Ariel Hawkins, a transgender woman from Oregon, has filed a lawsuit against dating app Tinder.
A transgender woman is suing Tinder “on behalf of other transgender people living in the Portland area”, TMZ reports.
Ariel Hawkins says her account was deleted just days after she edited her profile to reflect that she was a pre-op trans woman. When she asked Tinder why, the company said she had “violated its terms of services” – but wouldn’t explain how.
She told TMZ that she feels Tinder doesn’t “understand trans people and [doesn’t] appreciate how we may represent ourselves”, adding that it “refuses to provide transgender individuals full and equal access to its app”.
It’s not the first time that transgender people have complained about their treatment on the app.
In December 2017, Twitter user Tahlia said that her account had been repeatedly deleted after her profile had been reported by male users upset that she was transgender.
“Tinder’s ‘trans inclusiveness’ is such a joke,” she wrote. “Your 30 gender options don’t do us s**t when we get auto-banned from volume of reports alone.”
“This has happened to so many trans women I know and Tinder does not give a single f**k. They just use us as a marketing ploy to prove how ‘inclusive’ they are”.
And just this week (March 11), Twitter user Chandler said they had set up a Tinder profile “to befriend other LGBTQ people near me” – but was “immediately reported” when they put in their bio that they were transgender. Their account was also deleted.
In the same month, YouTuber Kat Blaque said in a now deleted thread that Tinder had “deleted every single account” she had ever had on the app.
“At this point, it’s very, very, very hard for me to not believe that I am either being targeted by transphobic trolls or being banned because I’m trans,” she wrote.
Tinder has repeatedly denied the claims. In a statement to The Cut, Tinder said that it “categorically” does not ban users because of their gender identity.
“At Tinder, we fundamentally believe that gender is not binary and we support inclusivity and acceptance of all people, which is why we offer more than 37 gender identity options for our users in the United States,” it said.
Image: Chad Madden / Unsplash / iStock