No fats, no fems, no Asians.

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. 

No pecs? No sex.

Let’s be honest, being gay is a ball-ache. No really it is, some guy was sucking too hard on my balls the other day and now they’re a bit sore. 

I’m Kidding. But jokes aside, being gay is a ball-ache hard.

Pressure to look good is forever growing and I’ve never felt more suffocated by gay society to make sure I’m dressing well, my edges are constantly trimmed and my body is looking shredded as fuuuccckkkkkk.

I’ll admit my Saturday routine has been the same for the past 6 years: gym, haircut, shopping to find a new outfit, shave, tan…as I’d probably be going out that evening. IT IS FUCKING HARD, and I hate doing it; but why? Because if I don’t I feel less adequate and if I don’t do just one of the things in my pre-party list, I will bail on my social plans. It’s fucked but this is cold hard anxiety at it’s finest. Sound familiar?

Heck, it’s no wonder why research has found that attempted suicide rates amongst the LGBT community is significantly higher amongst the general population. Whilst there are a number of factors that contribute to this, including homophobic attitudes, gay men are finding it hard to fit into society and it breaks my heart real this shit is. Men all over are lost.

One thing I want to highlight however is the one thing I think bothers gay men the most; the quest to get that perfect body

Gay gym culture has become one of the most influential cogs that make up the modern gay identity, and it’s affecting us all around. It’s also become one of the biggest contributing factors of gay anxiety, which is now a thing and it’s no wonder that many of us, very much including myself, is suffering with mental health issues, driven by the feeling of inadequacy if we do not live up to the pin-up, ab-tastic, boy-ish looking, male form of ‘perfection’ that is being shoved down our throats on a daily basis. 

Whilst we think society has supercharged forward with a much wider acceptance of homosexuality, I believe that in fact the characteristics of this so called ‘Gay Gym Culture‘ almost resonates the behaviours of primal human beings in the early ages – it’s survival of the fittest all over again. 

Do you know how many times I’ve walked into the gym and encountered some little shit bag with his face stuck in the screw position eyeing me up and down, or seen guys practically murdering each other with just a look? Pretty much every day, and it’s not because gays are bitches, well it is, but it’s because the only way they can feel good about themselves is by making others feel inferior. Girl, trust me I know, I did that. Everyone just needs to relax.

Guys are so infatuated with having what is deemed a good body. Great pecs, chiselled abs, pumped arms…I’ve been there I know exactly what it means. I’ve even read profiles on Grindr that specifically ask for ‘Muscular only’. WTF LOL. But all these little different things around me; horrible boys, magazines, societal pressures of the modern man, dating, treating other people like shit, it all lead me to a dark place.

You know, I’ve always been interested in fitness, I was a fat kid and I eventually knew I had to do something about it. I discovered the gym, started playing tennis, got into swimming again and I loved the buzz of running. All of a sudden the gym was like a sweet shop, and I felt like a fat kid in it, except I was quite fit. But as I started to discover my gay identity and date guys/rejected by guys, I started to turn my passion into an obsession, for the wrong reasons. I started to do more cardio, I would spend hours researching about ways to get lean and ripped, in fact I would not do work because I had to do my research and I also started to become meticulous with my food – measuring my broccoli, kind of shit.

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I would sometimes pull out of dinners with friends or starve myself because I felt guilty about eating and if I ate, I would not be in shape. Seriously fucked up, but orthorexia became my best friend and my worst enemy. At one point I lost so much weight and I hit a breaking point where I couldn’t do it anymore, I became depressed, at a point where I didn’t recognise I was depressed and I went the complete opposite way, I gained a shit load of weight and I was back to feeling unattractive again. I did this yoyo for a few years till I eventually started to talk about it with friends and family and they told me I was obsessed. At first I didn’t get it but I started to eventually recognise the symptoms of my sickness.

Online dating didn’t help me one bit either, Grindr is a bitch and it’s a shame that it’s so instinctively part of our generation now. When the fuck did it become acceptable to body shame people and discriminate those who don’t necessarily fit the subject form of ‘muscular’ and/or ‘in-shape’? Oh here is where I get passionate…who thinks it’s acceptable to be publicly narcissistic and to not reply to a guy who has tried to speak to you if he doesn’t quite fit YOUR bill. Would you upfront blank someone that tried to speak to your face? No you wouldn’t, so let’s start treating people with the same amount of respect as you would do if they were not ‘2KMs away’. That person you just ghosted, still has the same sentiment offline, remember that.

Remember it’s a false reality and I can guarantee that if you attempted to have an intellectual conversation with a man that turns his nose up at anything less than a 6 pack, you would most likely fail. There is so much more to life that just great abs and whilst on the surface it might seem great to look at it, it most certainly won’t last. Looks fade, as they say…

Some of you may love me for this but I have to give credit to the shows like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and DISCLAIMER whilst I’m not particular an avid viewer of the show, it’s helped gay men be more comfortable in their own skin and made the point that beauty can be expressed in so many other ways. 

The point here is aesthetic is great and if you’re going to strive to be something, particularly in the gym, do it because it makes YOU happy and not because it’s what others “expect”. I’ve refocused my efforts into getting stronger with the weights and faster with my running – it’s truly changed my mentality. As for food I eat healthy with everything in moderation and if I want the damn donut, I’ll eat it, no guilt spared. AND I’m never going to allow someone to motivate me into looking good because they make me feel like shit, and you shouldn’t either. 

Exercising your mind is the most important thing you can do.

Oh and give up seeking validation on Instagram as well, but I’ll come on that in my next post. 

P.s. if you do CrossFit, great do it, just shut the fuck up and be humble about it. Cheers.