*Originally posted to our Meetup Page Feb. 14, 2016 and saved here to preserve the content*
About Gender with Polyam Speed Dating
It is very important to us that we promote inclusive events. There is a large spectrum of gender and sexual identities. There are complexities regarding how people date and relate across and among these lines. The Poly Speed Dating form therefore avoids asking for self-identification altogether!
Gender and Matching
There has been some debate as to whether cis and trans should have their own separate checkboxes, in addition to simply having man and woman. Based on feedback, we did decide to add a box for cis however upon contacting the Poly Speed Dating makers, it became clear that we were facing time limitations in implementing these changes. For that, we apologize and it is our intent to have these changes in place for future Poly Speed Dating events. Cis and trans folk are encouraged to check which ever boxes that feel most comfortable and true. Some examples are:
- Check off men and/or women only (Most people will choose this option)
- Check off trans men and/or trans women only
- Check off a mixture of the categories
- Anything else that they feel is appropriate
An important note of clarification is that some trans people will want to filter out anyone not accepting of their trans identity, and so enjoy having multiple categories. At the same time, other trans people may prefer to identify simply as men or women as they feel that they should not have to identify themselves as trans in any particular way. This is also fine and a reason for the multiple categories. To be clear: we have these boxes because many people have expressed a desire to have them. It is a tool to help people navigate speed dating in a way that feels comfortable, safe, and worthwhile.
It is important to state that this event is no different from any other event we have hosted and our Safer Space and Member Behaviour Guidelines will be in effect.
The Sign Up Form
With regards to gender, you have to answer two questions in two columns. The first column is a preference question on whom you are looking for. The second column is a minimal requirements question about whom your dates should be looking for.
The first column is pretty simple. Click off all the identities you’re interested in dating. One check means willing, two checks means preferred. That’s that! In general, checking off more categories in the first column gets a person more dates.
Stating Preferences (The Double Check-Box)
Each gender identity in the first column has two checkboxes. If you check off one of the checkboxes, it means that you are open to dating someone of that gender. If you check off both checkboxes, it means that you prefer to date someone in that category. The matching algorithm will score those matches higher and you will be more likely to get them. This can be used to set up situations with a preferred set of genders and an alternative set of genders.
The Next Step
The second column is where things get a little more confusing. This is what you want a potential match to be open to. Usually, what you want your dates to be looking for is… you!
For example, men will click the box that says their dates should be looking for men. It can be as simple as that. In general, checking off fewer categories in the second column gets a person more dates.
However, you can also require your dates to be open to additional genders as well. The system gauges whether others would be interested in you based on your preferences. When this works out both ways, we have a match.
We phrase this second question in a roundabout manner because we want to get away from questions of personal identity. We instead allow people to say what is important to them in terms of what their matches are open to.
The above can be summarized by the following two rules:
You can only be matched with people who are looking for all the things that you check off in the second column
You will never be matched with people who have checked off a category in the second column that you are not looking for.
One final note:
Don’t say you are open to something unless you actually are!
It is not fun for people to go on dates with people clearly not interested in them.
This is no intersex gender category. Intersex folks may identify as one or multiple genders, and we hope the form accurately covers these multiple gender choices. We feel that the important thing to focus on for Poly Speed Dating purposes is what gender identities people are open to, which is why we have not made intersex a category choice.
Q: What happens if I check off lots of boxes for the first question?
A: The more categories you check off, the more types of people you meet. Even if you check off all rows, most of your dates will only fit one or two categories.
Q: Why doesn’t the second column just say “check off what you are”?
A: It used to, and that is still what most people do. This wording is an expansion of that: you may want dates who are multi-gender-friendly whether or not you identify that way.