When Grindr launched in 2009 the UK was a different place. Civil partnerships were legal but gay marriage was not, leaving the EU was unthinkable, Gordon Brown was Prime Minister, Matt Smith had just been announced as the Eleventh Doctor, and if you wanted to meet guys who like guys you had to log on to to Gaydar on a computer.
Grindr revolutionised the gay dating/hook up space, it shook up the market by allowing you to find guys using GPS from your mobile phone. It was more discreet and private, it was instant, it was convenient, and it changed everything. In just under the space of three years it hit over four million registered users in 192 countries across the world and it quickly became part of pop culture with it being mentioned in movies and TV shows, and not just the shows and movies aimed at gay men.
As all this happened Gaydar, with its massive brand awareness, failed to adapt and began its slow decline and despite a change of ownership it has never really recovered. I have some fond memories of Gaydar which was a much more social experience than modern apps like Grindr, and it helped to make being gay in the early ’00s feel a little less isolated.
Grindr though went from strength to strength and became the template of location based ‘dating’ apps and it did so while being clear that it was for males looking for other males. It was simple, it was clear, its target audience was defined, and it catered for them and what they wanted specifically.
Now as we trudge through another Pride Month and towards the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the issues with modern LGBT activism seem to be rising very rapidly into public consciousness in the UK context. Stonewall the charity that takes its name from this pivotal moment in our civil rights history is under heavy and justified media scrutiny because of its over focus on trans issues seemingly at the expense of LGB people.
Grindr (along with other apps) now has, rather tediously, introduced a pronoun and a gender identity field on its profile information. Grindr now actively promotes the fact that it allows women (as in females) to join up.
Stonewall and LGBT activism’s hijacking by the same corporate elite that 20 years ago ignored us (and still ignore us in the countries where being gay can mean death), and its casting of homosexuality as something to be ashamed of and hidden, is starting to gain attention with LGB people in particular and more broadly in the national zeitgeist.
LGBT activism and its support for policies that are openly hostile to men (males) attracted to men (males) only seeks to alienate us further from the movement and the spaces we built, and it seems Grindr is shamefully following suit.
Grindr (along with other apps) now has, rather tediously, introduced a pronoun and a gender identity field on its profile information. Grindr now actively promotes the fact that it allows women (as in females) to join up. The app for males to meet males has now pivoted and it seems to be an app for anyone to meet anyone, which you might argue is a great leap forward. But for gay men and bisexual men looking to meet other men, it is not.
If you put on your profile that you’re not going to be interested in people who announce their pronouns (because honestly, who the hell wants to meet people so narcissistic?) it’s likely that you’ll be banned. Just ask Tom who I follow on Twitter who last month shared that he was banned for stating exactly that. After he posted his tweet he was subjected to a sickening avalanche of homophobic abuse from the pronoun posse, the woke stasi, and the Rainbow Reich.
Try putting on Grindr that you’re a homosexual, or that you’re only looking to meet other biological males, and they’ll either edit your profile, often without telling you, or they will tell you to remove it or they’ll ban you. Sometimes they just skip straight to the ban.
When you try to reach out to understand why they’ve edited your profile or why they have banned you, they’ll respond vaguely about community standards while also refusing to expand further about what standard specifically was breached, how it was breached, and why they need to remove it from their platform.
Today (28th June) we look back on the iconic event that was the Stonewall uprising, an event that shaped gay and lesbian civil rights activism for a generation. That was the moment when the love that dare not speak its name found its voice and shouted out loud and clear to the rallying cry of “Why don’t you guys do something?”.
For a while we answered that call, and for a while it looked like we won. But here we are again over 50 years later looking towards the brave lesbians who have been shouting clearly and calling us to action but to which many of us, to our great shame, have simply put our hands over our ears.
Today (28th June) we look back on the iconic event that was the Stonewall uprising, an event that shaped gay and lesbian civil rights activism for a generation, that was the moment when the love that dare not speak its name found its voice and shouted out loud and clear to the rallying cry of “Why don’t you guys do something?”.
They’ve been warning us about the captured organisations and platforms in the grip of the homophobic ideology of gender identity, they pointed to the success that the neo-homophobes have had in silencing us once again and doing so under the cloak of false inclusion. And it is a false inclusion because it’s not inclusion if you specifically alienate the people being asked to include others and tell them that they’re no longer welcome in the spaces they built.
No, that’s colonisation.
So, what do we do? We rebuild. The answer to Stonewall is LGB Alliance, the answer to the legacy LGBT press is Lesbian and Gay News, the answer to the App Her is Giggle. When will the answer to Grindr emerge?
I tried to reach out to Grindr on Twitter about their policy of not allowing gay men to seek other gay men on their platform and their policy of allowing females (trans or not) to sign up, but they’ve already blocked me.