BY: AL DONATO
Finding love on the Internet is hard. And for anyone hooking up often means to lying your ass off.
All mainstream dating sites are notorious for ignoring LGBTQ individuals’ diverse identities. For gender, choosing between just male or female alienates users who don’t fall neatly into either category. And the sexuality options imply you can only prefer men and/or women.
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But thanks to OkCupid’s newest gender and sexuality additions, the world of online dating just got a lot more inclusive.
Select users are now able to choose from over 70 genders and sexualities, options never before offered by any popular dating website or by most social media websites.
Woman, man, agender, androgynous, bigender, cis woman, cis man, genderfluid, genderqueer, gender nonconforming, hijira, intersex, non-binary, other, pangender, transfeminime, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, trans man, trans woman, and two spirit.
The new sexualities include:
Straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, heteroflexible, homoflexible, lesbian, pansexual, queer, questioning, and sapiosexual.
While correcting binarist labels was previously accomplished on OkCupid by writing your specific identity on your personal profile, the options make casting your net out for your true preferences, be they trans queers or genderqueer demisexuals, in the site’s search engine possible. It also legitimizes terms that the uninitiated would consider new or imaginary. For those in the know, using the language they themselves use to define who they are and who they like means they can find similar people that much easier.
The changes follow social media giant Facebook’s addition of over 50 gender options. Before the options, users would use profile hacks to change their gender pronouns to the neutral “they”, a form of customization that showed just how desperate people were to have correct representations of themselves and eventually caught the social media giant’s attention.
For now, only select users who were notified of the options can use them and it’s exclusive to the desktop version.
It’s sad how groundbreaking this is in 2014, and how slow it’s taken the Internet to acknowledge the existence of certain identities. Hopefully OkCupid’s new options are a sign that the online and real worlds will start to recognize romances that have been happening for ages.