I spoke to 25 men about race-based sexual ‘preference’, here’s what happened…

Has the Black Lives Matter resurgence shifted the LGBTQ+ community’s longstanding issue with sexual racism?

During the summer, we all saw the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement but how many of us truly engaged, learned, grew and questioned our behaviour and choices? The LGBTQ+ community was reminded that the freedoms many of us enjoy today are the direct result of queer Black people. As we approach the end of 2020, I spoke with 25 men about their race-based sexual ‘preference’, how the events of the summer have or haven’t shifted their position, and if racism in the LGBTQ+ community can be tackled.

Hearing ‘it’s just my preference’ in relation to sexual desirability is commonplace, and the conversation about its racist intonations is on-going, but perhaps the events of 2020 have put us in a particularly generative space to have a conversation about race?

The term ‘sexual racism’ has its roots in the 1970s but was fully explored and defined by professor Charles Herbert Stember to in fact be the ‘sexual rejection of the racial minority’. Further studies by others have explored other aspects of race-based sexual ‘preference’, most notably those who purposely date outside of their own race, defined as ‘racial fetishism’.

I spoke with Leon*, a Birmingham-based gay Black man who has, until recently, exclusively dated outside of his race. “While I had questioned my dating choices before the pandemic, it was during lockdown, the cultural conversation on race and Black Lives Matter [that] I had space to really ask myself: ‘why’ I dated the men I had.” While Leon and I spoke at length about the response from friends and family of his previous partners making relationships difficult and the impact on his mental health and self-worth, it was only at the very end of our conversation he said: “The world consistently tells Black men we have little value. Over time I have learned to value myself, and in turn, other Black men have become more attractive to me. It’s been the most shocking revelation of how racism and white supremacy can affect all people. I now question what it was about me these men ‘actually’ found attractive.”

It was a concept that came up in my conversation with Victor*, who had moved to the UK from the Caribbean. “Coming from a predominantly Black culture to London was a real culture shock. I’ve had to devise ways to figure out if white men are fetishising my dark skin, or if my skin is simply part of the package that is me. It, at times, has been exhausting.”

Disregarding an entire group of people because of their race is racism, no matter one’s attempt to rebrand it as preference – or anything else.

While everyone understands feelings of rejection, there is emerging evidence that race-based rejection is increasingly detrimental to the mental and physical health of LGBTQ+ BIPOC people.

The mental health impact of race-based rejection was a theme that appeared in all my conversations with LGBTQ+ BIPOC’s. I spoke with Professor Rusi Jaspal, Chair in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, and author of The Social Psychology of Gay Men (2019), in which he shares his research and findings on the challenges of being a gay man of colour in contemporary Britain – simultaneously grappling with homophobia, racism, Britishness, and ethnic identity. He says: “Ethnic minority gay and bisexual men are at disproportionately high risk of poor mental health partly because they tend to face more stigma from their families, and ethnic and religious communities. These groups matter to them. Many hope to find acceptance on the gay scene but instead encounter racism. This racism comes in many distinct forms – from rejection because of one’s ethnicity to fetishization because of their ethnicity. These experiences in gay spaces can make ethnic minority gay and bisexual men derive low self-esteem and feel that they are somewhat flawed because of their ethnicity.”

I ask professor Jaspal if racism in the LGBTQ+ community can be tackled? “There needs to be much more visibility of ethnic minority people. [A point I explored in a previous piece: ‘I asked 25 ‘Hot Guy’ Instagram pages why there were no men of colour’] Empathy is important too – people who have never faced racism should try to understand how it feels for those singled out or denigrated solely because of their ethnicity. This may prompt some to re-think the things that say and do.”

As I screen the list of respondents, I was really interested in speaking to Steven*, a 40-year-old Black man from Aberdeen who initially appeared very anti-white. During our conversation, Steven said, I’ve stopped dating white men because for so long I confused their want to have sex with me with an attraction to me as a person. It took a toll on my self-worth, I wondered why I couldn’t turn what seemed like a great connection and attraction into anything other than behind-closed-doors sex. I now refuse to expose my body to anyone who is anti-Black in any way, and that does include other Black men.” So as it turned out, what I read as anti-whiteness was in fact, anti-racism.

So what of white men who date outside of their race? During the research phase of this piece, I received an email that moved me, yet I struggled to fully unpick its themes. The passage that stood out was:

“My husband and I [both white] both say that the less attractive Black man is still more handsome and sexy than a good looking white man. For us, often is their voice, could be their body curves, but it’s mainly down to the colour of the skin and face features. So yes. Colour of the skin. Let’s say it loud! For centuries Black skin has been denigrated, and this still happens. So why not talking about Black skin as a plus, as an attractive feature? Is this generalising? Maybe. [sic]”

The idea of seeking out ‘unattractive’ Black men remains unquestionably predatory. Identifying something that could be considered a vulnerability and leveraging that for one’s own sexual fulfilment is indefensible. The power dynamic speaks for itself, and what does it say of white men who think this predatory behaviour is justifiable? This cements the points Professor Jaspal makes about the impact on our mental health. While sex should be enjoyed, there is a time we all must be found attractive for our complete and full selves – not just what we can offer in the bedroom to satisfy someone else’s desires.

I spoke with Ivan*, an Eastern European living in London who had some strong views about Asian men, yet felt that these views were far removed from his attraction to Black men. “I’m not attracted to Asian men, just their culture is so different. They have different values.” I reminded Ivan that Asia is a very large continent made up of diverse cultures with wildly differing values and racism wherever it is targeted, is still racism. There are 4.5+ billion people across 48 countries in Asia, not to mention those raised in the West. I wondered if Ivan could hear himself, so I repeated the question. “I’ve never even interacted with Asian gay men,” Ivan told me. I asked, how, and why, he would have such strong opinions about people he’s never interacted with? “I’m comfortable having preferences because I know what I like” I told Ivan, ‘It’s a uniquely horrible feeling being in a space and you’re disregarded because of your race,’ he understood that can’t be a nice feeling yet went on to say: “I guess if you haven’t been exposed to certain things you can’t grow to like them.”

Do we need to desire someone to treat them with respect?

Disregarding an entire group of people because of their race is racism, no matter one’s attempt to rebrand it as preference – or anything else. Identifying our own prejudices isn’t easy; we all have them. But we must all take the time to understand where they come from so we can grow from that place.

I spent a long and demanding time on the phone with Matt*, a white man from East London, who believes preference and racism are very different. “How I treat people in life and who I like to have sex with are very different.” Matt explained his love for different genres of music, his diverse friendship group and colleagues, yet asked; “What am I supposed to do? Go out and sleep with Black people just to prove I’m not a racist?” I politely asked him not to do that. I asked Matt why he was so angry: “I’m fed up of being told that because I don’t fancy Black or Asian people I’m racist.” I asked Matt if he felt it was racist to not give someone a job opportunity due to their race: “Yes, absolutely.” I then asked why a potentially rewarding relationship or sexual encounter was any different? I never got the answer to that question, as Matt felt it was best to end the conversation there.

