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We live in a new age of dating where gender identity is no longer as That's why these bisexual apps and sites don't require you to specify just one sexual preference. Tinder is free and only takes a few seconds to set up.

That resonated with Ari Curtis, 28, and inspired her blog, Least Desirable.

White washing

Kholood Eid for NPR hide caption. These were the types of messages Jason, a year-old Los Angeles resident, remembers receiving on different dating apps and websites when he logged on in his search for love seven years ago.

He has since deleted the messages and apps. Jason is earning his doctorate with a goal of helping people with mental health needs. NPR is not using his last name to protect his privacy and that of the clients he works with in his internship.


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He is gay and Filipino and says he felt like he had no choice but to deal with the rejections based on his ethnicity as he pursued a relationship. But I started to think, I have a choice: Would I rather be alone, or should I, like, face racism? Jason, a year-old Los Angeles resident, says he received racist messages on different dating apps and websites in his search for love.

Jason says he faced it and thought about it quite a bit. So he wasn't surprised when he read a blog post from OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder in about race and attraction. Rudder wrote that user data showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities. Similarly, Asian men fell at the bottom of the preference list for most women. While the data focused on straight users, Jason says he could relate.

Why is it OK for online daters to block whole ethnic groups?

The OkCupid data resonated so much with year-old Ari Curtis that she used it as the basis of her blog, Least Desirable, about dating as a black woman. Curtis works in marketing in New York City and says that although she loves how open-minded most people in the city are, she didn't always find that quality in dates she started meeting online. After drinks at a Brooklyn bar, one of her more recent OkCupid matches, a white Jewish man, offered this: Curtis describes meeting another white man on Tinder, who brought the weight of damaging racial stereotypes to their date.

Other dating experts have pointed to such stereotypes and lack of multiracial representation in the media as part of the likely reason that plenty of online daters have had discouraging experiences based on their race.


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Melissa Hobley, OkCupid's chief marketing officer, says the site has learned from social scientists about other reasons that people's dating preferences come off as racist, including the fact that they often reflect IRL β€” in real life β€” norms. And in a segregated society, that can be harder in certain areas than in others.


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Curtis says she relates to that idea because she has had to come to terms with her own biases. One queer man of color I know is half-Indian and half-Italian with a common Indian name.

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But in online dating profiles he uses a common English first name and an Italian surname. Another person I know is Black but has self-identified as mixed-race on Grindr because he gets little attention when he identifies himself as Black. These are just a few stories that illustrate the effects of racism within online dating communities comprising mostly gay men.

Queer men of color have fewer options in online dating than queer white men. Data suggests these stories are not uncommon or unique.

#KindrGrindr: Gay dating app launches anti-racism campaign - BBC News

Based on data published by OkTrends , a blog produced by OkCupid, white gay men respond more often to OkCupid messages from other white men than from men of color. White gay men also respond less frequently to messages in general than gay men of color. On OkCupid white gay men respond to messages from all races at an average rate of Ironically, even though white gay men respond to messages in general less frequently than gay men of color they fail to attract the highest rate of responses to the messages they send.

Middle Eastern gay men, on average, will receive about 48 responses for every messages they send, while white gay men will receive an average of By contrast, Black gay men will receive about