“Sexual racism, transphobia, fat and femme shaming and further forms of othering such as stigmatization of HIV positive individuals are pervasive problems in the LGBTQ community,” said Landen Zumwalt, head of communications at Grindr.
Our ‘Kindr’ initiative is a rallying call for Grindr and our community to take a stand against sexual racism and all forms of othering. Together, we will work to maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment and end the need for people to include exclusionary statements on profiles,” added Zumwalt. “It’s time to play nice.”
That’s the tagline for Grindr’s new campaign, Kindr. Online discrimination has reached epidemic proportions affecting not only Grindr but other social networks.
After a cryptic announcement in July, Grindr finally rolled out the details surrounding the Kindr initiative. The initiative will entail a new zero-tolerance harassment policy in its community guidelines, a ban on racist, transphobic, and body-shaming language on profiles, and a new video awareness campaign. Grindr will also roll out a five-video series chronicling users’ experiences with discrimination on the dating app. The first, out today, features the likes of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10 alum The Vixen, OG Queer Eye guy Jai Rodriguez, and comic Joel Kim Booster.
Grindr’s new guidelines say it will ban people who openly discriminate against others in their bios, which might stop people from writing “No Asians, no femmes,” but here’s the problem: The toxicity that Grindr has hosted to date has shaped the way an entire generation of trigger-fingered, horny men feel it is okay to speak to others. That, in turn, has shaped the parlance for gay dating across the whole internet—not just on Grindr. And that has shaped how minorities within the gay community are left feeling inferior.
But, Some people do not believe that the sexual racism ingrained on Grindr can be eradicated—no matter how kind Grindr implores its users to be. Can Kindr really undo the indignity of years of both the explicit and tacit racism we have endured, the side effects of which have left an indelible mark on our psyche. Has the damage been done? “These community issues get brought onto our platform, and as a leader in the gay dating space, Grindr has a responsibility to not only protect our users, but also to set the standard for the broader community that we serve.”
This comes in an effort to create a more welcoming dating space — and to keep up with dating apps that have already announced stricter anti-discrimination policies — Grindr launched a new initiative designed to curtail abuse and bullying on its platform.