Dating while genderqueer
The other Mesh founders, who are straight men, agreed. As soon as I explained to them why it was important, they got it,” Sleidi said.
Mesh, which is in pre-beta, allows users to identify as male, female, transman, transwoman, or non-binary—a person who doesn't identify as male or female.
But not every transgender person wants to be this open.
For those who don’t disclose their trans identity online, safety and rejection are big concerns.
Winter La Mon is a 28-year-old transgender man who lives in New York City.
This means photos are far and away the most important part of a dating profile, and Snyder complained that cuteness isn’t necessarily “an indicator of compatibility.” Sleidi appreciated Snyder’s critique and she signed on to help him create a new dating website called Mesh.Categories for sexual orientation are straight, gay, bisexual, or queer.Users can also tell Mesh if they are interested in meeting men, women, or everyone.In both profiles he makes it clear that he is “a trans guy” and that people should “only message me if you’re cool with that.” Part of the need for this complicated negotiation is that OKCupid doesn’t allow users to identify as “transgender”—just “male” or “female.” The site has been in the news this week after cofounder Christian Rudder announced that developers secretly changed some people's compatibility ratings and removed profile photos to learn more about behavior on the site.While some have criticized OKCupid for showing people false or manipulated content as an experiment, the site's failure to accommodate transgender users may be a larger and more long-standing ethical dilemma.
Like OKCupid, Mesh has an algorithm that helps determine compatibility. If you specify characteristics or preferences you don’t want potential dates to have (Republican, vegan, straight), Mesh will block those people from seeing your profile.