- Can Gay Dating Apps Replace Gay Bars? Opinions Vary
- gay dating apps
- Gay Dating Apps - VICE
- Are Gay Dating Apps Doing Enough to Respond to User Discrimination?
When you "meet" someone on an app, they're reduced to a narrow band of information—a few photos, their "stats" age, height, weight, ethnicity, relationship status, sexual preferences, etc. It's no surprise that gay dudes often complain that apps are too sexually-focused—which makes sense. While some definitely use apps just to find friendship and establish ties to the queer community, when platforms reduce users to pictures and physical characteristics, it's natural that people will treat those platforms like a meat market.
Can Gay Dating Apps Replace Gay Bars? Opinions Vary
And while gay bars have been said to feel like meat markets themselves the comparison is sometimes uncanny , gathering queers in a physical space fosters unexpected encounters, where people can't be filtered out by their stats. Plus, gay bars provide a place for the queer community to raise awareness of issues that might affect it, or to hold fundraisers and events for its causes and organizations. For some, the decline of the gay bar isn't necessarily a bad thing, as it provides new opportunities for connection in more diverse settings.
It's a sign of acceptance. I'm drawn to mixed venues, where revelers have access to a safe space and the prospects of an evening out hold more surprise. Jay says that gay dating apps have been central to his sexual life since he first came out of the closet.
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I took to online dating as a way of learning a little more about people before I would meet them. I came to learn that expectations were counterproductive, and began to accept these apps for what they were—a meeting space where anything is possible. But for some gay men, apps haven't proven to the best place to build meaningful social networks or make friends. Mark Asbury, a year-old American PhD student who moved to Australia on a student visa without any queer friends in , says he's found it easier to kindle friendships on sites like Meetup , which can connect users with local LGBTQ groups.
But he has established a group of gay friends through groups dedicated to queer meditation, gaming and non-sexual, all-gender nudist nights. Others find gay bars irrelevant, if anything, in our digital age.
Gay Dating Apps - VICE
Before long, racially charged comments began trickling in. He asks why they mentioned that particular slang term, one used to describe a non-Asian gay male who has a fetish for Asian men. In recapping his experience, the white guy admitted to series host Billy Francesca that many men responded negatively to his assumed ethnicity. Frustrated, he had starting posing a screening question when chatting: It might be most prevalent on Grindr, a pioneer of mobile gay dating, which remains the largest player in the market and thus has an outsized influence on the industry it practically invented.
While Grindr recently introduced gender fields to promote inclusivity for trans and non-binary users and taken other small steps to make the app a friendlier place, they've mainly focused on creating and publishing educational content to address the thorny encounters so many cope with on the app. Like Grindr, many of these seem to have taken a more passive approach to in-app discrimination by, for example, underscoring their pre-existing community guidelines.
Hornet has also used its digital content channel, Hornet Stories , to produce its own educational campaigns.
On the other hand are Tinder-like apps that show a continuous stack of profiles users can swipe left or right on. In this card-based category, apps like Tinder and relative newcomer Chappy have made design decisions like foregoing features such as ethnicity filters.
Chappy has also made a plain-English non-discrimination pledge part of its signup process.
Are Gay Dating Apps Doing Enough to Respond to User Discrimination?
How companies respond to discrimination on their apps is made especially crucial in our current era of political toxicity, in which issues such as racism may be worsening on their platforms. The relative anonymity of gay dating apps gives Smith a less-filtered look at societal bias. For his graduate research, Smith explored homosexuality in the context of the US-Mexico border, interviewing men about sexual racism within the gay community.
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- Are Gay Dating Apps Doing Enough to Respond to User Discrimination?;
He analyzed hundreds of randomly selected Adam4Adam profiles, noting that discriminatory language in gay dating profiles seemed at the time to be trending toward more coded euphemisms. He suggests that this context gives license for men to express more overtly biased sentiments. They do so through the content of their profiles and by using filters that allow them to segregate who they see.
As a heterosexual female, this issue wasn't on my radar until gay friends—white ones included—brought it up in frustration. After doing a bit of digging, I found myself cringing internally at what I discovered. Grindr, it appears, is one of the last bastions of open racism and fat-shaming and ageism that exists in a relatively PC society, with profiles at times mimicking a crass wish list e. Scanning through bios, I noticed users of different backgrounds indicating racial preferences—typically for caucasians.
It's like an outlet for them to act out on it and live out this white supremacist idealism.
Vancouver social worker Victor Huynh, 28, told VICE he was once approached on a site called Manhunt by a "rank year-old" who told him he would be down to hook up "if I were just a few shades lighter. Are you just learning English? People don't say 'dude' anymore. The conversation carried on for a few minutes, said Huynh, with the aggressor saying things like, "You're beautiful but you're just not good enough for me. When Huynh said the comments qualified as harassment, the man acknowledged he was being "rude" but added "that's just the way the world is and you don't fit into it.
Obviously, there's no excuse for that kind of in-your-face hatred. But the more common and subtle form of discrimination found on gay dating apps comes from people who romantically speaking, claim they aren't attracted to people from certain ethnic groups.