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But not every transgender person wants to be this open.For those who don’t disclose their trans identity online, safety and rejection are big concerns.
Ryley Pogensky, the genderqueer person who created the petition, said that when he asked OKCupid about adding more gender identity options, a representative told him it would be difficult to change the site because it was built “in a pretty binary way.” La Mon has noticed that his male and female OKCupid profiles get different matches.
Colleen, who asked that we not use her real name, is a 30-year-old transgender woman who has been dating online since she was a teenager.
She's in a monogamous relationship now, but before she fell in love she had an OKCupid profile that identified her as a straight woman.
Soon after Colleen made a profile on OKCupid she agreed to a date—just to test out the site.
She and the guy hadn't had much communication, and she assumed he was mostly interested in hooking up. ” This doesn't happen often, Colleen said, but when it does she tries to play it cool.
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In both profiles he makes it clear that he is “a trans guy” and that people should “only message me if you’re cool with that.” Part of the need for this complicated negotiation is that OKCupid doesn’t allow users to identify as “transgender”—just “male” or “female.” The site has been in the news this week after cofounder Christian Rudder announced that developers secretly changed some people's compatibility ratings and removed profile photos to learn more about behavior on the site.