Not too long ago same-sex marriage was decreed as legal in the United States. It is hard to believe that the issue as disputable, confrontational, and subjective is now legal in all fifty states, under the premise of human equality.
Now I don’t want to really get into the issues of social or religious problems that we face in the is country. Instead, I want to talk about social media (gay apps) in the LGBT community. As most know there are a variety of gay social apps to choose from (A4A, Hornet, Planet Romeo, Scruff), however, Grindr has become the most popular and widely used by many gay men.
Like most social apps Grindr scans an area where you live or are and finds other users who are nearby, you can create a profile with information and a picture, which they say gives you better “appeal”. Just think of it as Tinder for gay men; you can talk, chat, exchange contacts, go on “dates”, hook up for sex. To a certain extent, the app does what it’s supposed to, simply because you don’t have to go around announcing that you’re gay. This is most useful in countries where homosexuality is either frowned or illegal.
However, I personally feel that the app could do more harm than good in terms of bringing the LGBT community together, bridging the social disparity between those who have come out of the closet and those who have not; also eradicating the discrimination towards gays. So, I asked four friends to discuss their experiences using Grindr (It wasn’t easy that I can tell you). I gave each one a category and to express their honest opinion about that topic. Here we go!
Guys I find attractive: famous, take, twice my age, doesn't like me back, don't know I exist, not real, dead, or fake. Author Unknown
It Promotes Superficiality
According to Stan who has been using the app for three years now, he has found that pictures are either old or edited beyond imagination, biographies are written in an overtly grandiose manner, and conversations are usually expressed by their alter-ego.
He found this is not limited to just Grindr, but most social apps have the same men on them. Which leads to one being disappointed when you finally meet up because they fall short of expectations (don’t fool yourself expectations are always involved even if you’re just meeting up for a booty call). I asked him to explain what he meant by expectations, he stated “They say that their versatile when in fact they are a complete bottom or suck cock, eat ass, kiss, and you find out it’s not true. A huge turn of.f” He goes on to say, “Most men on these apps are full of crap, they don’t show up, or just want to collect pictures.”
It validates promiscuity
One of the most stereotypical remarks that you often hear is that homosexuals are promiscuous, that you just sleep around with whoever that comes your way.
Trey has been using Grindr for 3.5 years now and has found that most men keep their social app usage on the down low, they don’t want anyone to know they’re using the apps for quick hook-ups. When in fact most men “use Grindr to get laid as much as possible, so long as the other guy “fits” their taste or preference.” He goes on to say, “this really isn’t good for the community and bad for overall health, but it also validates what others have been saying all the while.”
Let’s just be honest Grindr was made with the purpose of hooking up, however, is that the impression that we want for our community? In a world where we are scrutinized. And it’s important to note that the “straight” community isn’t immune to social stereotyping. There are just as many apps for straights are there are for gays. Regardless, we are all at one time judged by society.
It reduces character
Nick has been using Grindr since 2012 and is amazed that this app like most will “reduce the character of who they are, and how one carries themselves.” With Grindr, all that goes out the window so to say.
One will find themselves overly obsessed with the idealistic. The perception of bodily image is reduced to the point that if you don’t have the face or body of David Beckham (pick you own if that helps), one is automatically categorized as not “hot” or even worse “visually appealing,” and that leads to contortion of character, where one feels inferior to the guys out there.
I mean gay men already tip toe on eggshells when out in public, increasing their self-consciousness and making them belittle how they look which just affects them emotionally and mentally. This only causes them to withdraw in their insecurities, and does not bring anyone closer to the “norm”.
It magnifies labels
Labeling is just a brutal categorization that one cannot escape, especially on Grindr. I mean you must choose a label for yourself so that others can “scrutinize” you in their minds before meeting or getting to know you as a person. Negative (or positive, for the body builder) images are conjured before anything even happens.
Michael has been using Grinder for 6 years. He admits that looking at “stats” is the method to determine if someone is worth contacting. He also states, “Grindr does promote superficiality and narrow-mindedness.” And that what matters on gay apps is “the chiseled cheekbones, washboard-defined abs, and a huge cock.” He doesn’t like that fact that most on Grindr (along with other apps) all want the same thing, there is no diversity, or acceptance that a guy might be just average. Just look at their profiles, you will see masc. only, no fems, no fats, twinks only, no or only blacks/whites/Latinos/Asians, no over/under a certain age, the list can on and on. Michael concluded by saying “I do love the LGBT community, they understand what it’s like to be pushed aside and marginalized for their sexual preference, I can’t say the same for Grindr. There is more discrimination and prejudice on Grindr than anywhere I have experienced.”
Please don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Grindr and other social apps have allowed people to come together, to share the same interests as them, to allow those who are shy to express themselves, and connect with others in the community. However, I do believe that you must make peace with yourself before loving others, believe in yourself before loving others, and that includes having the courage to face your own shortcomings and accept one’s identity.
Just let me say this. For those who are actively seeking their “happily ever after” on Grindr, just know that it will mostly be a “happily never after”.
Dallas, Christos. "Grindr - Everything That is Wrong in the Gay World". 1 Oct. 2013. Vada Magazine. Opinions. 07/20/2017.
Personal Interview. Stan. 08/01/2017. Name changed to protect identity. Phone.
Personal Interview. Trey. 07/31/2017. Phone.
Personal Interview. Nick. 07/22/2019. Name changed to protect identity. Web Cam.
Personal Interview. Michael. 08/04/2017. Name changed to protect identity. Phone.
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Images: istockphoto.com. Upper header pictures purchased for commercial use only. Lower picture found image search, owner unknown.
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