Discrimination. Isolation. Stigmatization. Violation of rights. These are just but a few challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community on a daily basis. Although there are ways technology has helped the LGBTQ+ community, here we look at the common challenges of dating online.
Although a lot is happening to ensure equal rights for this community in terms of education, social security, job opportunities, and health services, the campaign has been facing a fair share of opposition.
This dichotomy of gains and setbacks is also present in the online arena. The LGBTQ+ community has been using internet platforms to fight social isolation, lack of health services, equal opportunities for jobs, and any challenges they face due to being part of the minority group.
The LGBTQ+ community has used the internet tools to champion their rights, create safe virtue networks where they can mingle and exercise their basic rights and freedom, and access information to expand their knowledge as they mobilize for change.
Among the available tools on the internet arena, one has topped in changing the way people relate: dating apps. These applications aim to allow users to socialize, interact and meet new people online. Be it positively or negatively, the new technology, especially the smart world, has greatly impacted the way people establish romantic affairs.
Online dating apps have made it easier for cisgender people to mingle and date while making it difficult for the LGBTQ+ community to do the same.
Challenges of Dating Online for Transgender People
The first and the major challenge faced by the LGBTQ+ community is the platforms themselves. They are designed in a binary manner. Most of them lack the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identities for different gender groups to choose from.
The real name rule is also a challenge for this community because some cannot admit their gender or sexual orientation. The platform requires lots of private information from users, such as the age rank of a possible partner and where and when every online chat happens.
Of course, this can be challenging for the LGBTQ+ community who feels like they would prefer privacy. Some online dating apps for LGBTQ+ share HIV status from their users with third parties which is against the individual’s right to privacy.
Secondly, data confidentiality in online dating apps is relevant to persons residing in states where there are many preconceptions, and the government extremely oppresses the citizens. The use of these apps can easily put the user’s life in grave danger.
The frequent monitoring techniques, filtering mechanisms, content regulations, and death penalties for using LGBTQ content online are some of the challenges that accompany online access.
Another challenge for these dating apps, they might not be the most welcoming for the LGBTQ+ community, especially for transgender men and women. Or, another challenge is the use of derogatory terms in the apps themselves. This becomes an instant challenge for the community.
Transphobic experiences are yet another challenge faced by the LGBTQ+ community while dating online. They encounter derisive comments regarding their identities, and their accounts are blocked regarding the mismatched preferred name and legal name. The feeling of being discriminated against is a challenge to every human being because everyone needs to feel loved and cherished.
How Can You Reduce the Challenges that the LGBTQ+ Community Face When Dating Online?
It’s normal for human beings regardless of their gender identities or sexual orientation to want to love or be loved at a certain point in their lives. That being the case, there should never be any kind of discrimination for anyone seeking love, whether in person or online. Although much has been done to enable the LGBTQ+ community to lead a normal life, here’s can be done regarding online dating:
Anyone in an online dating platform, despite their sexual orientation, is looking for one thing: love. You should respect each other by not asking offensive questions. If you find out someone is a member of the LGBTQ+ community and there is no match, be respectful, continue searching instead of offending and wasting someone else’s time.
Create an All-Gender Accommodative Platform
Having a platform that encourages diversity in gender identities will work wonders in minimizing the challenges that the LGBTQ+ community faces in online dating apps. As we work hard for equality in social and political arenas, the same effort is needed to find love for our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ+ community.
Do not be Transphobic
Do not prejudice against the LGBTQ+ community. Being a trans person does not make someone less of a person; the difference between you is your sexual orientation. Again, instead of being transphobic, you can choose not to comment.
Do not Suspend or Block Their Accounts
The LGBTQ+ community has the right to love and be loved. Meaning they should search for love wherever they think they can find it. Gender is fluid; what you identify as today may change tomorrow. When someone’s identity changes, the change might reflect in their name. Therefore, online dating platforms should not terminate their accounts due to mismatched preferred names and national identity.