Grindr has become far and away the most popular gay hook-up app, but it’s not without its share of controversy. A straight, married journalist tried to use it to out gay athletes at the Rio Olympic games, and now it’s being accused of racism by a student at the University of California Berkeley.
Chris Cox, a columnist for Heat Street‘s favorite college publication, the Daily Cal, says Grindr is a breeding ground for “bedside racism”—because gay men who use the app tend to orchestrate hook-ups with men of their own race.
Fair warning before you read what he has to say that it’s incredibly sexually explicit (aside from being convoluted).
Cox (an extremely ironic last name) says that “bedside racism is the discrimination that exists within online dating platforms and is the sadistic bedfellow of internalized homophobia. This prejudiced force marginalizes people of color on digital dating spheres, as perpetrators are protected from any real consequences by hiding behind the shield of modern technology.”
In other words, gay guys on Grindr who want to meet white guys are racist and, somehow, homophobic.
It’s nothing new for dating apps to let users specify their types, including things like skin color and religion, but how dare people on Grindr be attracted to a certain people over others?
Cox, the gay sex columnist for the school paper, points out that during his “mindless scrolling” he will frequently “bump into faceless profiles with the description ‘no blacks no fems’ charmingly plastered in their bios. These people, apparently, institute a “sexual Jim Crow that segregates who can climb into their exclusive beds.”
It’s truly a horrific fact, Cox argues, not to be attracted to any and every single person out there. “People frequently get away with this type of hate under the ‘oh-it’s-just-my-type’ excuse, which justifies their lack of attraction to different minorities under the harmful guise of personal preference.”
But it’s not the fault of those people as much as it is the fault of Grindr itself for allowing these ravaging racists to lurk among Grindr’s more civilized social justice warriors. “The profile system does not help the systemic problem.” Cox says, “Grindr’s interface makes it extremely easy to categorize and pick people apart. The app has spaces for an individual’s race, current distance away, weight, height, ‘tribe’ and, now, preferred sexual position.”
Cox, whose columns have also covered topics like how to have gay sex (literally, an article about how to be a “bottom” in gay sex) and how he used gay porn to find an outlet since entertainment didn’t feature enough relatable gay people, goes on to complain about the app’s premium feature that lets you filter what kinds of guys show up as a potential match for you. “For just a small fee, you can even filter through people by the attributes they list. Don’t want to see anyone over 150 pounds? Well, you’ve got it, dude. No Latinx people? No problem. Bippity boppity blocked.”
After his rant on how all gay people must be tolerant and sleep with any and every man they encounter, he goes on to show just how truly “woke” he is by adding “now you’ve got the closest white twinks in your area, have at it you fucking bedside racist.”
Despite his hatred for the abhorrent racism the app supposedly contains and promotes, Cox admits that he still uses the app—as it is the only way for him to get laid.