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Queer teen awarded for creating app to help people explore their gender identity in safe environment

He was even praised by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple for his brilliant application.

Queer teen awarded for creating app to help people explore their gender identity in safe environment
Image Source: Youtube/NBS News

Queer people who question their gender identity go through a lot until they come to terms with it. Joshua Tint also had a similar experience in high school when he started to question his relationship with the gender he was assigned at birth. He told People Magazine, "It was a time of a lot of introspection, and a lot of people that I knew were starting to transition." One of the main reasons was that he doesn't identify "a lot with conventional masculinity."



 

The 19-year-old now is a sophomore at Arizona State University and ultimately came to the conclusion that he is cisgender, i.e. he identifies with the gender he was assigned at birth. However, while going through the process of questioning he discovered that it was very difficult to find resources "that describe the questioning experience." Motivated by this personal journey, Tint launched "Discover Me" last year, an app to assist individuals who are questioning their gender identity. Discover Me, like the dating app Tinder, allows users to try on multiple names and pronouns to see what fits by using "swipe right" and "swipe left" choices.



 

He said, "I wanted to try and create something that would allow you to interactively explore that in a safe and discreet but also very calming and low pressure way." The application available on the Apple app store has a pretty simple user experience. You can enter as many pronouns and names as you want in the application. Moreover, the app has three contexts, "Casual," "Academic" and "Professional" to allow you to test the names and pronouns in different settings. This can prove to be a powerful tool for people willing to see how certain pronouns and names make them feel without undergoing an actual social interaction. 



 

In the end, the application will give you a percentage ratio based on your choices, giving you a clear idea about what pronouns and names you would prefer. Tint was named a 2022 SWIFT Student Scholar by Apple in June for his work on the app. The distinction included a visit with Apple CEO Tim Cook, who demonstrated the app and provided valuable comments. Tint said of Cook, "He was very nice and obviously he's one of the most, if not the most, visible queer person in technology today." Cook was one of the first openly queer CEO of a major company. He added, "So having the validation from him that my app was useful is... I mean, there's not a better person on the planet to hear that from."

The queer teenager has been working to make his app better and it was launched on Apple's app store on November 5. The undergraduate student, who intends to pursue a master's and a doctorate in computer science, adds that understanding his gender "was very helpful." He did ultimately conclude that he is cis-gendered, however, he said, "I learned a lot more about myself and how I fit in terms of my self-expression." 

The "Discover Me" app is currently available on the iOS store for download. 

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