Gay Apps

Texas Man Gets 15 Years in Prison for Using Grindr to Rob Gay Men

Nigel Garrett, 21, is one of the four men who targeted gay men through gay dating app Grindr early last year. Garrett would connect with gay men on the app and arrange to meet at their homes where his accomplices Chancler Encalade, Cameron Ajiduah, and Anthony Shelton would arrive and tie-up victims, beat them, and shout derogatory language at them before robbing them at gunpoint. This is why you should never host!

The home invasions occurred over a three week period in Frisco, Plano, and Aubrey, Texas.

Garrett has been sentenced to 15 years in prison while his buddies are still awaiting sentences. Garrett’s sentence was followed by a plea deal with prosecutors according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

In a statement, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civic Rights Division John Gore said:

Hate crimes are an attack on a fundamental principle of the United States to be free from fear of violence because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, or national origin. The Department of Justice is committed to using every tool at its disposal to combat this type of violence.

Top Left: Anthony Shelton; Top Right: Nigel Garrett; Bottom Left: Cameron Ajiduah; Bottom Right: Chancler Encalade

New "Our Bible" App Wants To Make Christianity LGBTQ-Friendly

A new app is trying to appeal to LGBTQ Christians and make them feel welcome in the faith.

The “Our Bible” app tries to present Christianity as welcoming and non-offensive to minority groups like LGBTQ people by featuring a gender neutral God, including pro-women sentiment, and involving people of color in its stories.

The app’s creator is Crystal Cheatham and she created the app to show others that homosexuality and Christianity can intermingle.

“It crushed me so hard,” she told PBS. “When I came out, I was told by ministers so far above me that I couldn’t be an out lesbian and also be on the stage as a leader, and it crushed me.”

“I had to decide between this love for my God and my personal identity,” she said.

Cheatham also shared more on Twitter ehind the reasoning for the app’s creation. She says it was because her experiences with the Seventh-day Adventist church showed her more acceptance was needed in Christian society.

“When I did come out, I found it extremely hard to figure out where I belonged and what I should be doing. It was really tough,” she said.

The app includes several features such as a library of Bibles, translations, daily Bible verses, meditation, and optional interaction with social media.

The “Our Bible” app is hoping to launch at the end of this month somewhere between December 25-30.

On The Prowl In Gay Europe – First Stop: Vienna

Welcome to Instinct’s three-part travel series giving you a peek into modern gay culture in Vienna, Munich and Cologne – three of Europe’s most amazing cities. Tomorrow and Friday we’ll delve into two of Germany’s hottest destinations for gay male travelers – but today it’s all about Austria’s capital, Vienna.

Along the banks of the Danube, The City of Music feels like a European Washington, DC, with wide avenues, city parks and “wedding cake” architecture to match. Chock full of diplomats, NGOs and English-speaking professionals from all over the world, a distinct Gay Village lies ensconced between the Mariahilf and Wieden neighborhoods, not far from the center of this gorgeous and sophisticated metropolis.

Using TravelGayEurope.com and the tourism office’s Gay & Lesbian Guide (on paper and as an app), I unsurprisingly had a host of bars, clubs, restaurants, and saunas to choose from. I visited the Eagle first. Featuring a retail counter selling t-shirts, poppers, and leather/BDSM accouterments (like cockrings), it’s marketed as a cruise bar. Men can drink and flirt before having sex in a dimly lit back room. Nowhere close to sanitary, it provides an effective taboo vibe patrons aged mid-20s to 60-plus clearly enjoy.

For a no less social, but definitely less sexual vibe, Village Bar is a great choice. Cozy, modern and welcoming, with little red glass lanterns hanging from the ceiling, I heard several Americans talking about their careers in the States. Handsome and friendly bartender Andrew (“That’s my artist name.”) speaks perfect English and will recommend you imbibe the local Viennese beer, Gösser, vom fass (on tap). Nearly every region in Austria and Germany has brewed its own signature beer for hundreds of years. When I travel I sample as many as I can – they are like cultural fingerprints.

One evening a fake Grindr profile lured me to Ken Club, a monthly LGBTQ dance party playing deep house. Perhaps best left for the young (I am 51), I found a dark, crowded, smoky bar with deafening music and a lot of rude, inebriated twenty-somethings stumbling down stairs leading to a packed dance floor. Not a lost cause, however. I found respite near the main bar when I kissed a cute Brazilian diplomat working on nuclear policy for the United Nations. Unable to walk since a young age, he confessed, “You wouldn’t believe how many guys buy me drinks just because they see this wheelchair.” Actually, I could; I had become one of them.

Finally, there are four saunas in Vienna, with the crown jewel being Kaiserbründl. Unlike the dank, unclean sex clubs found in American cities, saunas in Germany and Austria are highly social places where friends arrive in groups, particularly on Sunday afternoon, share a beer, coffee or cigarette before and after finding distraction. At Kaiserbründl you may choose a Jacuzzi surrounded by North African-themed arches decorated with mosaic tile, basic sauna or steam room, or a dramatic solarium dominated by a crystal chandelier hovering above you. They also have a large restaurant on the street level. Penne all’Arrabbiata was the special the day I was there.

