I’ve finally reached my peak, I’m done. I logged on to Grindr yesterday to message someone only to get a simple 3 word response “shut up Indian”.
Is this the world I now live in? I’ve never really experienced racism in person and I thought society was becoming more progressive but it seems as I was wrong, as we increase our usage of dating apps our level of respect for each other seems to go the opposite way. That fact that someone had to tell me they weren’t interested by also highlighting my ethnicity is quite something, hey.
Fact; men would never treat nor say half the things they say to each other on Grindr, in reality, so why is it acceptable to do so behind your screen? I’ll answer that for you, it’s not, in fact it’s disgusting, and if anyone has ever publicly displayed a racial hang up towards another person should be ashamed of themselves.
No wonder men of ethnic minority backgrounds choose to not disclose their ethnicity of will hide their face, in fear they will get filtered out or not even acknowledged.
Look at it this way, the majority of men from ethnic minorities look for solace on apps like Grindr because they may have difficulty being accepted amongst their family or friends, and yet they’ve now come on to the app being subjected to racial abuse. whether it’s directly intentional or not and apparently people think that’s okay. To constantly see tag lines like “no asians”, “no blacks”, or “white’s only” can wreck havoc with someone’s self esteem, and you wonder why the majority of us gay men are experiencing mental health issues.
I’ve had it extremely lucky, I have a blessed family who accept me for being a gay man, even though I wouldn’t know how they would react when I eventually get married and what not but as a muslim man trying to be gay, I should be able to find comfort amongst my peers on Grindr and I can imagine that really isn’t the case.
We don’t go around our lives with “no blacks” on our foreheads so why has it now become acceptable to do this behind the comfort of your smartphone?
Whilst Grindr is somewhat addictive, and I’m guilty of some mistakes on there too, it’s become a place of validation and when I don’t get it, it gives me sheer disappointment and anxiety. I know I’m not alone on this one.
So I guess with this ever growing issue, even Grindr knew it was faced with an issue, tried with the #KindrGrindr campaign, but what a load of shit. Are you seriously telling me that a hashtag, a marketing campaign and a statement about taking racism seriously on the platform, is going to make a difference. If anything, the lack of enforcement has encouraged this behaviour to increase and normalise prejudice against each other. Gross.
I touched on this in my last post but this doesn’t just apply to race of course, let’s not forget that yes white people also face prejudice too. “No fats”, “muscular guys only” and “XL for XL” is giving guys of all shapes and sizes a fucking complex – when does anyone feel good enough?
I can’t even begin to empathise with guys who are living with HIV. It’s probably as big of an issue, maybe more than racism, and it’s tragic how people still hold a stigma against HIV positive men. It’s not everyday you’ll see “Neg only”, however I’ve seen and heard of multiple instances where someone has found out that the person they are speaking to has HIV and they’ve instantly ignored or block them.
And that’s another thing, people’s ignorance; what is wrong with a simple, “sorry I’m not interested”, instead guys will just ignore you with no remorse, leaving the other party feeling like utter shit.
Grindr isn’t the only app that is totally savage; Tinder et al isn’t exactly innocent either but at least it doesn’t facilitate the same kind of blatant attitude that is allowed on Grindr. Grindr needs to keep it’s word and attempt to eliminate all opportunities to allow discriminatory behaviour and everyone needs to be hold themselves and each other accountable.
If we were actually a little kinder to each other and maybe more sensitive about how we display our ‘preferences’ then maybe the world might actually be a happier place with guys feeling less anxious about having to be the perfect man.