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Ore. Trans Women Sues Tinder for Deleting Her Profile

Friday Mar 16, 2018

A transgender woman from Portland, Oregon. is suing the popular dating app Tinder for deleting her account after adding details about her legal sex work and noting that she is trans in her profile bio, the Willamette Week reports.

Ariel Hawkins filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Multnomah County Court, asking a court to order "prohibiting Tinder to continue discriminating against non-cisgender Oregon users."

Speaking with the newspaper, Hawkins said that after adding the phrase "camgirl on the side. preop trans woman" to her bio she received an email from Tinder saying she violated the app's terms of service and that her account was deleted.

"I wanted to just find love like everybody else," she told the Willamette Week. "I'm just looking to date. I was trying to find a boyfriend."

Hawkins said her questions to Tinder have gone unanswered as to how she violated the app's rules. She said her photos were appropriate and didn't link to any NSFW content.

"I've never had this happen with another dating app before," she told the newspaper. "Every dating app I've ever used or signed up for, I've always tried to disclose [my transgender identity] and be upfront with that because I don't want to run into any harmful situations."

Hawkins added that it's easier for her to date if her partner knows her identity from the get-go, saying she "wanted to be transparent and straightforward."

Tinder responded to the Willamette Week with a statement regarding Hawkins's case.

"While we do not comment on pending litigation, we can say, categorically, that we do not ban users from Tinder due to gender identity," a spokesman for the company told the newspaper. "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."

Though Tinder announced in 2016 that it gave users the option to select gender other than man or woman, this isn't the first time the app has been accused of deleting accounts belonging to trans people. A trans woman named Tahlia René said in December 2017 she received a similar email to Hawkins when her account was deleted. A 2015 Business Insider article detailed reports of trans people claiming their accounts were also being deleted.

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