A Portland transgender woman is suing Tinder for deleting her dating app profile after she added details about her legal sex work and transgender identity to her profile's bio.
Ariel Hawkins says hours after she added the phrase "camgirl on the side. preop trans woman" to her profile, Tinder notified her through email that her account violated the app's terms of service and her account had been deleted.
"I wanted to just find love like everybody else," Hawkins says. "I'm just looking to date. I was trying to find a boyfriend."
The company didn't respond to Hawkins' questions about why her account violated the app's rules. She says all of her photos were appropriate and she didn't link to any content that would be considered "not safe for work."
"I've never had this happen with another dating app before," she says. "Every dating app I've ever used or signed up for, I've always tried to disclose [my transgender identity] and be upfront with that because I don't want to run into any harmful situations."
Hawkins says it's easier for her to date if potential romantic partners are aware of her identity from the start.
"I wanted to be transparent and straightforward," she says.
Other transgender women have alleged on social media that Tinder deleted their profiles without explanation.
Hawkins' lawsuit, filed this morning in Multnomah County Circuit Court, asks for a court order "prohibiting Tinder to continue discriminating against non-cisgender Oregon users."
UPDATE, March 14, 4:07 p.m.: Tinder responded to WW's questions about Hawkins' deleted account on March 14.
"While we do not comment on pending litigation, we can say, categorically, that we do not ban users from Tinder due to gender identity," a Tinder spokesman said in a statement. "At Tinder, we fundamentally believe that gender is not binary and we support inclusivity and acceptance of all people, which is why we offer more than 37 gender identity options for our users in the United States."