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I'm gay, but given the choice would I rather be straight?

They read more like signs you'd see affixed to the doorway of a 60s-era American diner than messages you'd encounter on a modern dating forum. While straight women of colour are certainly not immune from encountering racist bullshit when dating online and IRL , I can't say I've come across a Tinder or OKCupid profile that explicitly—or even implicitly—disqualified an entire racial group from getting in touch.

Things are different on Grindr. The hookup app, owned by a straight Chinese billionaire, has grown exponentially since its launch and now has a reported five million monthly users in countries around world. It's hardly a surprise that some of those people are racist, given the sheer size of the user base, but the brazenness with which bigoted messages are displayed, often in the form of disclaimers that sit front and centre on a person's profile, is unsettling. As a heterosexual female, this issue wasn't on my radar until gay friends—white ones included—brought it up in frustration.

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After doing a bit of digging, I found myself cringing internally at what I discovered. Grindr, it appears, is one of the last bastions of open racism and fat-shaming and ageism that exists in a relatively PC society, with profiles at times mimicking a crass wish list e. Scanning through bios, I noticed users of different backgrounds indicating racial preferences—typically for caucasians.

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It's like an outlet for them to act out on it and live out this white supremacist idealism. Vancouver social worker Victor Huynh, 28, told VICE he was once approached on a site called Manhunt by a "rank year-old" who told him he would be down to hook up "if I were just a few shades lighter. Are you just learning English? People don't say 'dude' anymore. The conversation carried on for a few minutes, said Huynh, with the aggressor saying things like, "You're beautiful but you're just not good enough for me. When Huynh said the comments qualified as harassment, the man acknowledged he was being "rude" but added "that's just the way the world is and you don't fit into it.

Obviously, there's no excuse for that kind of in-your-face hatred. But the more common and subtle form of discrimination found on gay dating apps comes from people who romantically speaking, claim they aren't attracted to people from certain ethnic groups.

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Often, they defend themselves by saying it's simply a matter of preference. That's not racist. Which I'm sure is terribly un-PC, but honest. The tweet provoked some strong feelings among friends and followers, so let me explain where I was coming from.

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Technology, too, has given us a new way to fulfil our urges and curb our loneliness via dating apps, the most popular of these being Grindr. But increasingly, apps like these are the only way gay men meet. Why you never get over a fat childhood. Gay people shouldn't care what the Catholic Church thinks. Why do gay men either have to be fluffy or toxic?

Grindr is a showroom, a shop window; a chance to display your wares via a profile picture and a few words categorising the kind of guy you are. The kind of shoppers you're advertising yourself to are a fickle lot, making instant judgements and snap decisions. And I am as guilty as anyone of committing such awful brutality. Which is why find myself asking whether I would be so judgemental, and feel so judged by my own community, if I were straight?

Are you a jock athletic? A daddy older? Gay men have more bad labels than a branch of TK Maxx. For a community which has spent too many years fighting against discrimination, we spend an inordinate amount of discriminating against each other. Is the straight world like this? And if I genuinely had a choice, would I choose to live like this? It chooses you. And that was the feeling behind my tweet. The gay community is a jungle. Why are we like that? Why are we so abrupt? At the weekend I received a Grindr message.

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It read simply: I replied with a picture of the large ornamental cockerel in my garden, and was immediately blocked. Do straight people talk to each other like this, I wondered. Do straight people have a strict list of criteria that they will accept in a partner? Is it because as gay people we grew up keeping our feelings secret and now we're making up for lost time by cutting to the chase?

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Do we demand perfection because for so long we felt far from perfect about ourselves? Has the inner shame of our upbringings, a fear of being judged by others, warped us into judgemental monsters now that our sexual desires are allowed to roam free? After posting my tweet, my timeline went mad. Some people agreed with me, for various reasons "No one would choose to be a 2nd class citizen, no matter how liberal the country" , and some disagreed politely "Totally disagree I'm happy to be gay, would choose it if I could and think its a blessing".