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For instance, one user might not know much about another offline, but he might know little things about him from having scrolled through his geotagged social media page.He might even recognize him from his profile photos walking down the street, or in the audience of, say, a recent panel about digital content by and for the queer community.
The pro-Kremlin government in the long-contested region had begun rounding up and abusing dozens, if not hundreds, of alleged homosexual men. They involuntary outed many others to their families in a region where the sexual orientation is considered taboo.In many respects, this isn’t too different from the late 1990s, when online chatrooms cracked open a universe for curious queers that had previously been mired in mystery.What perhaps sets these new brands apart from their predecessors, then, is their push to expand the visibility of the queer community.Grindr, for instance, seems to be looking to shed its scurrilous image as “just a hookup app.” In March, the company that pioneered the geolocation-based, casual sex–facilitating sensation launched the online magazine Into.CEO Joel Simkhai told in a recent interview that “millions of Grindr users [were] asking us to figure out what’s going on around them,” so the company decided to start curating culture-minded content.Dating apps for gay men don’t have the greatest reputation.From Grindr to Scruff, Hornet to Jack’d, the digital platforms are best known for dredging up flakey users, svelte-only fat-shamers, masc-4-masc femme-phobes, and it’s-a-personal-preference racists.From the French Alps to New Delhi, it’s encouraging revelers to use gayness as an entry point through which they can traipse to faraway places.The gay social-networking app Hornet, too, has been hosting live events.While it’s still early days, the publication seems to represent an earnest effort to re-envision the Grindr brand. It’s published a buffet of articles, photography, and videos that cater to a variety of identities and interests.And it’s putting out more than just fluff by featuring topics such as the one-year remembrance of the Pulse nightclub shooting, the “resist march” at Los Angeles Pride, Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister, and the record levels of violence against LGBTQ people in 2016.