Hell hath no fury like a gay blogger scorned

I came across Christopher Gen‘s call to arms against the influx of men questioning their sexuality and using Grindr to explore their identity. The writer is obviously misguided and misinformed on queer culture and his commentary reads as the whining complaints of a gay man scorned by his unrealistic expectations of a social networking application that doesn’t cater to his ideals. Before I dissect each poorly articulated concern regarding the degradation of the gay male community by those who are not “man enough to admit what [they] want”, I suggest that Christopher choose a different network the next time he’s looking for a romantic connection.

Grindr is a smartphone application which enables gay men to create a profile to connect with other gay men in their immediate area. It is advertised as “the largest and most popular all-male location-based social network” through which one is able to “find gay, bi, and curious guys for free near you.” The company’ simple business model should be enough for you to determine and understand the reason for its popularity.

Cruising culture is pertinent to and has a long history within our community. At face value cruising is a great way to meet like-minded people, but at its core it has and continues to allow those who do not self-identify as gay or queer, or those who are socially or geographically isolated from a more socially diverse and accepting environment, to explore their questions and desires. Socialization into gay culture, regardless of how, when, or why you choose to do it, should be open to those who want to explore their sexuality gradually, by degree, and according to their comfort levels, rather than Gen’s suggestion to exclude them for not fully inhabiting their fullness of their identity.

While the author’s “dislike [of] being treated like a peace of meat, or more aptly, a quick snack” is a matter of personal preference, his blatant shaming of sexual exploration, bi-phobia and erasure, and narrow-minded view of sexuality must be further explored. It’s admirable that he has been comfortable with his own sexuality since a young age, but that privilege shouldn’t be used as a weapon against those who are less fortunate. To have the ability to come out of the proverbial closet at an early age these days is a radical, progressive, and amazing gift. To look down upon and ostracize those who don’t have the same resources or support is insensitive and demeaning.

For someone who takes an active stance against the “belittling of the gay community” and claims to stand up for “people [who have] struggled with their sexuality”, the author makes a very strong point of calling out “quasi-heteros, married men and ‘bi’ guys that simply want to ‘try it'” for not subscribing to the extreme oversimplification of sexuality. Have we already forgotten about the queer rights movement and sexual revolution and swung so far to the left that we find ourselves back at the other extreme of archaic Puritanical views on sex, sexuality, and morality?

This response to your article, Christopher, is intended to be a platform from which we can discuss the subject of sexual shaming because it remains a persistent thorn on society. I agree with you that we, as gay men living out and proud, are brave. But I must reiterate that it gives us no right to condemn those who are not on the same journey and timeline as we are. Your observations read like a tirade against a heteronormative ideal, so perhaps it might be a good idea to try more suitable outlets for your romantic searches. Grindr, by its very name and nature, doesn’t seem fitting. Have you tried okCupid?

You can read Christopher Gen‘s article “Comment: Is Grindr now a hunting ground for technically straight, married men?” here.

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