The point here isn’t for us all to sleep with all kinds of different people as a demonstration of our impartiality, but to ask ourselves: if there is a group of people exclusively excluded because of their race, why is that?

Is it possible to have race-based sexual ‘preference’ without being racist outside of the bedroom in the LGBTQ+ community? It’s a question I put to Dr. Lee Valls, a London-based psychologist who said: “The perpetrators of this will believe so. The difficulty is, in spaces where desire and our bodies are currency, any racial screening means many people will be treated differently – if they end up in your bedroom or not.”

Jason* is a guy I met nearly two years ago. I never reached out to him despite his interest. He was surprised to hear from me and when I said I was working on this piece he audibly cringed. “Yes, all my boyfriends have been Black – some of them reached out to me [during the height of BLM] to explain some of the problematic things I’d said or done, and I’ve had to deal with it.” I asked Jason if he feels he’d fetishised Black men. “I’ve struggled with that, but at times, yes. But if I’m honest I still don’t know where the line is”. He went on to say, that being a white gay man who likes Black men was like “being a kid in a candy shop, I was young and didn’t treat people well. It was a mixture of white privilege, youth and being sex-focused – it wasn’t my intention, I just wanted to have fun.”

As lockdown eased, I bumped into Ivan at a socially-distanced BBQ. He pulled me aside and apologised. It was a sobering moment for both of us. He explained that after our conversation he couldn’t help but consider what he’d said and how he felt about Asian men. He went on to say: “I understand that grouping together and discounting an entire race of people is racism” and ”I realise I have some work to do”. It challenged me to allow Ivan to grow as a person and as much as I agree it isn’t the responsibility of POC to educate others, there is some value in having a dialogue, even if it seems, at that moment, the other person isn’t being receptive.

Racism in our community goes beyond who we do or don’t date. The point here isn’t for us all to sleep with all kinds of different people as a demonstration of our impartiality, but to ask ourselves: if there is a group of people exclusively excluded because of their race, why is that? How do we treat those people?

Grindr Announces ‚Zero Tolerance‘ Of Racism, Fat Shaming And Transphobia

LONDON, Sept 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Gay dating app Grindr has announced a “zero tolerance policy” towards racism, transphobia and other discrimination on the platform as it looks to crack down on abusive behaviour within the LGBT dating scene.

The company said it would ban users who used hateful language and may even remove options allowing users to filter potential dates by age and race in a bid to tackle the issue.

“Any language that is intended to openly discriminate against characters and traits, like infamously, ‘No fats, no femmes, no Asians’.. isn’t going to be tolerated any more,” said Landen Zumwalt, Grindr’s head of communications.

“Grindr is the leader in the gay dating space and we have an enormous power to reach a massive audience and drive real awareness around these topics and these issues,” Zumwalt told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

There have long been complaints of racism, transphobia, body-shaming and other discrimination in the gay dating scene.

Grindr users have posted screenshots showing profiles which list preferences such as “No Asians” and “No fats, not racist but only white.”

While critics argue users are entitled to their dating preferences, others say profiles rejecting entire racial groups or other minorities are offensive.

Grindr has responded by toughening its guidelines to say profile descriptions ruling out specific groups such as racial minorities, trans people or HIV-positive people are no longer allowed and discriminatory states will be removed.

Anyone bullying, threatening, or defaming another user will be banned, and the site is increasing its moderation team.

UK Black Pride welcomed Grindr’s move, but said the whole community needed to do more to combat such discrimination.

“Our movement depends on those in positions of power, those who can influence, doing what they must to ensure racism, sexism, misogyn(oir), transphobia and all forms of bullying are eradicated,” it said in an emailed statement.

Grindr has also launched a Kindr campaign highlighting users’ stories about the distress caused by discriminatory comments.

Other sites said they were also taking action to tackle racism and discrimination.

Gay dating site Adam4Adam said they encouraged users to report all types of discrimination and would ban users who failed to treat others with respect. (Reporting by Sonia Elks, Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights, resilience and climate change. Visit to see more stories.)

Grindr Announces 'Zero Tolerance' Of Racism, Fat Shaming And Transphobia

#KindrGrindr: Gay dating app launches anti-racism campaign

Some users of the app have said they’ve come across what they believe are discriminatory statements on other profiles – things like „no blacks and no Asians“.

Others say they’ve faced racist comments in conversation with users when they’ve rejected their advances.

Now Grindr has taken a stand against discrimination on its platform and says no user is entitled to tear another down for „being who they are“.

It’s launched the #KindrGrindr campaign to raise awareness of racism and discrimination and promote inclusivity among users.

It says it will ban users who „bully or defame“ others and will remove offensive language from profiles.

(Warning: This video contains language some people may find offensive)

This is the first in a series of videos, and includes well-known BAME individuals such as RuPaul’s Drag Race star The Vixen and comedian Joel Kim Booster.

Zac Stafford, chief content officer at Grindr, says he has experienced racism on the app himself.

„I was a user of Grindr before I started working here, so I was already familiar with the racism and issues faced by people of colour or non-masculine identifying people on the app,“ he says in a statement.

„Online discrimination has reached epidemic proportions affecting not only Grindr but other social networks.“

#KindrGrindr: Gay dating app launches anti-racism campaign

‘No Black, no Asian’: Racism in the LGBTQ2 dating community

The phrase “I’m not really into Asians” is something common for Kyle to hear.

The bi man from Toronto, who did not share his full name, told Global News he was once told this by a man on a dating app.

“Racial abuse doesn’t have to be outlandishly brash to stick with you. Sometimes simple microaggression can cause a huge stir.”

He added for every 10 men he matched with on an app, one or two would make racist remarks.

“The thing with online dating match apps is racists filter out themselves by not matching me based on my appearance, so the ones I do match with that are racist/ignorant are either ones who struggle with internalized racism (they are POC themselves) or are very ignorant/fetishizing.”

Dating in the LGBTQ community in general isn’t easy, but when racism gets involved, it can be hard for some to find love or a casual hookup.

“I want to say that there are many great, kind, charming, loving people in the LGBTQA+ community and you can definitely find them through these online dating apps,” he said. “But in order for us to move forward as a community, discussions about racism need to be talked about and dealt with so that POC can feel empowered and not marginalized within their own community.”

Haran Vijayanathan, executive director at Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention (ASAAP), said there are various forms of discrimination online.

“Instead of politely declining an advance made, people are quite rude when they reject people,” he said. “When we hear the stories of our service users and their experiences, it is sometimes hard to stomach the blatant disregard for basic respectful treatment of individuals.

“There is a polite way to let people know you are not interested. Sometimes the levels people go to let people down is quite disturbing.”

ASAAP offers a one-on-support program that highlights racism in the dating world.

‘No Black, no Asian’: Racism in the LGBTQ2 dating community

No Asians, no black people. Why do gay people tolerate blatant racism?

Most LGBT ethnic minorities say they’ve faced discrimination, and bigotry on dating sites is a throwback to the 50s. The LGBT community must address this

“I’m sexualised for my skin tone and never treated as a person,” Saif tells me. “The community is trained to accept a white, ‘masc’, muscled gay man and the rest of us are not really accepted or ‘one of their own’.” It’s not the individual he blames, but being conditioned by a community that venerates the “sexual image of a white gay man”. According to research by FS magazine, an astonishing 80% of black men, 79% of Asian men and 75% of south Asian men have experienced racism on the gay scene.

This manifests itself in numerous ways. Some are rejected because of their ethnicity; on the other hand, some are objectified because of it. On dating sites and apps, profiles abound that say “no Asians” or “no black people”, casually excluding entire ethnic groups. It’s like a “bastardised ‘No dogs, no blacks, no Irish’ signs”, as Anthony Lorenzo puts it.

“On apps like Grindr,” writes Matthew Rodriguez, “gay men brandish their racial dating preferences with all the same unapologetic bravado that straight men reserve for their favourite baseball team.”

Homi tells me he has Persian ancestry, and is “sometimes mistaken for being Greek, Italian, Spanish, etc”. Once, at a nightclub, he was relentlessly pursued by a fellow patron. Eventually, he was asked: “Where are you from?” When Homi answered India, the man was horrified. “I’m so sorry – I don’t do Indians! Indians are not my type.”

And it is not simply a western phenomenon. Luan, a Brazilian journalist, tells me his country has a “Eurocentric image of beauty” and there is a “cult of the white man, which is absurd, given more than half the population is black or brown”. Others speak of their experiences of being rejected by door staff at LGBT venues. Michel, a south Asian man, tells me of being turned away because “you don’t look gay”, and being called a “dirty Paki”. He says it has got worse since the Orlando nightclub massacre, where the gunman was Muslim.

And then there’s the other side of the equation: objectification. Malik tells about his experiences of what he describes as the near “fetishisation” of race. The rejection of people based on ethnicity is bad enough, he says, “but it can be just as gross when someone reduces you to your ethnicity, without consent, when dating/hooking up”. His Arab heritage was objectified and stereotyped by some would-be lovers, even down to presuming his sexual role.

When the Royal Vauxhall Tavern – a famed London LGBT venue – hosted a “blackface” drag act, Chardine Taylor-Stone launched the Stop Rainbow Racism campaign. The drag act featured “exaggerated neck rolling, finger snapping displays of ‘sassiness’, bad weaves” and other racial stereotypes, she says. After launching a petition against the event, she received threats of violence. “White LGBTQs who are truly against racism need to step up and take ownership of what is happening in their community,” she writes.

LGBT publications are guilty too. Historically, they’ve been dominated by white men, have neglected issues of race, and have portrayed white men as objects of beauty. Dean stopped buying mainstream gay magazines two years ago. “The only time they would write about people of colour is when they had done something homophobic,” he says. “The gay media is completely whitewashed.”

There has been positive change in recent months, one leading black gay journalist tells me, but only because of the work of ethnic minority LGBT individuals “holding magazines to account, setting up their own nights across the scene” and using social media, blogs, podcasts and boycotts to force change.

While LGBT people are much more likely than heterosexuals to suffer from mental distress, the level is even higher among ethnic minorities. Undoubtedly, racism plays a role. As Rodriguez puts it, seeing dating app profiles rejecting entire ethnic groups causes “internalised racism, decreased self-esteem and psychological distress.”

Many of the rights and freedoms that all LGBT people won were down to the struggles of black and minority ethnic people: at the Stonewall riots, for example, non-white protesters. The least that white LGBT people can do is to reciprocate and confront racism within their own ranks. Shangela, an actor, tells me that racism from the LGBT community “hurts more because it’s coming from people that I’m meant to share a kinship with”.

The far-right movements on the march across the western world are consciously trying to co-opt the LGBT rights campaign for their own agenda. Muslims are portrayed as an existential threat to gay people, particularly after Orlando. There are those who only talk about LGBT rights if it is to bash Muslims or migrants as a whole. American white nationalist websites now sell LGBT pride flags along with the Confederate flag. This week, Milo Yiannopolous – a gay attention-seeker who has become an icon of the US far right – was at the centre of a media storm because a platform to speak at his old school was withdrawn. In the Netherlands, the anti-immigrant right was led by a gay man, Pim Fortuyn, until his assassination. In France, reportedly a third of married gay couples support the far-right National Front.

The struggle against racism has, of course, to be led by people of colour who suffer the consequences – such as Black Out UK, which fights for a platform for black gay men, and Media Diversified, which campaigns for minority representation in the media. But unless white LGBT people – who the official gay scene venerates – listen to the voices of those who are sidelined, little will change.

Being oppressed yourself does not mean you are incapable of oppressing others: far from it. LGBT people have had to struggle against bigotry and oppression for generations. It is tragic that they inflict and ignore injustice in their own ranks.

No Asians, no black people. Why do gay people tolerate blatant racism?

Why is it OK for online daters to block whole ethnic groups?

You don’t see ‘No blacks, no Irish’ signs in real life any more, yet many are fed up with the racism they face on dating apps

He is now considering suing Grindr for racial discrimination. For black and ethnic minority singletons, dipping a toe into the water of dating apps can involve subjecting yourself to racist abuse and crass intolerance.

“Over the years I’ve had some pretty harrowing experiences,” says Keodara. “You run across these profiles that say ‘no Asians’ or ‘I’m not attracted to Asians’. Seeing that all the time is grating; it affects your self-esteem.”

Style blogger Stephanie Yeboah faces the same struggles. “It’s really, really rubbish,” she explains. She’s faced messages that use words implying she – a black woman – is aggressive, animalistic, or hypersexualised. “There’s this assumption that black women – especially if plus sized – go along the dominatrix line.”

As a result, Yeboah went through phases of deleting then reinstalling many dating apps, and now doesn’t use them any more. “I don’t see any point,” she says.

Racism is rife in society – and increasingly dating apps such as Tinder, Grindr and Bumble are key parts of our society. Where we once met people in dingy dancehalls and sticky-floored nightclubs, now millions of us look for partners on our phones. Four in 10 adults in the UK say they have used dating apps. Globally, Tinder and Grindr – the two highest-profile apps – have tens of millions of users. Now dating apps are looking to branch out beyond finding “the one” to just finding us friends or business associates (Bumble, one of the best-known apps, launched Bumble Bizz last October, a networking service using the same mechanisms as its dating software).

