Dating in the LGBTQ community can be challenging because of the complex dynamics and cultural and social factors. LGBTQ dating apps provide a sense of community, especially in cultures that are not tolerant and inclusive. Unfortunately, discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community is not exclusively external. There are issues among its members like body shaming, racism and transphobia. These issues are made more overt on dating apps where there are anonymity and minimal moderation of conversations.
Several gay dating apps have launched campaigns to tackle the hatred and bigotry on their platforms. Some have done more than others, especially in combating sexual racism. Measures that have been taken range from removing ethnicity filters to creating and implementing anti-racist policies. Through their content moderation practices, RUMPUR gay dating app is one of the few online dating platforms that have gone out of their way to create an environment where gay people of color can feel loved and valued.
Unlike physical spaces, online apps are not subject to laws against discrimination. The absence of public accountability and the unwillingness of most dating apps to police their users create toxic environments where people can unashamedly express their warped fantasies. Perverse assumptions like the effeminate Asian man, the hypersexual Latina and the aggressive black man are used to harass minorities on LGBTQ dating apps.
LGBTQ people of color experience the discriminative environment on dating apps differently from their white counterparts. White people pervade all forms of media from books to TV shows to films and commercials. This familiarity has made whiteness a determinant of beauty norms and has led users to think that white people are more desirable. Unfortunately, idolization of white people is quickly followed by erotic objectification of the so-called exotic minority.
More than half of Americans use dating apps. Some research estimates that up to 60% of same-sex relationships start online. As more romantic relationships move to the digital space, there is an opportunity to disrupt toxic social structures that prop up racial divisions. Dating apps that encourage interactions of people of different races could help overcome biases and systemic socioeconomic patterns. However, the potential for such change is lost when dating apps have design features and algorithms that pair users based on race.
Dating apps influence our decisions thanks to the strong power of suggestion. As such people are more likely to have a successful interaction when an algorithm tells them, they are compatible. Algorithms can, therefore, unintentionally introduce sexual racism. Dating platforms that view multiculturalism unfavorably encourages discriminatory preferences. This not only makes race a great source of anxiety for minorities on dating apps but also blocks people from connecting with partners they may have liked.
The society we live in and our culture shape our preferences. We are attracted to what is familiar and are able to bond over shared experiences. Given the superficiality of dating apps, physical appearances have more sway than compelling, detailed bios when it comes to choosing dates on LGBTQ dating apps. As such, whether we like it or not, we have to acknowledge that race is a decisive factor when it comes to partner selection.
Preference, however, is no excuse for sexual racism on LGBTQ dating apps. Racist descriptors on profiles thrive under the guise of sexual preference. They can be in the form of statements of intolerance towards particular ethnicities or offensive racial fetishization. It is very disheartening and traumatic for LGBTQ minorities who already experience a degree of marginalization to put themselves out there on dating apps only to be discriminated further and dehumanized.
As dating apps continue to grow in popularity, there are several measures that they can take to deconstruct biases and combat the toxic culture of sexual racism and discrimination. These include explicitly prohibiting certain language, rethinking the search criteria, posting policies and messages that encourage inclusivity and making design changes that encourage multicultural interactions.
An excellent example of a gay dating app that has created a safe space for people of color to interact, hookup or start relationships is RUMPUR. RUMPUR is a dating app for gay, Bi, Trans and queer people of color. They can now connect to a welcoming community where prejudiced ideas and practices are not tolerated.
RUMPUR promises a broad selection of features that improve the experience for GBTQ people looking for love without the mental and emotional stress caused by sexual racism. Have you had enough of the discrimination and dehumanization on other dating apps? Register now on the best free gay dating app 2020 and meet people in your area and from all over the world.