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A year after first introducing the Orientation feature, which allows members to identify and prioritise their sexual orientation, Tinder is now expanding the feature globally.

Created in partnership with the US-based non-profit organisation GLAAD, the Orientation feature allows members to identify with up to three of nine orientations – straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, queer and questioning.  To date, almost one in five matches in the markets the feature is available are “Queer”.   

A diverse community

Always on the forefront of inclusivity, Gen Z members (ages 18-25) were 20% more likely than Millennials and Gen X members to use the orientation feature and 37% more likely to choose more than one orientation. Perhaps most interestingly, identifying as “questioning & straight” is a rising orientation selection among this younger set World, take note.

In addition to Orientation, Tinder will also expand its More Genders features globally* in the coming months. First introduced in 2016 and developed in partnership with GLAAD and other LGBTQ+ organizations, the More Genders feature allows members to identify from more than 30+ genders. Keeping in line with their pioneering nature, members 18-25 are more likely to use the feature compared to Millennials and Gen X members.

“At Tinder, we believe everyone deserves to feel seen, which starts with the ability to authentically be yourself. That’s why we introduced both the Orientation and More Genders features,” said Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder. “Our younger members, Gen Z, are leading the way to a more inclusive world and we know that with our scale, we can help make a difference with our product. We can’t wait to release these features to more people around the world.”   

They look happy.

The expansion of these features follow the global roll out of Traveler Alert in 2019, a feature designed to protect and inform members of the LGBTQ community from the inherent risk of using dating apps in the nearly 70 countries that still have discriminatory laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ status. 

Gen Z: trailblazers of diversity and acceptance

To mark the one year anniversary of Orientation, Tinder has developed a report focused on Gen Z attitudes towards gender and sexuaity. The report, a first-of-its-kind for Tinder,  reveals that the UK’s Gen Z is leading the charge in 2020 in more ways than one, including sexual diversity and gender fluidity, but more needs to be done to increase tolerance and acceptance.

Values have evolved  – Gone are the days when humour and good looks were the main criteria for picking a partner. Instead today’s pioneering Gen Z have renewed priorities and values, with a fresh outlook on what they look for in a partner or relationship in 2020. Gen Z are looking for authenticity over everything else, with nearly half (48%) ranking this over someone funny (18%) or polite (4%). And it’s not just character trait preference that has evolved, but sexual preference too, with 1 in 3 (35%)  18-25 year olds responding that they are more open to dating different genders than they were 3 years ago, with one fifth (20%) saying they would enter into a relationship such as polyamory. This is radically different from the way in which their parents dated according to two fifths (42%) of non cisgender respondents.

Three is a magic number.

Digital life = real life – Gen Z have grown up in an era where technology is embedded in  everyday life with research showing that online is where Gen Z feel the most comfortable – in fact the majority (61%) say they still have difficulty being themselves openly, with just 1 in 10 (13%) coming out to family and friends IRL. Despite having a refreshing outlook on sexuality, it is the internet which offers Gen Z a critical opportunity to be their most authentic self,  preferring to disclose information about their sexuality, gender fluidity or other online, but not IRL. In fact, of 18-25 year olds who identify as gender fluid, 41% have disclosed this information online, but not IRL, whilst a huge 78% from the transgender community have been open about their sexuality online, instead of IRL. The majority of 18-25 year olds welcome the opportunity that the internet offers, with 71% saying that online forums and platforms have helped them get to know other people, and almost three quarters use dating apps to help know themselves and others better. 

Acceptance is strong, but there is more work to be done – Compared with previous generations, 86% of Gen Z believe that their generation is more tolerant than their parents, with 79% believing that tolerance should be a fundamental value in today’s society. But tolerance isn’t enough according to this young set, acceptance is key and whilst two thirds (62%) believe acceptance, when it comes to sexuality is better than before, there is still more work to be done. A key starting block to build acceptance is education, with 43% of 18-25 year olds saying they would like better education and guidance when it comes to understanding sexuality. This comes after a quarter (27%) said, in place of school education, they used TV and movies to educate themselves about gender, sexuality and fluidity and a further quarter (28%) saying they look to social and influencers for guidance. However, Gen Z are very aware of socio-economic factors which might inhibit acceptance, with two thirds (61%) believing that if you are in a position of privilege and access to a good level of education, then you have a high level of acceptance. 

Local support

Committed to bettering the lives of the LGBTQ+ community, Tinder have announced that they are principal supporters for Stonewall’s ‘Show Your Pride’ campaign. As part of their support, Tinder will be sharing the campaign in-app through NDC cards and social media. 

Jeff Ingold, Head of Media, Stonewall said: ‘We’re delighted to have Tinder’s support for this year’s ‘Show Your Pride’ campaign. Pride is about coming together in celebration, unity and solidarity, and that spirit is still very much needed. The Black Lives Matter movement in the US and around the globe is a powerful reminder that Pride was and continues to be a protest for equality for all of us who continue to be oppressed.

‘By working with Tinder and through their Orientation feature, we hope more LGBTQ+ people will feel able to be their true and authentic selves. We both want to see a change that means LGBT people from all walks of life are accepted without exception.’

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Fifi Goldberg

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