C. Brian Smith — a gay cultural reporter who has long delved into sexual topics like sex doll brothels, penis health cream (it’s a thing) and having his anus molded into a chocolate candy — recently discovered that straight men are joining Grindr and putting things like “No Men” and “No Guys” on their profiles in hopes of meeting transgender women.
One straight Grindr user named Jeremy told Smith that he has had more luck finding trans women to date on Grindr than on Tinder. In Jeremy’s first week on Grindr, he got over 100 messages in his first week: 95 were from gay men, four were crossdressers and two were from trans women. Since joining Grindr, he has had two hook ups with different trans women.
“I have zero attraction to men,” Jeremy says.
The growing trend of Jeremy and others posting “no men” on Grindr is understandably frustrating for some gay men who tell me they feel sidelined in a space originally designed for them. It’s especially prevalent in Washington, D.C., where a college friend tells me it’s “surreal” to go to a gay friendly space and see people explicitly ruling out gay sex.
“To read ‘no homos’ or ‘no men’ on a gay male app is troubling,” he says. “To have trans women hitting on me — when it’s clear I’m not into women — is openly homophobic. This is one consequence of the trans revolution: Gay male spaces and lesbian female spaces are being erased.”
This claim that “Gay male spaces and lesbian female spaces are being erased” by trans people is troubling because it’s the exact same claim being used by Republicans and trans-exclusionary radical feminists to justify shutting trans people out of locker rooms, public bathrooms, domestic violence shelters and athletics. But we digress…
Smith got a variety of gay men’s opinions on Reddit. Some welcome the sexual diversity on a queer app whereas other consider straight guys who are into trans women as “deep in the closet.”
But while dating apps specifically for trans women might seem like an ideal solution, they aren’t really as they’re not nearly as popular (or widely used) as well-established apps like Grindr. They can also attract fetishists rather than people who’ll treat trans women like actual human beings with personalities and feelings.
It’s trans-misogynists to consider heterosexual trans-attracted men as “secretly gay” — sexuality doesn’t fit neatly into little boxes. And for trans women who have faced transphobia and violence in both gay and straight dating spaces, having a straight man indicate his specific desire for you is a welcome change from the usual game of “Guess who’s secretly transphobic?” on the apps.