Dating while trans, especially on traditional dating apps, can be a challenge. Trans women have sued Tinder for allegedly rejecting trans people from the app. This is, of course, not to mention the hateful vitriol many openly trans people experience.
But an app called Transdr is attempting to change things. Transdr launched this past April after new legislation forced sites like Craigslist to close their personals sections.
In the past, the app’s co-founder Sean Kennedy has defended the app’s use of offensive terms like ‘t*anny’ and ‘shem*le’. Still, Kennedy and his team are working hard to make sure their app is safe for trans and non-binary users.
The app now features a GPS tracking system to protect its users from scammers. They also feature a verification feature so there’s less of a chance of catfishing.
‘We were inspired to create TRANSDR since Tinder started banning transgender women and Craigslist removed its personals,’ Kennedy told GSN via email.
‘Furthermore, many cisgender people have a kind of fetish over transgender people, which we think might be good. We would call them as transgender admirers. Most of them are willing to start a serious relationship with transgender people. We can offer them a platform to have a date with trans people. Besides, many transgender people do not dare to publicly claim their identity for [fear] of transphobia, since they may get violated for their gender identity. We are committed to creating a transgender-centric dating platform that transgender people can date comfortably and safely.’
‘Transgender admirers’ or chasers?
According to Kennedy, about 70% of the app’s users describe themselves as ‘transgender admirers.’
‘That is to say, if one transgender woman joins us, there are at least 7 admirers for her to choose from,’ Kennedy said.
However, these ‘admirers,’ often called ‘chasers’ in the trans community, can also become abusive.
‘Unfortunately, a great many admirers demonstrate misogyny and transmisogyny,’ writes Christin Scarlett Milloy for Slate.
‘When these badly behaved admirers actively seek out trans partners and inflict their disrespectful nonsense on us, we call them “chasers.”‘
‘When a cis person is attracted to a trans person, that should never be viewed (in and of itself) as a fetish. Because that would cast any relationships between trans and cis people as shameful—just as same-sex relationships were called sick and perverted in decades past. But what about when cis people specifically seek out sex with trans bodies, in a way that serially objectifies us, and disrespectfully treats us as their kink?’
‘Trans people are not fetish objects, but chasers’ behavior is highly fetishistic. And while their attraction for trans people mustn’t be stigmatized, their bad behavior toward trans people absolutely should be. It’s harmful, it’s demeaning, and it needs to stop.’
Protecting trans users
‘We regularly remove users who discriminate against transgender people,’ Kennedy says of how Transdr protects its trans users. ‘To protect transgender people from discrimination to the greatest extent and create a community where all transgender people feel relaxed, comfortable and safe.’
Social media reactions
Still, users on social media seem skeptical of Transdr.
Jesus, Transdr is a travesty
— lil guillotine (@mitranaiyu) September 12, 2018
“transdr” aside, a thing I see as a problem with niche dating apps (and thurst does this too) is a lack of transparency before signing up.
— 🧚🏻♀️Kylie Jack🧚🏻♀️ (@ixKylie) May 4, 2018