We’ve heard frustrating stories of trans woman being banned from Tinder simply for being trans, and now one woman is suing the dating app on behalf of all trans women who have been discriminated against on the platform. Ariel Hawkins of Portland, Oregon says her Tinder profile was fine until she mentioned she was trans in her bio, because, very soon after, her account was deleted. Citing the need to be “transparent and straightforward,” Hawkins added “camgirl on the side. preop trans woman” to her bio. Just a few hours later, Tinder notified her that her profile was being deleted for violating the app’s terms of service. She is now suing Tinder.
Hawkins, like many trans women before her, suspect that their deleted profiles have nothing to do with Tinder’s “terms of service” but because of transphobic Tinder users who “report” any trans women they encounter on the app. While we could blame Tinder’s clientele for being intolerant trolls, Tinder should also be held accountable for not thoroughly investigating reported profiles. In December 2017, a woman named Tahlia René shared a very similar story.
“So @tinder banned me for violating their community guidelines ‘in some way’ but every trans woman knows this means I was auto banned based on volume of reports,” René shared in an Instagram post.
YouTuber Kat Blaque also revealed that Tinder would delete her profile no matter how many times she attempted to create a new account.
As for Hawkins and her lawsuit, she told Willamette Week, “I wanted to just find love like everybody else. I’m just looking to date. I was trying to find a boyfriend.”
Tinder responded to the lawsuit with the following statement:
Even though Tinder offers a variety of gender expressions when one makes a profile, the company needs to solve the problem of transphobic users reporting someone simply because they are trans. Now.