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HER User Data Shows That Trans Users Face Significant Challenges on Dating Apps

Robyn Exton

Mar 31, 2022

HER User Data Shows That Trans Users Face Significant Challenges on Dating Apps
  • Transness has been under constant attack for quite some time – but lately, it seems that the US government has plans to make those attacks legalized. In just the first 3 months of 2022, an alarming number of anti-trans bills have been filed – 154, which is a stark increase from the 22 filed in all of 2019. For trans children and adults in the states where these bills WILL get passed, the future feels bleak.

    Because safety is of the utmost importance right now (and honestly always), it is ever more important to create safe spaces where the trans community can thrive. But is the queer community at large living up to that promise? We sought answers to that question last year by surveying how trans users on HER felt about our app and dating online in general. Our hope is to create a better queer and trans dating app experience, and thus, create safer, more inclusive spaces for all.

    The short answer is that even in spaces built for all queer folks, there is much work to be done. We surveyed over 500 trans and gender-non-conforming users on our app and asked them a range of questions about their experiences dating on HER and on other dating apps. They identify as trans women (66%), trans men (22%), nonbinary (7%), and genderfluid (2%). Here is what we found.

    Dating online is rife with discrimination for trans and gender non-conforming people

    35% of our users have faced trans-exclusionary preferences while trying to date online. 26% have faced some form of fetishization – which is the flip side of transphobia and equally damaging. In addition 13% have encountered a lack of knowledge about the trans experience, 10% have experienced invasive questions, 6% have encountered misgendering, and 4% have been reported by a match.

    Dating in an exclusively queer space still includes discrimination for trans folx

    When asked “What makes dating on HER feel unsafe?”, 57% of users responded that discrimination/transphobia is the number one issue. 30% listed the existence of opportunist scammers and 5% have encountered malicious reporting.

    The Way Forward

    For apps like HER to truly meet the needs of our trans users they suggested the following. To the question “What makes dating on HER feel safe?”, 64% reported that having respectful matches goes a long way. 21% stated that safe spaces are important and 21% listed community as something that makes them feel safe.

    When asked how we could make HER safer for trans folks, 31% of our users responded that more education about trans experiences would go a long way towards making the community safer. In addition, 29% listed better profile filtering, 17% wanted more ways to identify, 15% wanted better account verification, and 5% thought better safety protocols would help.

    A HER Commitment

    Our commitment to ensuring a safer community for all trans and gender non-conforming people does not end with this survey, this article, the commemoration of a week, or a day. And it is not just represented with a token celebration of individual trans achievements. Our commitment is to make real changes that will be felt by all our trans and gender non-conforming users.

    We’ve also kicked our TERF control into overdrive so that our users can report phobic profiles, posts, and messages. We are more explicit than ever that that behavior is not, and will never be, welcome on HER.

    And we are not done learning how to continue being better.

    Robyn Exton

    Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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