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Scruff and Jack’d join Grindr in committing to remove ethnicity filters

"Our community is no stranger to fighting a status quo that tells us we don't matter".

By Will Stroude

Scruff and Jack’d have become the latest gay hook-up apps to commit to removing ethnicity filters in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The apps’ parent company, Perry Street Software, issued a statement this week promising to remove features allowing users to search other profiles by race, OUT reports.

Perry Street Software had already removed ethnicity as a default display option on user profiles in 2018.

In a statement shared on Scruff’s Twitter account on Tuesday, the company confirmed it would be making donations to Color of Change, which campaigns against racial injustice, and to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, which advocates for Black trans people.

“Our community is no stranger to fighting a status quo that tells us we don’t matter”, the statement read.

“In the wake of the killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other Black Americans, to be silent is to be complicit.”

The accompanying tweet read: “We stand in solidarity with the fight against systemic racism and historic oppression of the Black community. Black Lives Matter.”

The announcement from Scruff and Jack’d comes follows a similar move by gay dating and hook-up app Grindr, which earlier this week announced it would be removing ethnicity filters in its next update, following years of criticism.

Racist language and behaviour has long been rife on gay dating and hook-up apps, where discrimination is often wrapped in the language of ‘sexual preference’.

A reminder: if a sexual ‘preference’ means writing-off an entire group of people simply because of the colour of their skin, that is rooted in racism, whether you are conscious of it or not.

If that perhaps sounds like you, take some time to reflect and ask yourself what are the structural reasons behind that ‘preference’, and how you’ve been socialised to hold it.

We must all do more to have open minds and open hearts.