There’s a new sugar daddy app out that’s already getting some heat for the way that it’s marketing itself.
On a first glance, DaddyBear is just the newest in an ongoing tide of gay dating apps and sugar daddy websites.
And in a time where several gay men are finding their own sugar daddy to help pay off debt and college loans, this isn’t something we’d usually turn twice for. But, there’s something different about DaddyBear.
Again, at first DaddyBear doesn’t seem like much with the tagline, “It offers all the possibilities for wealthy gay daddies and healthy gay men or bears.”
But once you stop to think a second or reread the line you notice the words “healthy gay men.” Interesting.
Then, if you visit the website version of the app, you’ll find an interesting description of what the site offers its users.
“Gay Daddies can share sexual experiences with you and help find out your special identity, because they have more life experiences to help you explore more new areas you never know.”
“Most mature gay daddies grew up under the macro environment of AIDS epidemic and scare, so they know how to protect themselves and you, and enjoy safe sex with you.”
It then goes further to state (and this is word for word):
“Gay Daddies are successful or rich men who have more money and social wealth than you do. They did never marry and will life with you without kids, so they must be happy to give you more support and help including your occupational plan.”
Of course, all of this (badly worded) rhetoric raised red flags for several members of the gay community. For instance, Matthew Hodson, the Executive Director of HIV advocacy and education organization NAM spoke to GayStarNews and said:
“People with HIV on treatment now have a near normal life expectancy. What’s more, effective HIV treatment means we can’t pass the virus on to our sexual partners. The greatest challenge for many people living with HIV now is dealing with HIV stigma, which is fueled by outdated attitudes, ignorance and fear.”
“Almost every person I know who lives openly with HIV has been rejected because of their status. People are often shamed and insulted on dating apps if they disclose. I fear that apps for ‘healthy gay men’ may encourage these attitudes.”
At this point, you could say that DaddyBear is discriminating against people living with HIV.
And, as if all of this wasn’t bad enough, DaddyBear had to get its own word into the conversation. You see, at the top of the comments on GayStarNews’ article on the topic, a representative of DaddyBear (using the Facebook account of the app) commented with the following statement:
“We highly appreciate that you have shared DaddyBear app…
With the fact that most gay men care more about health than sex when seeking gay relationship, we create this gay dating app to meet their needs. If you are worried about meeting gay men who are living with HIV, then you can feel relieved with our App because we are trying our best to make sure that all users you meet will be healthy and without HIV, starting from adding a feature to allow users to verify their health condition.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the desire to not have a surprise when it comes to STDs. That said, this site and app is ultimately pushing the stigma that people living with HIV are to be avoided and are “unhealthy.”
Look, it’s your choice if you want to use this app or not. And I understand if the words being used by DaddyBear appeals to any one of you. But at the end of the day, it’s discrimination and we all need to recognize that.
While some might think, “Why give a spotlight to it then?” I say we should know about the wrong being done so that then we can work to fix it. Recognize discrimination and don’t put your money behind such apps.
But that’s just this author’s two cents (the only money I’ll ever throw at this company).