Grindr is an app you can put on your smartphone to find guys to fuck. It uses GPS-enabled smartphones to triangulate a potential mate’s location in real time, without requiring any eye contact. Since launching in 2009, it has claimed the title of largest gay social network from other contenders, mostly thanks to word of mouth, though it has enjoyed more than a few breathless trend articles. Joel Simkhai, Grindr’s youthfully handsome CEO, is as virginal as his company’s PR. In interviews, he demurs when pressed and insists that all his app wants is to help men find out who nearby is gay. This self-neutering is partly explained by Grindr’s need to conform to the decency guidelines of Apple’s walled garden. The user agreement for Grindr stipulates that no “offensive or pornographic” materials be included in a profile; violation leads to profiles being disabled.
But Grindr’s media celibacy, however, doesn’t stop the app from publicly identifying as a gay concern or from participating in gay politics as popularly understood. In a move that must have caught Chris Hughes’s eye, New York users were greeted with the telephone number of the state legislator for their GPS coordinates when they logged on early last June and were urged to place calls in support of marriage equality. (Other platforms for user-generated content, such as Tumblr, have made similar efforts to push political action, encouraging the idea that brand identification can also be a sort of de facto political subjectivity.) After a few decades of gay politics’ rightward-glancing sanitization — from closing the bathhouses to the current focus on children’s bullying — this development should not surprise anyone. With Grindr we see the conjunction of a gay political identity with a discursive rejection of the very aspect of gayness that is both most definitive and which the app mobilizes for profit: sex.
A good read, and while I don’t agree with everything (Fox is a bit too saccharine when it comes to his treatment of Simkhai’s post-gay attitudes), I like the take on the changing face of gay identity. It was personally jarring to think of how my own identity and my (in this case, specifically gay male) friends’ identities, which are, in large part, based upon a physically defined spaces, are in some ways in contention with contemporary gay identities. If our (communal) identity is defined by the means by which our communities subsist, what happens when the means is wholly deconstructed, reconstituted, or made irrelevant?
I’m going to push this more. Pu-pu-push it reall good.
All the cool kids will be wearing hankies (assuming I can even find mine since moving).
I don’t know why, but adding this link seemed apropos.
Tell me I’m wrong. Go ‘head. Tell me I’m wrong.
“You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn’t black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing.”
“You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, f—k it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing.”
“I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can all take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background.”
“I’m trying to do the right thing. That’s where I’m going with this.”
Makes me feel better about moving to this state.
We already had Robynhood, Otter Street, and Pocket Gay Square…and, of course, Chinatown. Some additional neighborhoods/places/roads we came up with:
Suggestions welcome, y’all. Get on it!
What would happen if gay men just decided to take over a city and live there? My first thought was that the entire city would become something akin to a large bath house, but then I realized that we’re by and large too judgy a people for that, and we’d end up subdiving the city by pop idol worship and body hair preferences.
I would live in Robyn-hood on Otter Street probably.
Robyn-hood! I DIE!
I’d have a condo in Pocket-gay Square. Near Chinatown.
Yes. There would be a Chinatown.
Recommended to me by Youtube. Recommended to you, by me.
Alexyss K. Tylor ACTUALLY making some semblance of sense. She doesn’t get it completely right. But she does get it mostly right.
HEY I’M FROM THERE!
Here’s a tip: if you’re ever in Indianapolis and hungry for cupcakes, go to The Flying Cupcake Bakery. They are much better and not bigots.
Who goes to a cookie place for cupcakes, anyway?
Before I say anything, I just want it to be known that I’m not trying to start shit with Diariesofaboy.
I used to think like that. Before I even came out, I had decided I wasn’t going to be a stereotypical gay and in some ways, I’m still not, but I didn’t think I would ever…
You are absolutely right, my friend. I used to have the same opinion about Pride, but fuck that noise. Am I right!
Annoying trashbags can be anything: gay, straight, trans, bi. So writing off Pride because of some campy, scantily clad queens isn’t something I can do in good conscience. It goes without saying that we queers haven’t reached the mountaintop yet. And when you live in a world full of people determined to invalidate your personhood, wave your flag that much higher, be as femme as you want, gay the fuck out all the fucking time, wear as little as you want, and have all the butt sex you can. The queenier the better. The queerer the better.
Over-the-top queens are some of the bravest people I know.