So I’ll admit, I have an on / off again relationship with Grindr which I’m sure is commonly shared amongst members of our community. My biggest qualm though isn’t what you’d think – no, it’s not the countless headless torsos, weirdoes or instability of the app itself. It’s all this internalised homophobia.
C’mon guys, what with all this ‘No Femmes’, ‘No Asians’, ‘White only’, ‘Str8 Acting’ bullshit I’m seeing? In the time I’ve had the app, I’ve come across an alarming number of profiles with this type of prolific racism and discrimination and it’s only getting worse, scarier is the fact that it’s somehow deemed ‘acceptable’ amongst the user base.
Somehow it seems we have de-regulated traditional means of human interaction by creating a virtual environment where hiding behind a profile picture (that usually looks nothing like it’s user – we’ve all had that experience, right?) and witty pick-up lines is an acceptable place for hurtful and unnecessary commentary.
“It’s only getting worse. It’s somehow deemed ‘acceptable’ amongst the user base.”
Internalised homophobia and oppression is generally used to describe when an individual has been taught that heterosexuality is ‘the way to be’. Usually growing up in an environment that has created a perception that a certain type of masculinity and femininity is the correct portrayal of those genders. Even though these individuals may come out and be active members of our community, they bring with them, a certain perception of what is deemed acceptable for a man and woman to ‘be’.
I’ve experienced it first hand with a guy I dated a little while ago, we caught up after things fizzled out between us and he was telling me about a new guy he was seeing (some guys move faster than others I guess) whilst I scoffed down on my Baskin Robbins. He went on to say that he met the new guys friends and one of them dressed ‘strangely’… wearing heels to be exact.
He went on to say how completely ‘wrong’ that was; somewhat trying to engage me into agreeing with him – which I completely had no intention of doing. In his mind, a man shouldn’t wear heels with the simple justification of it not being ‘manly’, but who was he to sit there and judge a complete stranger on the basis of his own perception of masculinity? I went on to state that being two young gay men living openly and facing adversity everyday, we should not be initiating negative judgment on those who are different – don’t you agree?
We’ve got idiots in parliament saying that if our unions can be marriages we will open doors for beastliest (Oh, I can’t believe that guy was serious – I mean really Cory Bernardi? Really? ), our community has an alarming youth suicide rate and with the general inequality we face in our daily lives – why are we, members of our beautiful and diverse community perpetuating this internalised hate? Vilifying people because of who they are, haven’t we all lived through enough to know that this is wrong?
Whether it’s an app, a comment or a conversation – We shouldn’t be casting the first stone.