Grindr one of the world’s largest online gay dating platforms has anounced that it will remove the controversial ‘ethnicity filters’ on its app in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Grindr joins a number of LGBTQI celebs and organisations who have voiced their support and are making donations to the movement.

“We were planning to announce our #PridePreserves initiative today, but in light of the ongoing violence and injustices against our people of colour family, that no longer feels appropriate. How can we launch a month of celebration when so many of us are hurting? How can we celebrate Pride without acknowledging that we wouldn’t even HAVE a Pride month if it weren’t for the brave black, brown, trans, and queer folks whose uprising against the police at Stonewall gave birth to the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement? It is our responsibility to speak out against the hate and violence that such a vital part of our community continue to face,” Grindr posted on its Instragram page.

Grindr said that in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the queer people of colour who use the app, they were making donations to the the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter.

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 “We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release,” Grindr said.

It is common to see “No Blacks, no Asians” among other phrases mentioned in dating preferences on online dating apps. A 2015 study by researchers from the University of New South Wales, Sydney and Columbia University, New York conducted among gay and bisexual men of colour in Australia confirmed the prevelence of sexual racism while seeking partners on online dating platforms.

In 2019, a study conducted with 1039 men who have sex with men (774 participants were white and 265 were men of colour) via Grindr, was published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour. The research revealed men of colour reporting more race-based sexual discrimination than white men. The race-based sexual discrimination has affected the psychological well being of gay men of colour and was associated with lower self-esteem.

Social media welcomed the Grindr announcement, but also asked it to allow for racist and transphobic profiles.

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 The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has led to widespread protests in the US. This was preceded by the shooting of essential worker Breonna Taylor by the Lousiville police and the murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Goergia. Thousands protested in Perth and cities in New Zealand in solidarity with the Black Lives matter movement. There are similar protests planned in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

LGBTQI celebrities have also come out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. American talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres said on Twitter that she supported the protestors “who are exercising their rights and standing up against the horrible injustices that Black people in America face everyday.” She announced that she was making donations to the George Floyd Memorial Fund, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Black Lives Matter and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Actors Cynthia Nixon, Matt Bomer, Wanda Skyes, Janelle Monae and Jameela Jamil are among others who have supported the protests or made contributions to the movement.

You can support Black Lives Matter in the US here.

To support the movements in Australia, here are some resources:

  • Follow Warriors of Aboriginal resistance on Facebook
  • The Justice For David Dungay Fund is raising funds to support the family of David Dungay Junior, an Aboriginal man who died in a Sydney jail last year
  • Free Her is a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of Sisters Inside Inc. to raise money to pay off fines of Aboriginal women languishing in prisons in Western Australia.
  • Grand Mothers Against Removal is a group led by Aboriginal grandmothers fighting the Stolen Generations.

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