly honored” to have it on their app.
While Lysette appreciated the quick fix, she urged Hinge to check whether or not she was being flagged just for being trans, as this has become a persistent problem 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 post to share that she too had been stuck on Hinge at one point.
The dating app responded to Cox in a similar fashion, stating that they were “so sorry our people thought you on Hinge were too good to be true.” Cox also received a Premium Lifetime Membership she was grateful for, but again urged the app to research the real reason her and Lysette’s accounts were reported in the first place.
Thank you very much! Hopefully, all of the trans people on your platform who are regularly reported just because they are trans will receive similar treatment. #TransIsBeautiful https://t.co/gXt0BgcZSb
– Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) July 25, 2020
“I appreciate your intention to be inclusive,” Lysette replied to Hinge’s apology message. “It’s hard 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 have indeed been removed because they have been flagged as false identity thefts of celebrities – not to be trans. Hinge went on to say that “anyone exhibiting transphobic behavior on Hinge will be banned from our community.”
While this is reassuring, trans women and men have been reported and blocked on dating apps for years – a digital manifestation of real-world discrimination and transphobia. Tinder, one of the worst offenders in recent years, promised in 2017 that no user would ever be deleted because of their gender, but the problem unfortunately remains. Many believe that enlisting the app was simply an act of signaling virtue and a timid attempt to appear “awake”.
Since then, Tinder has made significant strides in being more inclusive with new sexual orientation options and a travel alert that protects users when they visit countries with anti-LGBTQ laws.
While Hinge and Tinder both strive to improve themselves with their dating platforms, there are still plenty of other apps that are more trans-friendly than others. Gay dating app Scruff was in fact the first dating app to offer an option for the transgender community. For a larger number of singles, however, Ok Cupid ranks surprisingly high when it comes to inclusivity, offering 22 gender options and 13 sexual orientation options when creating your profile.
You could also dig: