Gay dating app launches anti-racism campaign
If you’re a black or Asian user of gay dating app Grindr, then it’s possible you’ve encountered racism while using it.
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.
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.”
“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.”