Insight on the Infamous “Gay Agenda”

The “Gay Agenda” is defined as what the mainstream gay culture wants “gay” to look like in the public eye. The stereotype for the Gay Agenda is that all gay people have to act a certain way and look a certain way for whatever category or as Grindr puts it, “tribe”, that you fall into physically. This could be bear, twink, jock, nerd, poz, trans etc.

Grindr has had a major effect on the Gay Agenda because the people using it promote the agenda to exclude and categorize each other in a pretty narrow framework. The format of Grindr is set up so that the user is forced to “assume” characteristics about other users in a platform where profile text is limited. Grindr, oddly enough, relies on the creativity of the user to portray themselves through one photo. Thus, the user gets trapped in filtering themselves to look a certain way to attract other users who are programmed to filter how they desire after other users. This usage of filtering one another supports the Gay Agenda to reinforce shame by making each user into an object of desire therefore eradicating any identifiable humanity to the person you are trying to “connect” with.

Much much much shame in the gay community has been reinforced by the apparatus of Grindr as Grindr has become the new “male gaze” a term coined by film theorist Laura Mulvey in her academic article, “ Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” which explains what the male gaze is. In a short summery the male gaze is the lens in which the viewer views the image on screen primarily enforced by white male patriarchy. Phrases like “No Fats No Fems”, “Masc 4 Masc” are all slogans or products of the machine, known as Grindr, that have enforced the male gaze on the gay community and enforced shame through the app.

Now, using Grindr isn’t a sin. Many people use the app to connect simply to one another socially. The raw truth is that Grindr sometimes becomes then the primary device to initiate social interaction. It takes the user out of the world, off the streets, away from the bars and brings them father away into their phone. The device disconnects the user from connecting to others in an organic way. Some users have confessed to me that Grindr is their only way to meet other gay people either due to a busy work life, living in a rural area, or because they now don’t know how to meet others in any organic way because they are addicted to the grind.

What needs to be put under the microscope is how users are conducting their conversations verbally through an electronic device. Speaking from personal experience Grindr starts to not only filter what body type one is looking for but also what words are used to initiate conversation. Like I said, the platform is limited, and there are only so many creative ways to start a conversation with a headless torso. Words like ‘hey’ or ‘sup’ becomes the normal way to say hello virtually and those learned behaviors are so enforced that people get confused on how to break the ice in real life. Do people really act the way they do online? Are they as quick to verbalize their desire to worship another’s body, “You’re so handsome, so hot — I’ll bet you’re hung” at a bar. Grindr offers us the protection of being able to disappear easily and not take any accountability for what we say or how we conduct ourselves because the users are strangers to each other. The Gay Agenda has us under its control when we log into Grindr, which is something to think about next time you log on.

Author: Taylor Derwin

Taylor Derwin is an Art Director & Prop Master for media & film projects based in New York City.

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