Glen Jankowski, a psychology lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, says: “These apps increasingly form a big part of our lives beyond dating. Just because this occurs virtually doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be subject to the same standards of real life.”

For that reason it’s important that the apps take a stand on intolerant behaviour. Bumble’s Louise Troen acknowledges the problem, saying: “The online space is complicated, and people can say things they wouldn’t say in a bar because of the potential ramifications.”

Safiya Umoja Noble, author of Algorithms of Oppression, a book detailing how search engines reinforce racism, says that the way we communicate online doesn’t help, and that in person there are more social conventions over who we choose to talk to, and how we choose to talk to them: “In these kinds of applications, there’s no space for that kind of empathy or self-regulation.”

Jankowski agrees: “There are certain things some people would say on dating apps that they wouldn’t say in real life, like ‘black = block’ and ‘no gay Asians’.”

However, Troen is clear: “Whenever someone says something like that, they know there is an army of people at Bumble who will take immediate and terminal action to make sure that user doesn’t have access to the platform.”

Others are coming round to the same belief – albeit more slowly. Earlier this month, Grindr announced a “zero-tolerance” policy on racism and discrimination, threatening to ban users who use racist language. The app is also considering the removal of options that allow users to filter potential dates by race.

Racism has long been a problem on Grindr: a 2015 paper by researchers in Australia found 96% of users had viewed at least one profile that included some sort of racial discrimination, and more than half believed they’d been victims of racism. More than one in eight admitted they included text on their profile indicating they themselves discriminated on the basis of race.

We don’t accept “No blacks, no Irish” signs in real life any more, so why do we on platforms that are a major part of our dating lives, and are attempting to gain a foothold as a public forum?

“By encouraging this kind of behaviour, it reinforces the belief that this is normal,” says Keodara. “They’re normalising racism on their platform.” Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf agrees. “The apps have the resources and should be capable of holding people accountable when they behave in a racist or discriminatory way. If they choose not to, they’re complicit in that.”

Noble is uncertain about the efficacy of drawing up a list of forbidden words. “Reducing it down in the simplest forms to a text-based curation of words that can and can’t be used, I haven’t yet seen the evidence that this will solve that problem,” she says. It’s likely that users would get around any bans by resorting to euphemisms or acronyms. “Users will always game the text,” she explains.

Of course, outlawing certain language isn’t likely to solve racism. While Bumble and Grindr deny using image recognition-based algorithms to suggest partners visually similar to ones that users have already expressed an interest in, many users suspect that some apps do. (Tinder refused requests to participate in this article, though research shows that Tinder provides potential matches based on “current location, previous swipes, and contacts”.) Barring abusive language could still allow inadvertent prejudice through the efficiency of the apps’ algorithms. “They can’t design out our worst impulses and our worst human conditions,” admits Noble.

All dating apps’ algorithms are proprietary black boxes that the companies are wary of sharing with the public or competitors. But if they include some requirement of user self-definition by race (as Grindr does), or preference for interracial relationships (as sites such as OkCupid do), then with every swipe or button press the matchmaking algorithm is learning what we like and what we don’t. Likewise, Tinder’s algorithm ranks attractiveness based on previous swipes; therefore, it promotes what is considered “traditionally” beautiful (read: white) people. Crucially, no app is likely to deliberately dumb down its algorithm to produce worse matches, even if it may help prevent racist behaviour.

Bumble hopes to change user behaviour by example. “Whether it’s subconscious or unintentional, lots of people in the world are ingrained with racist, sexist or misogynistic behaviour patterns,” says Troen, adding that “we are more than happy to ban people”. (Bumble has banned “probably a couple of thousand” users for abusive behaviour of one type or another.)

Grindr’s head of communications, Landen Zumwalt, accepts that they have been slow to take action. “We have a new suite of queer leadership who only recently joined Grindr and came in with the priority to address this,” he says. Zumwalt joined the company in June; he himself has been a Grindr user, and so has “an understanding of the level of toxicity” taking place on the app.

“I knew just how bad things had been, especially for our queer users of colour, and we have a responsibility to be a bit more aggressive in how we create a more respectful area for our users.”

Grindr’s decision has been applauded by some, but is undercut by the fact it is still possible to filter out entire ethnicities. “I’m a paying user. They need to create a level playing field,” says Keodara. “Why should I pay for my own oppression? If I’m paying $14.99 every month, why should I have to be subjected to this demeaning, degrading and undignified BS.”

Leeds Beckett University’s Jankowski agrees. “It’s facilitating and encouraging racism. There’s no reason why you’d need that.”

Zumwalt said Grindr had carefully discussed removing the ethnicity filter, but were hesitant to get rid of it. “We decided before we were ready to pull the plug on that, it was a conversation we wanted with our user base,” he says. “While I believe the ethnicity filter does promote racist behaviour in the app, other minority groups use the filter because they want to quickly find other members of their minority community.”

Bumble’s Louise Troen also refuses to rule out that its app – a women-centric dating service – would not extend its recently-introduced “badges” feature (which allows users to filter by star sign and height) to add a badge for race. “There are no plans in the works to include or add a badge to do with race, but it’s a fundamental company policy that we don’t comment on where the product will be in a year, because we just don’t know.”

There has been a backlash to Grindr’s announcement that it will be cracking down on people voicing a preference for one race over others. But to Keodara, the arguments against the decision are problematic. “A lot of people say this is preference,” he says. “But just because it’s preference, it doesn’t mean it’s right. Slavery was white people’s preference.”

Studies have shown that racism in the gay community is a factor in limiting the dating pool for black men. Does this information help us in the fight against HIV or distract from other issues?

It is not easy to be a young single black gay or bisexual man in the United States.

Racism is very much a reality in the gay dating world, as evidenced by the numerous articles, studies, and think pieces illustrating this sad fact. Phrases like “no blacks” are pervasive on apps like Grindr and Scruff. At other times, people of color say they’re treated like an exotic novelty.

If that’s not depressing enough, these men also face a health crisis. One out of four black gay and bisexual men will be HIV-positive by the time they turn 25 years old. About six in 10 will be positive by 40.

Activists want that number repeated over and over to drive it home: At the current rate of infection, nearly 60 percent of this group will test HIV-positive by their 40th birthday. It’s a horrifying statistic, one that has galvanized The Advocate to launch a weeklong series of articles, #6in10Men, illuminating what’s led to the health crisis and lets its persist.

Many studies have sought to connect the aforementioned dots. Are these two factors — racism in dating and the HIV crisis — related? The answer must be yes. A 2014 study shows among black men who have sex with men, 45 percent of sexual encounters were with other black men. The researchers who identified that unusually high number didn’t explore what caused it. But it’s significant, considering that African-Americans make up only 13.2 percent of the population, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

These men are dating within a smaller social network, the researchers concluded, which leads to a higher statistical likelihood of contracting the virus. A single case of HIV in a small social network “would allow HIV to penetrate the networks of black MSM,” and it would travel through the network, infecting these men “more efficiently” than it would white men.

