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Hornet, for instance, has been trying to combat the persistent stigma around HIV by providing its users with health facts through various public events and by educating them about HIV prevention.
Grindr, too, has been tapping its extensive user base for public health awareness campaigns.
They’re helping, in other words, make the connections so many queers have been yearning for all along.
This isn’t to suggest that having an out presence in public spaces is the only thing that matters for strengthening the community, especially when vulnerability often attends visibility.
He might even recognize him from his profile photos walking down the street, or in the audience of, say, a recent panel about digital content by and for the queer community.But there’s power in being able to meet, forge connections, take up space, and simply point queer people to gatherings of all different forms and shapes. At a time when—for reasons like rent, warming attitudes toward the queer community, and technology—gay bars are disappearing, apps are trying to offer the sorts of interactions that reproduce many of the same historic functions.They appear to be reconceptualizing spaces that have historically been bulwarks against anti-gay bigotry; spaces where one can, at least to a degree, enjoy being in public without mainstream judgment.Dating apps for gay men don’t have the greatest reputation.From Grindr to Scruff, Hornet to Jack’d, the digital platforms are best known for dredging up flakey users, svelte-only fat-shamers, masc-4-masc femme-phobes, and it’s-a-personal-preference racists.
Grindr for Equality, the app’s advocacy arm, and the Russian LGBT Network, a St.