The woman claims that her profile was deleted shortly after she included in her bio that she was a "pre-op trans woman".
Samuel Leighton-Dore

15 Mar 2018 - 11:02 AM  UPDATED 15 Mar 2018 - 11:08 AM

A trans woman in the United States has filed a lawsuit against dating app Tinder, claiming it deleted her profile after she disclosed that she was a "pre-op trans woman".

Portland-based Ariel Hawkins claims that Tinder sent her an email saying she had violated its terms of service, refusing to explain the grounds for her ban.

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“Tinder is about everyone and everyone deserves to meet someone special.”

"I don’t think the company understands trans people and they don’t appreciate how we may represent ourselves," she told TMZ.

In the lawsuit, Hawkins is asking a local judge for an order prohibiting Tinder from discrimination against non-cisgender users in Oregon.

"I wanted to just find love like everybody else," Hawkins said in an interview with Willamette Week. "I'm just looking to date. I was trying to find a boyfriend."

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The CEO acknowledged that the app has failed to provide trans and gender non-conforming users with the same quality of experience as the app's cisgender users.

"I've never had this happen with another dating app before," she continued. "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."

The issues faced by trans users continue despite a concerted effort by Tinder to integrate multiple gender options and allow users to self-identify as trans. According to a statement on their website: “No one will ever be banned from Tinder because of their gender.”

Last year Tahlia René, a trans woman and Public Health Major from Texas, discovered that Tinder had removed her profile from the app. While Tinder claimed that Tahlia had been “violating our Terms of Service or Community Guidelines in some way,” she denied any wrongdoing, taking to Twitter to vent her frustration.

YouTuber Kat Blaque responded to René's tweets, saying that “every single account” she had created had been deleted by Tinder.

She said: “At this point, it’s very, very, very hard for me to not believe that I am either being targeted by transphobic trolls or being banned because I’m trans.”

Last year's trans-friendly Tinder update was developed alongside US  LGBTIQ+ organisation GLAAD.