Studies show black gay and bi men are not likelier to engage in risky sex than white gay and bi men. They are actually likelier to wear condoms than other groups and less likely to use drugs before or during sex. Probability, it seems, has stacked the deck against them when it comes to HIV infection.

But eliminating racism in the gay community and breaking free from a limited dating pool may not be the solution. That fight is „impossible,“ says Lamont Scales, a public health analyst-coordinator for gay, bisexual, and other MSM activities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of HIV/AIDS prevention.

“When you look at the racism and discrimination that black gay and bisexual men experience from other gay and bisexual men, that is impossible,” reiterates Scales, who is a black gay man himself. “And I think that’s why you will see that the sexual networks are limited to only dating other [black] gay and bisexual men.”

What limits a dating pool isn’t solely the racism exchanged on Grindr. Social and sexual networks are often based on a person’s location, for example. Systemic racism, which engenders economic discrimination, means many of these men are unlikely to move away from their neighborhoods. Many members of minority groups might also prefer to date within their networks, because doing so provides support and reinforces community.

Scales maintains that while conversations about the impact of racism in dating are worthwhile and it “rings true” that gay men often aren’t welcomed to date outside their own race, such debates are „missing the point,“ as they do little to stem the HIV crisis. Instead, he points to racial disparities in health outcomes. Issues such as housing and employment are too often overlooked in the media, he says. And it’s health outcome that is “the primary reason” why we see increasing HIV infections among black gay and bisexual men.

“Black gay and bisexual men experience poor health outcomes compared to white gay and bisexual men,” he states frankly. “They are more infectious because the health care system has failed to be able to provide quality care for black gay and bisexual men.”

A 2012 report from the CDC shows black gay and bi men who are HIV-positive are less likely to be on antiretroviral medication and have higher viral loads than their white counterparts, making it easier to pass HIV on to others. They are also less likely to have health insurance. More HIV testing and treatment are needed within communities of color. But that requires forcing policymakers to address how systemic racism has limited the health opportunities in minority communities, so that they can obtain access to care.

This care ought to include prevention. But the most revolutionary tools for prevention aren’t making it to gay and bisexual black men. For example, the CDC and the World Health Organziation both endorse pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as essential in preventing the spread of HIV. In fact, the White House recently released a 10-year plan that includes full access to PrEP as part of its prevention strategy. And no wonder. Studies show that, if taken daily, this treatment is up to 99 percent effective in preventing transmission of the virus.

While many gay men have recently become aware of the treatment — despite naysayers like Michael Weinstein, the head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who fears its practitioners will abandon condoms — preliminary reports show that most of these men are white.

Economic obstacles, a lack of education about the tool, and the other aforementioned factors related to health outcome are preventing many minority men from accessing PrEP. And in a community in which HIV has reached such a high rate, PrEP could be a panacea, a game-change move in reducing #6in10Men to zero in 10.

Currently, the CDC is working with health departments across the country on PrEP to educate them about its potential. The state of Washington has already recognized it. Recently, its leaders announced a program that will cover the full cost of the treatment for those who can’t afford it and who meet several sexual health criteria. If such programs were adopted by states in the South, where the percentage of African-Americans is highest, it could drastically reduce the HIV rates in minority communities.

„Be aware of what prevention tools are available to stay healthy,“ Scales advises gay and bi black men, though he stipulates that society also bears a responsibility to provide sexual education to young people that includes talking frankly about HIV and sex between men.

For men in the dating world, Scales also emphasizes the importance of communication to sexual health with potential partners. He points to the CDC’s „Start Talking, Stop HIV“ initative as a helpful resource, as it provides conversation starters to broach potentially awkward discussions about sex and HIV.

Ultimately, Scales drives home that although racism on dating sites is unfortunate, it is the „social determinants of health“ that must change before the tide will change in the fight against HIV in the black community.

„If we’re going to really make an impact in this epidemic, we have to focus on the social determinants of health — such as employment, housing, mental health — that place black gay and bisexual men at greater risk for HIV infection and other poor health outcomes,“ he concludes. „Until we do that, we will continue to see increases of HIV among minorities and black gay and bisexual men.“

If nothing changes, 6 in 10 black gay and bisexual men in the United States will have HIV by the time they are 40 years old. Learn more about this crisis in The Advocate’s series #6in10Men:

Posted by The Advocate magazine on Friday, September 25, 2015

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Find LGBT services and community groups that are local to you.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can contact Stonewall’s Information Service and we will try to point you in the right direction.

Please be aware that listed organisations are not affiliated with Stonewall. Returned search results do not act as an official recommendation of services. Stonewall checks only that organisations are LGBT-inclusive or specific and that they have a Child Safeguarding Policy (if they work with under 18s) and an Equality & Diversity Policy (if they are an organisation). We request that you use your own judgement when contacting any organisation and protect yourself as you would when using any third party service.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can contact Stonewall’s Information Service and we will try to point you in the right direction.

Please be aware that listed organisations are not affiliated with Stonewall. Returned search results do not act as an official recommendation of services. Stonewall checks only that organisations are LGBT-inclusive or specific and that they have a Child Safeguarding Policy (if they work with under 18s) and an Equality & Diversity Policy (if they are an organisation). We request that you use your own judgement when contacting any organisation and protect yourself as you would when using any third party service.

Sexual racism on queer dating apps screws with your mental health

A new study has concluded what many may already suspect: experiencing sexual racism on the dating scene impacts your mental health.

The study, entitled Sexual Racism Is Associated with Lower Self-Esteem and Life Satisfaction in Men Who Have Sex with Men, was published last month in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour.

It was carried out by Dr Michael Thai from Australia’s University of Queensland.

The study surveyed over 1,000 men in Australia, approximately three-quarters of whom were white and a quarter of whom were men of color. All were recruited via Grindr.

The survey asked respondents questions about their experiences of sexual racism. These included: “How often are you rejected in the domain of sex and dating due to your race?” (answered on a sliding scale between ‘never’ and ‘always’).

They were then asked to agree or disagree with statements to measure self-esteem and life satisfaction, such as: “I feel that I am a person of worth, at least on an equal plane with others.” (again, answered on a sliding scale between ‘strongly disagree’ and ‘strongly agree’).

The findings showed that experiencing race-based discrimination in dating (e.g., being rejected due to your race) was associated with lower self-esteem and lower life satisfaction.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a racial minority or if you’re white – when it comes to dating, being discriminated against because of your race hurts for everyone,” says Thai.

He continued, “The good thing for white men, though, is they don’t appear to experience this form of discrimination very often. Men of color, on the other hand, report experiencing it a lot more.”

