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Winter La Mon is a 28-year-old transgender man who lives in New York City.He joined the online dating site OKCupid six years ago, about three years before he transitioned.He dates men and women, both transgender and cisgender (a term for people who aren't trans).After La Mon transitioned from female to male, he didn’t change his gender to “male” on his OKCupid profile; instead, he started a second profile where he identified as “male.” He kept the female profile active because he thinks that some women who typically date other women might also be interested in dating transgender men.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.

Last year, Yeni Sleidi met a software developer named Asher Snyder who was fed up with what he calls the “Tinderification” of online dating.On Tinder, users swipe right on photos of people they think are attractive and left on those they don’t like.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.Sleidi said that she is "very gay," and some of her transgender friends are uncomfortable using OKCupid.From the beginning, she knew it was important to allow people to identify as queer and transgender in their profiles.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.

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