Anyone who’s reading this and within a range to go likely already knows, but some folks I know up in Boston are putting together a Poly Speed Dating event. I’ll be there, I believe, and give it a shot. I suspect that “speed dating” as an event will work well for me, as the bits that I find tough about dating are the initial approach, the mutual indication of interest, and figuring out whether someone is available for the style of dating that I am, all of which is taken care of here.
I was talking to Aaron, one of the team members, about the difficulties around how to mark gender in this environment, and I see that he seems to have found what I think is a good system:
What is your definition of gender?
While we recognize that the issues surrounding dating and gender identity are complex, we are limited by what our programmers can work out. Thus we have five gender check boxes: man, trans man, woman, trans woman and genderqueer, and we ask people to check off as many as they want to describe their own identity. We understand that this may leave some people out. We would appreciate your suggestions as to how to make this aspect of PSD better for everyone.
It’s a difficult row to hoe, there, because there are people who will be very offended to be matched with someone who isn’t cisgendered (although hopefully few of them at this event), while at the same time it’s rather marginalizing to force someone to identify as a third-to-fifth gender due to the fact that they are trans. I think the former are being ridiculous, but I also believe that someone’s personal preferences should be respected; it’s also certainly possible to be a relatively enlightened being and still be squicked out by things even if you know that you “shouldn’t be”.
In any event, it sounds fun and interesting, as an event, and while I don’t particularly expect to end up with any dates (I’m super picky and inconvenient to the mostly-Camberville crowd I expect to show up), it should be good practice. On the off chance that you’re lurking but would like the chance to say hello, now you know where to find me.