Dating Apps: Is It Wrong To Ask ‘Are You Masculine?’

An exchange between two gay men chatting on a dating app has gone viral and sparked a huge conversation about ‘masculinity’ and gender expression.

Facebook user Ethan Jeremiah posted a screen capture of the quick conversation on his Facebook page on September 7. It’s not clear if Jeremiah was part of the actual chat as the image has been shared several times across the inter-webs.

In the chat, the first person inquires, “Are you a masculine guy?”

The second person responds with a question: “What would you define as masculine? Lol.”

“Not a flaming gay queen lol,” says the first guy.

Guy number two didn’t seem to care for that definition which was termed as ‘toxic masculinity’ by some commenters.

“I have too much going on in my life to worry about how someone perceives my personality based on heteronormative ideas of gender expression,” read his response. “I just am. I’m not worried about masculinity or femininity nor do I really care where I fall in line with someone else’s perception of those things.”

The comments on the post were wide-ranging:

“Best answer ever.”

“ Your clapback was everything.”

“So savage, yet so eloquent.”

“Some people’s idea of masculinity is another person’s “Hey, gurl!”

“I don’t mean to be that guy, and I respect everyone no matter how they act or sound. But I’m gay. I like dudes. I like dudes that sound like dudes. If i wanted to date someone who sounded feminine id date a girl.”

Another Facebook account shared the screen cap and the comments were just as varied:

“YESSS FOR THE READ!”

“So you’re fem and dramatic. Got it”

“No one is masc , give that bitch a couple drinks and put on some Beyoncé. The queen always comes out.”

“Anyone who asks that question has zero self confidence.”

And this comment took the author to task for having language skills: “First of all, you apparently don’t have much going on in your life if you have that much of a vocabulary. Secondly, I sympathize with the guy asking about being masculine. I’d rather not be with a ‘flaming queen’ either.”

The conversation took several turns as some felt the “masculine/flaming guy queen” comment was out of bounds, while others gave the first guy props for “knowing what he’s looking for.”

This all got me to wondering about ‘social etiquette’ on dating apps – was the initial question off-base? Or was the response addressing ‘gender expression’ over-the-top?

(lead image via Depositphotos)

Government Of Lebanon Blocks Gay Dating App Grindr

The government of Lebanon has apparently ordered the gay dating app Grindr blocked for most users in the Arab country.

The government of Lebanon has apparently ordered the gay dating app Grindr blocked for most users in the Arab country.

The Independent reports the Arab nation’s state-owned internet service provider, Ogero, blocked access to the app on the orders of the public prosecutor’s office, and that all internet providers will soon follow suit.

No explanation has been given for the ban, but the court order responsible for the action specifically stated that the app “secures romantic sexual liaisons for homosexuals and bisexuals.”

A similar ban of the app occurred in January, but that was short-lived as access was restored. At the time, the government denied any involvement.

Tarek Zeidan, executive director of Helem, one of the oldest LGBTQ advocacy groups in the region, explains the absence of public spaces for gays to openly meet underscores the importance of the dating app for Lebanese LGBTQs.

“Digital forms of communication like Grindr break the isolation that members of the community feel as many still live with family,” he told The Independent.

“Grindr has also become an effective way to disseminate life-saving information on sexual health and safety – this move will set these efforts back significantly, especially when it comes to contacting difficult-to-reach populations such as individuals living in rural areas, closeted or discreet individuals, and refugees which constitute a sizeable portion of the community,” he added.

Even though Lebanon has been traditionally viewed as one of the more liberal countries in the Middle East in regard to LGBTQ rights, some activists believe this is just the beginning of a series of attacks on the community.

Georges Azzi, executive director of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, told The Independent, “This is not an independent incident, this is part of a bigger campaign and strategy to limit the spaces of the LGBT community.”

“The groups behind this campaign operate in an atmosphere where the government and security apparatuses are encouraging attacks on freedom of expression,” added Azzi. “We are being controlled by medieval forces.”

Some activists are advising users to use VPN service to bypass the ban.

Recent news reports show a mixed bag when it comes to LGBTQ rights and status.

Last year, judges ruled Article 534 of Lebanon’s penal code could not be applied to consensual sex between adults of the same sex. The early 20th century law had been used to persecute gays calling for punishment for “any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature.”

But last October, authorities raided an LGBTQ conference, and in May 2018 police arrested the organizer of Beirut Pride which resulted in the event being cancelled.

Lebanon joins Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on the list of Middle East countries that ban Grindr.