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Almost 40% of gay and bi men want 'race filters' on dating apps, study finds

A survey of over 500 gay and bi men by gay dating app Chappy has thrown the problem of racism within the LGBT community into sharp focus.

2019-01-17

Almost 40% of gay and bisexual men say that want 'race filters' on dating apps, a new study has found.

A survey of over 500 gay and bisexual British men by gay dating app Chappy found that 38% of respondents want dating apps to include technology that allows them to filter potential partners according to race.

More than a quarter of respondents (27%) said that race was a consideration when choosing a sexual partner.

The shocking findings come as Chappy reports that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) gay men are five times as likely to be racially discriminated against by other gay men as their white counterparts.

According to the newly-released report, more than a third (35%) of gay BAME men say they feel they have been racially discriminated against, compared to just 7% of gay white men.

11.3% of respondents in the Chappy report were BAME gay and bi men - a figure roughly reflective of the UK's racial demongraphic. Some BAME respondents voiced support for 'race filters' as a form of "protection" from the racial discrimination they often face on gay dating apps.

Ozzy Amir, founder of The BAME LGBT Charity, which strives to empower and celebrate queer people of colour in the UK, said that the findings were a reflection of the deep-rooted problem of racism within the gay community.

"Under the guise of “preferences”, some feel comfortable being overtly racist towards BAME people," he said. "Phrases like 'no blacks, no fems, no Asians' have become the new norm."

He continued: "A significant number of POC now choose to separate themselves from mainstream gay culture for fea r of experiencing the same discrimination and hostility seen online.

Ozzy Amir is the founder of The BAME LGBT Charity, which strives to empower and celebrate queer people of colour in the UK

"It leads to a self-reinforcing cycle of exclusion and invisibility."

Chappy, which launched in 2017 as a more relationship-focused alternative to traditional social apps for gay men, said they would continue to challenge app-based racism with a zero tolerance policy towards discriminatory language and behaviour.

"We understand the impact that prior experiences may have had on our people on our app. We don’t allow anyone on Chappy to filter on the basis of race," they said.

"We believe that our app should be an inclusive space, and where men on Chappy fall short of being welcoming to others via racism, we ban them.

"No second chances. No debate."

The company added: "As a community that has experienced, and continues to experience discrimination, we should be proactive in our attempts to undermine those who exhibit attitudes that are alien to the open society that we wish to build."