Tinder just launched a new feature to keep LGBTQ travelers safe — and here’s how it works

It may be 2019, but there are still dozens of countries with anti-LGBTQ laws in place. To provide users with all the information they need to stay safe, Tinder's new Traveler Alerts will notify LGBTQ users when they are in a region with discriminatory laws. The security feature, which protects users from attacks based on sexual orientation or gender identity, will soon be available on the app for iOS and Android users.

According to a press release from Tinder, data collected by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) helped make the feature possible. ILGA World is a "global alliance of 1,592 member organizations from 155 countries fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people," according to its website. Specifically, it provided Tinder with information on when and where to deploy this alert, based on data from the latest state-sponsored homophobia report.

The press release explains that the alert will appear when a user opens the app if they are in a country “that criminalizes LGBTQ people, or if they are using Tinder’s Passport feature to connect and match with people around the world ." The app will also ensure that any user who identifies as LGBTQ can decide whether to hide or make their profile public as long as they are in the country.


Even if a user does wish to make their profile public in order to connect with others, the app will keep information about their sexual orientation or gender identity private until they leave the danger zone. "Once users leave the country or change location, they will be visible on the app again," the press release explains.

Tinder Traveler Alerts will appear to LGBTQ users in the form of a message that takes up the entire phone screen and reads in part: "Based on your location, it appears that you are in a place where the LGBTQ community may be penalized. We want you to have fun Have fun, but your safety is our number one priority." Users can then choose to remain private on Tinder or make their profile accessible.

In a statement in a Tinder press release, Tinder CEO Eli Seidman explained the reasoning behind this new initiative aimed at keeping LGBTQ users safe while traveling. Seidman wrote,

We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love who they want to love - and we strive to reflect this in everything we do at Tinder. It’s hard to imagine that in 2019, there are still national laws depriving people of this basic right. We serve all communities – regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation – and we're proud to offer features that help keep them safe. This alert is one example of the many steps we are taking to protect our users around the world.

ILGA World Executive Director André du Plessis also issued a statement in the press release, writing:

We hope this development will raise awareness for all Tinder users and help protect people of all sexual orientations in the 69 countries around the world that currently criminalize same-sex love... We work to change practices, laws and attitudes to bring LGBTQ people closer putting our communities at risk – including using dating apps to target our communities – but at the same time, the safety of our communities also depends on the digital safety that supports them.

If you'd like to take advantage of Tinder's new initiative to keep LGBTQ travelers safe, you may consider supporting ILGA World directly. By donating to their organization, you will help support international efforts to protect LGBTQ rights and status in every country. You can also tell all your Tinder-loving friends about this new Traveler Alert program so they know this resource is available when they travel.