The latest video from web comedian Michael Henry tackles a recurring conversation in the gay community: racism on dating apps. In particular, Henry and his co-stars discuss those who post exclusionary messages on their profiles. These can include statements such as ‘No Latinos’ or ‘No blacks’.
In the video, Henry meets up with three friends. They all sit a social distance apart from one another. One of them, played by Clint Keller, is typing to a dude on a dating app.
He shows his friends the guy’s profile and it’s met with approving comments… until one of them notices that it states ‘No Asians’ under the ‘Looking for’ heading.
“That’s not OK,” says one of the friends, played by Logan Jennings.
“Why? I’m sure he just doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time,” replies Clint.
His three friends then inform him exactly why it’s an offensive thing to put on a profile, how it impacts those reading it, and why it’s racist to believe there are ethnic groups one could never find attractive. They also touch upon those who fetishize some racist groups, or who put “XYZ to the front of the line,” on their profiles.
Apps such as Grindr have made efforts to try and eliminate racism and other forms of discrimination on their platforms. This has included introducing initiatives such as ‘Kindr’ to try and educate users on how exclusionary statements can harm others.
Last year, an Australian study found that people of color routinely experience discrimination on apps, and it can often impact their mental health.
“Experiencing race-based sexual discrimination in dating is associated with detriments to psychological well-being much in the same way experiencing general forms of racial discrimination is,” concluded the study’s author.