Any gay or bisexual man with a smartphone is well aware of the Grindr App’s ability to find a guy however many feet or miles away from you, but Grindr founder, Joel Simkhai talks about another potential benefit of having so many users so connected: activism.
From the Huffington Post:
[The] ability to connect gay men makes Grindr a powerful organizing tool, perhaps in the way gay bars have historically been meeting places where political action was spurred even if the main purpose for many was to find dates or hook up for sex.
According to Grindr, 100,000 users signed a petition against Russia’s “gay propaganda” law and users helped to raise $107,000 to stop anti-gay legislation in Singapore. The app has been used to create awareness around campaigns such as International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, and to bring attention to anti-gay violence in South Africa. In the U.S., Grindr users were urged to call legislators and politicians to push for marriage equality in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Minnesota, Delaware and Illinois.
“Our premise is that if we can get a lot of people to do something small, we can make a difference,” Simkhai explained. “We do have a lot of users and have the ability to message them and target them. We can target Delaware. We can target Illinois, and ask them to call their representative, contact their governor. One of the blessings of our democracy is that our elected officials look at these numbers, look at these phone calls.”