From those surveyed, white respondents reported experiencing sexual racism the least while Asian and South Asian respondents reported experiencing it the most.

Thai notes, “There is contention regarding whether discriminating between potential sexual and romantic partners based on race constitutes racism, with some considering it a form of racial bias and others maintaining that it merely reflects benign personal preference.”

He contends, however, that, “regardless of whether or not it is actually racist, it is certainly not benign; experiencing race-based sexual discrimination in dating is associated with detriments to psychological well-being much in the same way experiencing general forms of racial discrimination is.”

He suggests that dating apps should help to promote anti-discrimination messages to tackle sexual racism and other forms of discrimination in dating (e.g., HIV stigma, femmephobia), and highlights initiatives like Grindr’s Kindr.

Launched last year, this aims to encourage users to be nicer to one another and not use exclusionary language.

LGBT+ dating apps ditch ethnicity filters to fight racism amid U.S. protests

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Gay dating apps are scrambling to remove ethnicity filters in a bid to tackle racism, as violent protests over the killing of a black man in police custody rocked the United States for a second week.

Using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, Grindr, which allows its more than 4 million daily users to choose between five options, including black, Asian and Middle Eastern, said on Monday that it would remove the filters from its next release.

Hornet, with 30 million users, followed suit on Tuesday.

“Dismantling structural racism is an enormous undertaking but as a community working together, we can make meaningful strides,” Alex Garner, senior health innovation strategist at Hornet said in emailed comments.

In one city after another, thousands have vented outrage in sometimes violent clashes over the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man shown on video saying “I can’t breathe” as a white Minneapolis policeman knelt on his neck.

His death caused outrage across a nation that is politically and racially divided as it counts down to presidential elections in November, reigniting protests that have flared repeatedly in recent years over police killings of black Americans.

Dating apps have long been plagued by accusations of sexual racism, as users have been allowed to choose which race they want to meet.

Research by Cornell University in 2018 found that people who used online dating platforms used phrases such as “No Indians, no Asians, no Africans” and “Only here to talk to white boys”.

Jevan Hutson, one of the authors of the Cornell study, said online dating sites and apps should be designed in ways that do not fuel such racist comments or prejudice.

“Those preferences (reveal) racial animus and other forms of racial marginalisation and fetishisation, and frankly map onto a torrid history of bias and discrimination,” said Hutson, now a tech researcher at the University of Washington School of Law.

Hinge and OkCupid, both of which have ethnicity filters, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

HER, the largest free dating app for LGBT+ women with 5.5 million users, said it has never applied ethnicity filters because of its potential to discriminate.

“From day 1 we’ve had a no hate speech or discrimination policy that we hold very seriously,” Robyn Exton, chief executive of HER, said in emailed comments.

Reporting by Hugo Greenhalgh @hugo_greenahlgh; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.

LGBT racism: ‚I felt like a piece of meat‘

Racism within the LGBT community leave black people suffering poor mental health, a leading charity says.

Research by Stonewall shows that 61% of ethnic minority LGBT people have experienced racism through online dating apps or in person.

LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte went to one of the only club nights dedicated to black and Asian LGBT people to hear people’s experiences.

LGBT+ Marches From London to New York Call for End to Racism

NEW YORK/LONDON – As thousands of people marched in support of Pride and racial justice globally this weekend, many demonstrators called for an end to often-overlooked racism within the LGBT+ community.

Pride events to celebrate LGBT+ rights are held globally throughout June — although most were canceled or moved online this year because of the coronavirus pandemic — but the emergence of protests over racial injustice spurred a series of live events.

While studies show LGBT+ people of color are more prone to violence and poverty, a 2018 Stonewall/YouGov survey also found more than half of Black, Asian and other minority LGBT+ Britons experienced discrimination from members of their own community.

„It’s still definitely pretty prevalent,“ said Kwamina Theo Amihyia, joining a Black Trans Lives Matter march in London.

„As far as we’ve come, a lot of the strides made have been for white members of the [LGBT+] community and we’re still seen almost as second-class citizens.“

Racial inequalities globally have come under the microscope following the death of George Floyd, 46, in police custody in the United States on May 25.

Many LGBT+ groups released statements in support of protests after Floyd’s death, pointing out the radical origins of the LGBT+ rights movement at the Stonewall Inn in New York 51 years ago that emerged to fight police brutality.

„As a queer person myself, I face racism from the queer community — and it’s time we stamped it out,“ Patrick King told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he marched along one of central London’s main thoroughfares with car horns blaring. London’s Black Trans Lives Matter march was one of several events planned this weekend to support Black Lives Matter.

With the debate over systemic racism also hitting LGBT+ businesses this month, Gay dating apps Grindr and Scruff removed ethnicity filters in response to protests for racial justice.

College student Donald Arrington, 19, who was due to take part in an informal Pride march in Los Angeles on Sunday, said he had been rejected on LGBT+ dating apps because he was Black.

„It’s always, ‚Hey, sorry, you’re good-looking, but unfortunately, I don’t date Black guys‘,“ said Arrington,

On Sunday, thousands of people are expected to attend New York’s Queer Liberation March, an event moved online because of the coronavirus but then back to the streets after the protests against police brutality and racism after Floyd’s death.

„There needs to be the element of people in the streets and popular revolt and outrage,“ said Natalie James, co-founder of the Reclaim Pride Coalition, which is hosting the march. „There’s not really a substitute for it.“

But Ed Brockenbrough, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the move by Pride organizations to adopt Black Lives Matter issues did not go far enough to address racism in the LGBT+ community.

„Activism in Black and brown queer communities has been happening for a long time without full buy-in from white gatekeepers of queer resources,“ said Brockenbrough, whose research focuses on the challenges of LGBT+ people of color.

For Ted Brown, a veteran of Britain’s Gay Liberation Front marching in London on Saturday, not enough has changed since he was out on the „scene“ in the 1970s.

„[Racism] remains an issue within the LGBT+ community,“ Brown told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as banners and placards were unfurled and raised around him.

„If you look around here, for example, I’m one of the few Black people here. … The LGBT+ community needs to look at themselves and find out how they can become more diverse.“

Is Sexual Racism Racism? Distinguishing Attitudes Toward Sexual Racism and Generic Racism Among Gay and Bisexual Men

Archives of Sexual Behavior, pages1991–2000(2015)Cite this article

Grindr ‘Ethnicity Filter’ Racism Scandal Amid New Questions Over Chinese Links To Sale

Grindr, the dating app primarily used by gay and bisexual men in the LGBT+ community will remove it’s so called ‘ethnicity filter,’ in its next update.

The change comes amid an international focus on black lives, on the same day a Reuters investigation also raises new questions over Chinese links in the latest sale of the app.

