Last updated 6 days ago
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How gay men justify their racism on Grindr

On gay dating apps like Grindr, many users have profiles that contain phrases like “I don’t date Black men,” or that claim they are “not attracted to Latinos.” Other times they’ll list races acceptable to them: “White/Asian/Latino only.”

This language is so pervasive on the app that websites such as Douchebags of Grindr and hashtags like #grindrwhileblack can be used to find countless examples of the abusive language that men use against people of color.

Since 2015 I’ve been studying LGBTQ culture and gay life, and much of that time has been spent trying to untangle and understand the tensions and prejudices within gay culture.

While social scientists have explored racism on online dating apps, most of this work has centered on highlighting the problem, a topic I’ve also written about.

I’m seeking to move beyond simply describing the problem and to better understand why some gay men behave this way. From 2015 to 2019 I interviewed gay men from the Midwest and West Coast regions of the United States. Part of that fieldwork was focused on understanding the role Grindr plays in LGBTQ life.

A slice of that project – which is currently under review with a top peer-reviewed social science journal – explores the way gay men rationalize their sexual racism and discrimination on Grindr.

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