Weblog Takes an Inclusive Step

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Some years ago, I was shocked to discover that JDate, the popular online “Jewish Singles Network,” did not have a search option for men seeking men or women seeking women. If you identified yourself as a woman, it automatically searched for a tall, dark and handsome man, when what you really wanted was a cute, smart woman. Beyond the absence of a gay or lesbian search option, this presumption of heterosexuality implied the absence of LGBT Jews. Watching the computer fill in a man when I wanted a woman, I felt the way I always feel when well-meaning strangers ask if I have a boyfriend. JDate’s presumption about my interests subtly, but powerfully, disregarded my very existence. What a virtual slap in the face! I immediately shot off an email to the organization in protest, but received nothing in response.

I like to imagine that my protest (along with many others, no doubt) planted a seed that grew into the recent JDate makeover, which permits a “man seeking man” or a “woman seeking woman” search as reported by the New York Times earlier this week in a piece called “A Dating Service Gives a Nod to Jewish Gays.” While the search engine is not as inclusive as it could be (for example, it still maintains binary gender options), it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Correcting the heterosexual bias of JDate is just a step toward correcting the same bias in the Jewish community at large, but it is an important step. I hope the change in JDate is a sign of changes to come. How about more rabbis officiating at gay weddings?


  1. One small step for man seeking man, one giant leap for human kind.

    Comment by David Harris-Gershon — January 17, 2006 @ 10:52 am

  2. I say ‘mazel tov’ to for joining the rest of the civilized, non-bigoted world (was that too harsh?). I’m glad Ms. Seltzer was so much more eloquent than myself. Seriously, what a wonderful realization for JDate to make and what a wonderful gift to those of us looking for that nice, Jewish girl…

    Comment by Helena Miller — January 18, 2006 @ 1:45 am

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    Comment by wso kindle — March 4, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

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