Grindr removes ethnicity filter

Originally published at:


one party-goer showed me how black men did not appear on his Grindr until the white men had been filtered out.

I foresee a followup headline where Grindr announces an adjustment to the policy…


No one should be looking to grindr for cues on how to handle social issues.

And while I always suspect secret racism when a guy says he’s only into other white guys, I’m in no way about to try and argue a person’s preferences. I’m also not about to tell people of color that they don’t have a right to be selective of their romantic partners.

Racism in dating is an issue, but you’re going to have be a lot more creative then removing a filter to tackle it.


That’s not “secret” racism, though. That’s open racism, inculcated by living in a racist society.




Maybe, maybe not. I always suspect it’s racism, but if we’re going to take it on good faith that some straight men are only willing to date women shorter then them, with big tits, then I don’t know why skin color couldn’t also be a part of attraction as well.

What’s the right way to be attracted to something? How do you know the true motivations of someone expressing a preference? Is wanting a bdsm dom/sub relationships bad? Attraction to muscle, twinks, blonds, only into bears?

It’s not how I feel, I like almost every type of guy out there, but I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to tell other people how to feel attraction. Making value judgements on what turns someone on, gets into some dangerous territory fast.

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Our attractions our very much shaped by the ideological structures in which we live. That happens to be a misogynistic, racist system.

So does ignoring systemic racism and misogyny. In fact it gets you waves hand what we’re having right about now.


I didn’t say that. No one said ignore it. But you need to know what you’re asking for and how to argue against the problem. You don’t want to tear-down one means of oppression, by strengthening another.

I didn’t say you did. I’m agreeing with @shuck that having that filter was systemic racism in and of itself, not about personal preferences, which are shaped by systemic racism.

You REALLY think that not having an ethnicity filter is oppression? Really?


No, there’s no “maybes” about it. It’s definitionally racist, FFS.

I think where you’re getting hung up is on the notion that being “racist” means one is a bad person, the sort who uses the n-word and burns crosses. The reality is that if you live in a racist society, you are racist. It’s shaped your beliefs and desires, unavoidably. “Anti-racism” is the process by which we identify and address the racism of ourselves and our society. All of this is why the statement “I’m not a racist” (with or without the subsequent “but”) is itself racist. It means the utterer isn’t engaging in a process of anti-racism, but instead is leaving their own racism unexamined and unchanged.



And let’s not forget the very long history of white women being considered the standard of beautiful!


Mixed feelings. From a practical standpoint, what good is going to come from having your profile seen by someone who thinks they would never be attracted to you because of your ethnicity? What if they decided you were the exception, and suddenly you were hooking up with a racist asshole?

Maybe having a racist filter - I mean, an ethnicity filter - is fine, as long as there is a way to filter out anybody who is using it.

Mostly /s, of course


I think anyone, especially straight people, telling someone else what is and isn’t acceptable forms of attraction is not okay. No one needs to explain to you or seek your approval of what they find attractive. It may not be for the right reasons or be a decent thing to want, but that doesn’t excuse prying into people’s private lives.

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Being another oppressed minority doesn’t fucking excuse systemic racism. Gay cisgendered white men actually enjoy some of the privileges of the oppressive class that their black counterparts do not, and double that of the trans community, especially the trans community of color.

We do not find people attractive in a vacuum. It’s shaped by the systems we live in. Being queer doesn’t magically make you immune to that.

And no one has said shit about personal preferences, except YOU. A corporation facilitating racism isn’t helpful for anyone.

[ETA] Also… This is important to think about when it comes to oppression. It’s not singular, it works in multiple directions with people having multiple levels of privilege in a society. Paying attention to that matters.



“Ignore Racist Filter Users, Y/N?”

Still seems too much like



I don’t think this is anywhere near an attack on “preference” that some will make it out to be. There are times when socially constructed aspects of sexual attraction need to be unfolded.

But at some point we start poking at what makes sexual attraction less constructed and more biological … Because the thought of me, a gay man, having to look through pages of women “cuz constructed misogyny” seems kinda counterfactual. There’s a gray area between constructed and inherited that we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand. It’s a fair question where that boundary is.


This is just going off the rails. You do know that we essentially agree on the problem right? We both agree that white supremacy is the problem. It’s definitely not okay to oppose dating a particular race because you believe that racial group is inferior. That’s not acceptable.

Which takes me back around to what I first said, which is you need to understand what you’re arguing about, and you need to be able to argue these things effectively. You can’t just wave around black and trans people as props in your argument. You don’t speak for them.

We need to talk about these issues in terms of freedom. What freedoms are being denied, and how we can make people whole. The freedom being denied, is access to a potential romantic partner. The solution to that problem, should not be one that restrict the freedom of someone, and should be effective at actually guaranteeing that freedom that’s been denied.

The solution of taking away the ability to filter by race, denies the freedom to easily be more selective, and does not guarantee the denied freedom to people of color. You’re not going to make a racist date a black person just because you took away the race filter. It’s just not going to happen. You do deny the freedom of someone of color choosing to partner with someone in their own community. You deny someone with a sincere attraction from choosing a partner they would prefer. In the whole, you lose more by taking away the option, then having it at all.

We agree that racism is problem. We just do not agree on the solution here, and I don’t think you’ve really thought about this much at all.

I never said you did. I don’t think you’re saying racism is good. I’m saying your not seeing it where it is in this case, you’re ignoring the systems of racial oppression in our society that is perpetrated by things like algorithms that are more often than not written by privileged white men which just continues to keep racist systems afloat.


I’m not using people as props, I’m pointing out that discrimination isn’t just personal prejudice, but a system of oppressive that gives some people more privileges than others. Transwomen of color, of whatever sexual orientation, experience violence at much higher rates than white cisgendered gay men. That’s just a fact.

Freedom is not a corporation getting to facilitate systemic racism, which is the VERY opposite of that.

It’s ACTIVE discrimination, in fact, systemic, when it is part of an institutional system, which is what grindr is. At the end of the day, the end user can most certainly decide they aren’t attracted to a particular person and not go out with that person. It is not remotely taking away their freedom at all.

Whatever you say. But you know, there really is no need to be condescending. If at the end of this, we disagree, okay. But I’m not assuming you haven’t thought hard enough about this issue, and it’s really hurtful that you think my 10 years of work, which included learning about systemic racism and how it works, is “not thinking things through.” I did not say that about you, so it will be nice if you could maybe offer me the same courtesy. Disagreement on an issue doesn’t automatically equal the other person is ignorant, it might just mean they have different experiences or understanding of the issue.

I think I’ve said all I can say about this, though. You have my thoughts and you can continue to disregard or disagree with them. That’s most certainly up to you.

Have a good day and stay safe.


Did you just say that to the ONLY person out of over ten thousand posters here at BoingBoing who has earned The Professor is IN badge?

And apparently you’ve now said it twice, no less.


“Lord, grant me the confidence of a mediocre White man.”