Grindr has provided a platform for LGBTQ+ individuals to connect, form relationships, and express their identities.
But the app has faced criticism for contributing to the objectification and commodification of its users.
There’s pressure to present a certain body type or appearance to achieve success on the app. Racism and transphobia are also prevalent on Grindr, creating a harmful and unwelcoming environment for marginalised groups within the community.
Using Grindr is an exercise in humility.
However positive one may feel about oneself, the app acts as a constant and often aggressive reminder that standards of beauty within the gay community are very narrow, Eurocentric, and often unattainable.
It feels like Grindr facilitates and perpetuates many of the insidious characteristics that burden the gay community. Racism, fat-phobia, and femme-phobia have long been prevalent in the gay world
I’ve experienced racism on Grindr many times: overtly in messages, in microaggressions (such as fetishising my ‘British Broadcasting Corporation’), or in profile descriptions masking prejudice as a “preference”.
Whatever good Grindr has done is far outweighed by the negative impact it has had. Many young gay men, who are already vulnerable, are first introduced to the wider gay community via apps like Grindr and are exposed to some of the worst parts of it right off the bat.
Despite futile attempts at making the app a ‘Kindr’ place, the damage that Grindr has done to the community will take a generation to undo.
Its pervasive nature has made it an integral part of gay culture, and the behaviours that people have fallen prey to on the app have incepted their way into real life.
I say we give less time to the Grind, and more time to the mind – let’s work on ourselves as a community and as individuals. Let's to create something inclusive, healthy, disruptive, and loving.
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