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Petitioning OkCupid Press and PR Office OKCupid

Ensure that all OkCupid users are able to comfortably identify their gender and sexual orientation!

Over a long period of time as an OkCupid user, I have had a number of unsavory experiences regarding OkCupid's very clear support/reinforcement of the gender binary, as well as the exclusion of the queer and transgender community, which happens to be a substantial portion of the OkCupid community. Not only is it totally uncool that OkCupid, a site that seems to market itself as forward-thinking, on-the-cusp, on-trend, and socially aware, as well as has a very clear large population of queer and transgender users would overlook the identities of its very own supporters, but it is also really, really not okay for OkCupid to flat-out tell its users through an automated response that the question "Do you wear lipstick?" is a) not an appropriate question to ask any individual, male or female, gay or straight, and b) asserting that not only is it not appropriate, but also BAD. I received that response when I went to write my own question pertaining to my gender identity and sexual orientation (as there is not adequate means on the OkCupid site to self-identify more specifically within the LGBTQ umbrella aside from just "gay," "bisexual," or "straight." Those terms are very limiting and inadequate.). When I went to write a question, I was asked to take a "Question Quiz," whose goal seemed to be to teach users what kinds of questions are acceptable questions and what kinds of questions are not.

Here is my attempt to answer the first question in this quiz:
http://rhysharper.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/question-quiz-OMIG-D.jpg

OkCupid, I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I have read a number of users' profiles that have stated that you have not provided adequate means to self-identify on your site. You are excluding the very individuals who have long supported your site and helped it to grow into the most prominent, popular dating and social networking/meeting-people site on the Internet.

Please acknowledge the feelings of your constituency and respect the large number of individuals who support and use your site by providing adequate means for self-identification. I am bewildered that out of ALL the times that you have redesigned the site since I have been a user – and there have been MANY of those times – that you have continually decided to not make your users' feelings and core identities a priority. It truly does not make any sense to me. I have even asked one of your staff members (at least once) who was also a user, and also a member of the LGBT community in some way (how, I do not know, because you have not provided a way for people to self-identify adequately), and was told that it would be too difficult from a technical standpoint. To that, I say: a) you have redesigned the site many times, it should have been included in updates, b) I work in communications/media/design and it is not that difficult to add some options to your database, and c) it really is that important – you should spend the time doing it. Why? Because I personally have had ZERO success finding a romantic match on your site, and almost never receive any replies, and am not able to find any ladies that seem to be a good match for me in the right part of the country, because I truly find it difficult to find ladies that would match up well with me, and whose identities align with mine in a compatible manner.

I am asking OkCupid to take action on the following items:

1. Retract the answer pictured in the link above for the question quiz, and any others like it that make assumptions about and reinforce the gender binary and gender stereotypes.

2. Provide adequate means for individuals who fall outside of the gender binary to comfortably identify their gender

3. Provide adequate means for all individuals to identify their sexual orientation – sexual orientation is a more of a spectrum, and there are more sexual orientations than straight, gay, and bisexual.

OkCupid may think that these items are small, however, I am confident that they are a hindrance to many individuals who are struggling to find success using the OkCupid site – I know I am one of those individuals.

I have heard so many people complain about this... please – let's come together and tell OkCupid TOGETHER, with ONE voice, that they need to take action and show respect to the many individuals who have supported the OkCupid site and made it the popular site it is today.

Let's take a stand together. Please sign this petition and pass it on! If you have any additional requests, please state them in the "Reasons" section when you sign the petition.

Thank you all for coming together and making something happen. Let's do this thing.

-Rhys Harper
www.knnyc.com

This petition was delivered to:
  • OkCupid Press and PR Office
    OKCupid

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