The co-founder of a dating app for trans people has defended its use of ‘cis passing’ models and the terms ‘shemale’ and ‘tranny’ in the app’s title.
Transdr launched on 24 March after Craigslist shutdown its personals site. The website closed the popular personals page after the US Senate passed the ‘FOSTA’ bill. FOSTA now allows victims of sex trafficking to sue the websites that facilitated their abuse.
After three months of development Sean Kennedy and his team launched Transdr, which is a ‘Tinder-like app for trans people’.
Kennedy said they decided to created Transdr because trans people still faced discrimination on other apps like Tinder.
‘Life has been so hard for trans people because they have to overcome the social stigma
of being transgender,’ he said.
‘When it comes to dating, it’s even harder for them. They need a comfortable place to meet and date
with other trans people without judgement.’
Since its launch last month, Transdr has already grown to more than 6,200 users.
The app is only available for iOS devices and on the app downloading page the title of the app is ‘TS Dating for Shemale’. The subheading of the title also features the word ‘tranny’.
Kennedy defended the use of the outdated and offensive terms saying they were only included for ‘search ranking purpose’.
‘There are a good number of searches for “tranny” and “shemale” according to the statistics on Apple’s official tool,’ Kennedy told Gay Star News.
‘So we used them in the title. However, we will consider removing them later.’
Kennedy also explained that the ‘cis passing’ models used in promotional shots were chosen deliberately.
‘Cis passing’ is a term that refers to trans or non-binary people who can present as their true gender without someone realizing they might be trans. It is a controversial topic in the community with many people arguing that ‘passing’ as cis gendered is not a priority.
‘Yes. They (the models) were chosen by our trans teammate,’ Kennedy said.
Regardless of the controversial options the Canadian based team hopes their app can help trans people find love.
‘We really hope our app can help trans people to meet in a comfortable place. As you know, the closure of Craigslist personals section and Backpage has forced trans people on them to find a new place,’ Kennedy said.