Critics have been highlighting the hypocrisy of the app’s response to Black Lives Matters protest, as the firm was one of many businesses to change profile pictures and social media banners in solidarity.

Currently, when browsing the local area for hook-ups and dating, you can filter people based on their ethnicity, as well as age, height and even weight.

But announcing the change to remove ethnicity from this, Grindr says:

“Racism has no place in our community. We listened and we will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech on our platform.”

But many critics have been focusing on the platforms previous lacklustre attempts to curb the plight of prejudice on its app.

And for some activists the removal of the filter is too little, too late:

‚No blacks, no Asians, no Hispanics‘

„I’ve had people call me a monkey,“ says 26-year-old Alex Leon, an LGBT activist from London who uses Grindr.

„Some people will very bluntly say something along the lines of „no blacks, no Asians, no Hispanics“.

He welcomes Grindr’s Kindr initiative but says he’d „like to see more“ from the company in the future to protect young BAME people using the app.

„For many young people, this is their first foray into the world of what it means to be LGBT,“ he adds.

„These spaces are supposed to be meant for you as a gay or bisexual person and then you come into contact with even more discrimination.“

‚It just continues‘

Phil Samba thinks Grindr’s new approach to inclusivity could have come a lot sooner.

Phil works for the Terrence Higgins Trust and was previously involved in a campaign for gay men’s charity GMFA, which highlighted racism faced by BAME men in the UK in 2015.

„I’m tired of talking about racism on dating apps because I talk about my experiences and non-people of colour say ‚That’s really bad‘ and it just continues,“ he tells Newsbeat.

„I’m bored of talking about how I’ve been called the N-word on an app or how traditionally non-black men will react badly if I don’t want to sleep with them.“

Phil says #KindrGrindr is a „step in the right direction“ but wants to see users banned if they continue to use racist or discriminatory language on their profiles or in conversation with others.

He says seeing racist statements about sexual preferences on profiles leaves BAME people „feel like there’s something wrong with you because of your race“.

Grindr says it’s setting a „higher standard“ for its users and has updated its community guidelines.

It says it will ban anyone found „bullying, threatening, or defaming another user“ and will also „remove any discriminatory statements displayed on profiles“.

„You’re free to express your preferences, but we’d rather hear about what you’re into, not what you aren’t,“ it said.

It also encourages users to report anyone who appears to be breaking the rules.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here.

Secondary navigation

Using a condom helps protect against HIV and lowers the risk of getting many other STIs.

A survey of gay and bisexual men by Stonewall revealed that 1 in 3 men had never had an HIV test, and 1 in 4 had never been tested for any STI. 

Men who have sex with men (MSM) should have a check-up at least every 6 months at a sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinic. This is important, as some STIs do not cause any symptoms.

My parents are still unable to talk to me about being gay and my mother has flat-out refused to ever meet a potential boyfriend. But London hasn’t accepted me for who I am either

My parents are still unable to talk to me about being gay and my mother has flat-out refused to ever meet a potential boyfriend. But London hasn’t accepted me for who I am either

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Article content

NEW YORK/LONDON, June 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – As thousands of people marched in support of Pride and racial justice globally this weekend, many demonstrators called for an end to often-overlooked racism within the LGBT+ community.

Article content

Many LGBT+ groups released statements in support of protests after Floyd’s death, pointing out the radical origins of the LGBT+ rights movement at the Stonewall Inn in New York 51 years ago that emerged to fight police brutality.

“As a queer person myself, I face racism from the queer community – and it’s time we stamped it out,” Patrick King told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he marched along one of central London’s main thoroughfares with car horns blaring. London’s Black Trans Lives Matter march was one of several events planned this weekend to support Black Lives Matter.

With the debate over systemic racism also hitting LGBT+ businesses this month, Gay dating apps Grindr and Scruff removed ethnicity filters in response to protests for racial justice.

College student Donald Arrington, 19, who was due to take part in an informal Pride march in Los Angeles on Sunday, said he had been rejected on LGBT+ dating apps because he was Black.

“It’s always, ‘Hey sorry, you’re good looking, but, unfortunately, I don’t date Black guys’,” said Arrington,

Article content

On Sunday, thousands of people are expected to attend New York’s Queer Liberation March, an event moved online due to the coronavirus but then back to the streets after the protests against police brutality and racism after Floyd’s death.

“There needs to be the element of people in the streets and popular revolt and outrage,” said Natalie James, co-founder of the Reclaim Pride Coalition, which is hosting the march. “There’s not really a substitute for it.”

But Ed Brockenbrough, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the move by Pride organizations to adopt Black Lives Matter issues did not go far enough to address racism in the LGBT+ community.

“Activism in Black and brown queer communities has been happening for a long time without full buy-in from white gatekeepers of queer resources,” said Brockenbrough, whose research focuses on the challenges of LGBT+ people of color.

For Ted Brown, a veteran of Britain’s Gay Liberation Front (GLF) marching in London on Saturday, not enough has changed since he was out on the “scene” in the 1970s.

“(Racism) remains an issue within the LGBT+ community,” Brown told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as banners and placards were unfurled and raised around him.

“If you look around here, for example, I’m one of the few Black people here … The LGBT+ community needs to look at themselves and find out how they can become more diverse.” (Reporting by Matthew Lavietes //)

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How race matters in romance: Dating app reveals most men fancy Asian women while majority of females prefer white men

Published: 10:41, 21 November 2013 | Updated: 12:20, 21 November 2013

The study found men respond to women around there times more often than women reply to men’s messages and that the women studied were mostly drawn to white men

Research examining the preferences of Facebook dating app, Are You Interested (AYI) found black men and women receive fewer responses to their messages

Most men prefer Asian women (with the exception of Asian men,) while all women (except black women) are most drawn to white men, according to the research

Share this article

Researchers for app, Are You Interested, looked at 2.4 million heterosexual interactions to collect statistics. The data suggests black men and women got the lowest response rates to their messages

The data suggests men are most likely to message a woman of a different race to their own, but a recent study by sociologist Professor Kevin Lewis, found members of dating sites are most likely to contact individuals who share their own racial background

Article content

LONDON, June 2 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Gay dating apps are scrambling to remove ethnicity filters in a bid to tackle racism, as violent protests over the killing of a black man in police custody rocked the United States for a second week.

Article content

Dating apps have long been plagued by accusations of sexual racism, as users have been allowed to choose which race they want to meet.

Research by Cornell University in 2018 found that people who used online dating platforms used phrases such as “No Indians, no Asians, no Africans” and “Only here to talk to white boys.”

Jevan Hutson, one of the authors of the Cornell study, said online dating sites and apps should be designed in ways that do not fuel such racist comments or prejudice.

“Those preferences (reveal) racial animus and other forms of racial marginalization and fetishisation, and frankly map onto a torrid history of bias and discrimination,” said Hutson, now a tech researcher at the University of Washington School of Law.

