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Culture

Tinder will soon be a lot friendlier to the transgender community

Tinder CEO Sean Rad teased the ability to better specify who you are and the type of person you're looking for.

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Tinder plans to widen its doors to the transgender community.

Van Boom, Daniel

Tinder hasn't done a good job of opening its doors to the transgender community, but that's changing.

The dating app, which lets users swipe left or right on a profile depending on whether they want to pursue a connection, will introduce the ability to better specify who you are and the type of person you're looking to meet, according to Tinder CEO Sean Rad. He said the feature would come in the next month and a half.

"There's a transgender community on Tinder and we haven't done enough to give them a good experience," Rad said on Thursday at Recode's Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Tinder's increased support of the transgender community comes amid a wider debate over the rights of transgender people, specifically whether they are able to use the bathroom of their choosing. Several states have passed laws requiring students to use bathrooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender at birth. In response, President Obama has ordered that every school in the country let transgender students use the bathroom that matches their identity.

For transgender people using Tinder, Rad admitted that it has been tough. Some transgender users had their accounts flagged because other people thought they were fake.

"We have to modify the experience to change that," he said.

Rad, who famously defined a person who is attracted to intellect as "sodomy," (the correct term is sapiosexual) defended Tinder as more than just a hook-up app.

"Our audience is older," he said. "There are now marriages happening on Tinder."

Rad also talked about the promise of augmented reality, which overlays digital images and text over the real world. He liked the idea of AR adding another layer of information, helping to create a common connection and serving to break the ice. Is Tinder pursuing some sort of AR glass?

"We toy around with a lot of things," he teased, adding that the company would start exploring it in a year and a half.