eharmony has announced a significant update to its dating app to better serve LGBTQ daters.
Beginning today, eharmony members will be able to choose from an expanded list of genders to authentically share who they are on the platform. This update stems from eharmony’s ongoing commitment to providing a platform that is safe, inclusive and welcoming for all of its members, and its mission to help all members find real love.
As LGBTQ identification rises–especially among Gen Z, it’s essential for platforms to consider and implement efforts of inclusion to serve all users. Transgender people, in particular, face specific issues on dating apps so eharmony’s addition of greater ways for users to share information about their gender will allow for people to connect more authentically and address issues of self-expression and safety.
GLAAD consulted with eharmony on how to better serve the LGBTQ community by helping identify ways for people to express themselves more authentically on the platform and better match with people they’re looking to date and connect with. GLAAD also worked with the company on information and resources to help educate eharmony staff as well as leadership on LGBTQ issues to further supplement these platform updates.
During the registration process, members will be asked which gender best describes them to best match them. When filling out personal information, members are given the opportunity to add more detail about their gender. Members also have the ability to suggest more genders, which eharmony will review on an ongoing basis. eharmony members can also choose whether they would like to display their gender on their profile. Members will be able to indicate whether they are seeking men, women, nonbinary people, or any combination of these. This information can be updated at any time.
“eharmony came to us with a recognition that their product needed updating to better accommodate and serve LGBTQ people seeking to connect on their platform. What we’ve appreciated about this partnership is eharmony’s willingness to proceed intentionally and thoughtfully with a commitment to LGBTQ inclusion and competency across their company, including participating in all-staff and department-specific trainings,” said Alex Schmider, Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD. “We hope eharmony is an example for other companies in demonstrating how doing the work internally helps translate to external success, especially in collaboration with communities.”
“It’s our mission at eharmony to create an opportunity for everyone to find real love. We strive to offer a product experience that best reflects our mission and values as a company today,” said Gareth Mandel, Chief Operating Officer at eharmony. “One of our core tenets is a commitment to learning, evolving and adapting to best help as many people as we can find meaningful relationships. It’s what’s allowed us to support millions of people in finding real, genuine connections over the past 20+ years. We believe the changes we’ve made to our platform allow us to better achieve that mission while acknowledging that the work to build a diverse and inclusive environment is continuous. We are committed to this ongoing journey and know it requires constant work and reflection.”
“The guidance, education and support we’ve received from GLAAD have been instrumental in bringing these important changes to fruition,” said Kristen Berry, VP of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at eharmony. “We’ve collaborated closely with GLAAD every step of the way, from brainstorming initial concepts to refining a solution that’s inclusive for today’s daters, while embracing the expansive and evolving diversity of gender. Today’s announcement is the latest of several steps we’ve taken in the last few years to become more of the company we want to be. And we’re committed to continuously learning and adapting to provide a platform that’s safe, inclusive and welcoming to everyone looking for real love.”
“The work eharmony accomplished with this LGBTQ inclusive platform update is an incredible example of what brands can achieve when choosing to responsibly serve their users and consumers,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “American consumers are increasingly looking for brands that support and include LGBTQ people. Companies across industries should follow eharmony’s lead and speak to LGBTQ consumers to understand their needs, engage with LGBTQ experts to support product updates, and be loud and proud about including LGBTQ people.”
Supporting LGBTQ people is not only good, it’s good for business and tracks with popular public sentiment: GLAAD research finds that 7 in 10 non-LGBTQ people believe companies should publicly support the LGBTQ community and Americans are more likely to buy or use brands that support LGBTQ equality (Edelman Trust Barometer Special Reports: Business and LGBTQ+ Rights in the U.S., 2022).
eharmony has taken several steps over the last few years to become a safer, more inclusive and more welcoming platform for all its members, including the LGBTQ community. With the expansion of gender options announced today, eharmony is demonstrating an ongoing commitment to improving their platform in unison with their users and community feedback.