Hinge and OkCupid, both of which have ethnicity filters, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

HER, the largest free dating app for LGBT+ women with 5.5 million users, said it has never applied ethnicity filters because of its potential to discriminate.

“From day 1 we’ve had a no hate speech or discrimination policy that we hold very seriously,” Robyn Exton, chief executive of HER, said in emailed comments.

Abstract

Sexual racism is a specific form of racial prejudice enacted in the context of sex or romance. Online, people use sex and dating profiles to describe racialized attraction through language such as “Not attracted to Asians.” Among gay and bisexual men, sexual racism is a highly contentious issue. Although some characterize discrimination among partners on the basis of race as a form of racism, others present it as a matter of preference. In May 2011, 2177 gay and bisexual men in Australia participated in an online survey that assessed how acceptably they viewed online sexual racism. Although the men sampled displayed diverse attitudes, many were remarkably tolerant of sexual racism. We conducted two multiple linear regression analyses to compare factors related to men’s attitudes toward sexual racism online and their racist attitudes more broadly. Almost every identified factor associated with men’s racist attitudes was also related to their attitudes toward sexual racism. The only differences were between men who identified as Asian or Indian. Sexual racism, therefore, is closely associated with generic racist attitudes, which challenges the idea of racial attraction as solely a matter of personal preference.

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Grindr Faces Questions Over Chinese Links To Sale, From Original Owner

Amid this racism storm, an investor group that has got U.S. approval to buy Grindr Inc–has now been found to have financial and personal links to the dating app’s current owner, China’s Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, according to Reuters.

If the U.S. approval came with that knowledge, it sets a possible departure from Washington’s current national security policy on deals.

Just two weeks ago, the U.S. announced an expansion on its embargo Huawei, the Chinese tech firm at the centre of a battle between the nations about finance, trade and security, particularly with technology firms.

When presented with Reuters‘ findings, a Grindr spokeswoman said:

“The buyers for Grindr were selected after an extensive and unbiased bidding process that complied fully with all applicable regulations, as the receipt of all necessary approvals – including CFIUS – demonstrates. Any claims or suggestions to the contrary are simply false.”

And this all sits alongside a long line of privacy issues, data breaches leading to GDPR fines for the app–including the disclosure of HIV status.

POLAND – 2020/03/13: In this photo illustration a Grindr gay dating logo seen displayed on a … [+] smartphone. Stock market prices in the background as stock markets tumble all over the world. (Photo by Filip Radwanski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Grindr’s Plight of ‘No Fats, No Femmes, No Blacks, No Asians,’ Rife On Profiles

„Your only ever a short Google search away from the complaints about all kinds of prejudice on the platform,“ Dee Jas of diversity and inclusion firm colourfull tells me.

„I’ve always perceived Grindr to be an app that caters to a specific demographic of the gay community–typically White, cisgender, masculine/straight acting and physically fit. I think this comes through subconsciously and affects the experience for those who don’t conform to this standard.“

In recent years the platform has tried to stem the racism on its platform with campaigns including “Kindr on Grindr.”

Not just aimed at racism, this hoped to put an end to profiles which listed “No Fats, No Femmes, No Blacks, No Asians.”

But it was a campaign that was just a „light touch marketing campaign“ for Pride In London’s finance director Mufseen Miah:

„I’d like to see Grindr have a zero-tolerance policy towards profiles that state ’no Blacks, no femmes‘ and similar exclusionary wording. There is no excuse for using such language which amounts to online bullying.“

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 24: The „Grindr“ app logo is seen amongst other dating apps on a mobile … [+] phone screen on November 24, 2016 in London, England. Following a number of deaths linked to the use of anonymous online dating apps, the police have warned users to be aware of the risks involved, following the growth in the scale of violence and sexual assaults linked to their use. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

It’s hard to be on Grindr if you a anything other than white, gay and attractive

Grindr’s campaigns also attempted to tackle the likes of transphobia, too abundant on the platform:

„Being nonbinary on Grindr was a case of juggling whether to be honest, or not,“ Gaydio Host Jacob Edwards tells me.

Edwards presented an edition of the #QueerAF podcast about dating as a nonbinary person to find out just how much hate they received last year. 

„It would have been so easy not to fill out the gender option because I pass as male in appearance. But in the end, I went with putting my gender and pronouns on there.

„If anything it acted as a filter, transphobes and haters would ignore me and block me instead.”

Reflecting on the episode, and on today’s news, they believe the platform is still not doing enough to tackle hate:

„I reported so much abuse. Truly awful messages and threats while I was using the app. Only to find that [the reported users] have either come back with a new account or have kept their original account.“

And just like the debates that swirl around Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms–users are more and more looking to the platforms to stop this:

„If you’re building a product that brings people together (for whatever purpose) safety has to be paramount,“ colourfull Dee Jas adds.

„That includes safety from any violence, and I don’t use that word lightly. Digital violence is a phenomenon with significant impact. All platforms have a responsibility to act on these issues.“

I’m a journalist, digital content producer, audience development consultant and a ‚Radio 30 Under 30‘ 2019 winner. I host the British Podcast Awards recognized social

I’m a journalist, digital content producer, audience development consultant and a ‚Radio 30 Under 30‘ 2019 winner. I host the British Podcast Awards recognized social

I’m a journalist, digital content producer, audience development consultant and a ‚Radio 30 Under 30‘ 2019 winner. I host the British Podcast Awards recognized social enterprise podcast #QueerAF. With National Student Pride the show mentors young LGBT students, graduates and reporters to get their first audio commissions. I’ve produced audio for Forbes, City AM, Cancer Research UK, audioBoom and led the video and audio strategy for Attitude Magazine and Gay Star News. I’m driven by stories that empower those they are about, with past investigative series on chemsex, ‚ultra-conservative‘ on-campus extremism, with sexual assault survivors and on trans rights.

Great (Black Gay) Expectations: Racism, hypersexualisation, stereotypes and tired tropes

How porn, social media, mainstream media representation, European beauty standards and digital dating in the LGBTQ+ community has impacted the identities and journeys of Black gay men.

‘No Black, no Asian’

Speaking with Global News, a handful of gay men said phrases like “no Black, no Asian” are common on gay dating apps like Grindr. In 2018, the company launched an anti-racism campaign to tackle some of these messages of hate, the BBC reported. The site added it would ban anyone “bullying, threatening, or defaming another user.”

Jason Garcia, a gender non-binary person from Edmonton, said they often still see these phrases and others on apps like Grindr.

Garcia is part of the Latinx community said people of colour (POC) can become even further marginalized.

“As a POC, it feels certainly disheartening to know this is just a common, day-to-day experience putting yourself out there in an online format, especially within a community that already experiences a degree of marginalization.”