"People don't find Asians attractive, and it directly affects your self esteem"

Grindr users have reported “sexual racism” against Asian men according to Hack.

Monash University PhD student Gene Lim, who is a gay Asian man, is looking into the impacts of “sexual racism”.

“The first thing you start realising is that a lot of people don’t find Asians attractive, and it directly affects your self esteem,” he said.

Participants in Lim’s research said racism on the app has affected their mental health.

“There are a lot of times when people like myself, we just don’t feel like we should be there,” Lim said.

He went on to say that his non-Asian peers are having a trouble-free experience on the app.

“Your white friends are hooking up left, right and centre. And you’re the only one in your friendship group who hasn’t had a date or even a hookup in months.”

Earlier this year, Grindr removed its “ethnicity filter” in a diversity effort following the murder of African American man George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin.

Although Grindr’s community guidelines strictly prohibit racial abuse and discrimination, Lim said anti-racism is not well enforced.

“I know of instances where after someone has been reported for racism or even other offences, they face zero consequences whatsoever,” he said.

“Grindr is not ever incentivised to crack down on these individuals. They only take immediate action against people trying to use their platform to advertise paid services.”

Due to the discrimination experienced on the app, Lim said some participants reported placing themselves in exploitative positions to earn attention.

“They learn to dial back their expectations,” Lim said. “And a lot of them eventually start accepting really poor conditions for accessing sexual intimacy.”

“It’s really easy to exploit someone who’s in that state of vulnerability.”

“No one’s asking you to sleep with whomever approaches you. But I think what a lot of us have been asking for is to be treated like human beings, even if you don’t want to fuck us,” Gene said.