OkCupid Launches 'Identity' Project To Encourage Discussion Of Gender And Sexual Orientation

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OkCupid has built a strong reputation for taking a more progressive approach to online dating. Back in 2014, the company began offering users more options for self-identification. Gender was expanded to include agender, androgynous, genderfluid, intersex, and more. Choices for sexual orientation were also extended, including asexual, pansexual, queer, and questioning.

Now OkCupid is continuing its efforts for more inclusive representation. The company recently launched a new project called 'Identity' to encourage conversation about sexual orientation and gender identity.

“When OkCupid expanded the available gender and orientation options,” reads the Identity website, “we realized there was a larger conversation taking place. Because dictionary definitions aren’t always able to tell a story, we went to real people to add some color to this evolving language. Here are descriptions from those who claim these words for themselves.”

Anyone, whether an OkCupid user or not, is invited to contribute to the Identity project by filling out a simple questionnaire. Questions cover preferred pronouns, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The website is a place to share stories as well as a one-stop resource for definitions of varies gender identities and sexual orientations.

“I am agender because I do not identify as being any specific gender. I am not an 'it' and I am not 'broken,' just neutral in the gender game!” writes one contributor.

“Pansexual allows me to express my attraction to someone regardless of gender using explicitly inclusive language,” writes another.

In a world where words evolve as quickly as the people who use them, and conversations about identity are increasingly public, the Identity project hopes to be a timely source of discussion and support.

“It’s a welcoming place for everyone to learn about the myriad options that exist beyond the binary,” said OkCupid’s director of marketing, Lauren O’Reilly, in a statement emailed to The Advocate. “Our aim is to gather these terms in one central place and extend beyond definitions to discover what these words and identifiers mean to the people who connect with them.”

Currently, definitions of 22 gender identities and 13 orientations are available on the site. If you'd like to add your perspective, share what terms of identification mean to you, and help shed light on the complexities of identity, start here.