Tomorrow’s destination: Munich (via train from Vienna: 4 hours)

If You Go – Vienna

GETTING THERE

I flew from LAX nonstop on Lufthansa. VIE, the city’s international airport is served by all major airlines.

WHERE TO STAY

Rent a great apartment for $100 per night or less; airbnb.com

WHERE TO EAT

Lugeck, a delicious modern twist on traditional Viennese cuisine; Lugeck 4; +43 1 512 50 60; lugeck.com/en/

WHAT TO DO

Eagle Vienna, Blümelgasse 1; +43 1 587 2661; eagle-vienna.com/index.php/en/

Village Bar, Stiegengasse 8; +43 676 358 4842; why-not.at/index.php?id=58&L=1

Kaiserbründl, Weihburggasse 18-20; +43 (0) 1 513 32 93; kaiserbruendl.at/eng/index.htm

 

 

###

Hornet Is Bringing Us To The Next Level of Gay Apps With Their Revolutionary Update

Image via Hornet and Jacob Ufkes on Unsplash

We are currently at an impasse concerning gay apps, but Hornet may have the answer to our gay prayers.

Quite frankly, gay apps are all the same nowadays. The differences between apps are only based on slight design changes and the initial objective of what kind of guy you’re looking for. But, most likely you get the same experience.

On top of that, gay apps are riddled with problems such as veiled and sometimes blatant racism, ageism, stigmatism towards people living with HIV, or body shaming.

But, what can we do to improve our experiences on gay apps? Perhaps, Hornet's new v4.0 has the solution.

Image via Hornet

Long ago, the company behind Hornet expanded their service by creating sites like the pop culture news site Unicorn Booty and the travel site Vespa (years before other apps followed).

But, it’s their latest update the seeks to do something innovative and change the way that Western gay apps think. Hornet’s team wants to essentially put those two content creating sites in the app itself.

The idea is that users will open up the Hornet app on any given day and on top of seeing what cute guys are in their area, they can also find out what’s going on in the world around them.

Users will now be able to click on “Hornet Stories” and “Hornet Places,” and discover a myriad of pop culture and travel content at their fingertips.

“We’re creating a complete social networking ecosystem for the gay community bringing content and connecting together,” said Christof Wittig, Hornet’s CEO and co-founder.

Image via Hornet

This might be a change worth trying out, because, frankly, we need a change.

All apps and programs are electronic mechanisms that we use to fulfill a need. We need entertainment so we download a game app. We need social engagement so we download social media apps.

As the world accepts the gay community more, our needs evolve and we need our apps to evolve too.

We need to not only find men, but to find out what’s going on with gay men around the world, where gay men can travel next, and what other members of our community think about the prior two.

This system of informational content and content sharing can bring back the humanity in these gay apps. Clearly we don't just need updates to gay app formats. We need an update to the mentality behind gay apps, and Hornet thinks it's figured that out.

Image via Hornet

“The gay community has been sorely lacking in breaking news and cultural information relevant to today’s world,” said Sean Howell, Hornet’s president and co-founder. “Bringing two editorial brands into the Hornet family completely upends the way a typical gay social network functions and how the gay community can and will consume news. Now, instead of simply asking the cliché ‘looking?’ users can leverage what they’re reading as conversation starters. We’ve evolved into a hub where gay men can hunt for meaningful connections while staying informed.”

Updates for v4.0 have already started rolling out to help make your iOS, Android, and web experience a lot gayer and a lot more like the future.

Hopefully, this is will bring a good and much needed change.

Daddybear App Issues Apology For Its Anti-Men With HIV Message

Image via Pexels

Last month, the new dating app DaddyBear came onto the gay scene with a big splash, but it wasn’t in a good way.

As soon as the sugar daddy app released its first press release and opened its doors for business, gay sites, like Instinct, were criticizing it for its stance on men living with HIV. Essentially, the idea the app was presenting is that gay men want to remain healthy, so it would only cater to people who didn’t have a positive HIV status.

While it’s understandable for gay men wanting to remain STD/STI and HIV free, the app was ostracizing men living with HIV and increasing the stigmatism against them. The app added to the idea of dehumanizing men living with HIV and seeing them as just harbingers for the disease.

That’s why so many people were against the DaddyBear app. And it seems the powers behind the app may have listened.

The team behind DaddyBear have just released to the press an apology for the initial mindset the app held. They did this by first stating the turn of events (initial release, widespread criticism, and eventual reflection).

From there, the press release talks about the app’s creator Justin (whose last name has been withheld), his romantic history, and why he first thought of creating the app.

“As for this improper idea, it came for a reason. Justin is a gay sugar daddy who is loyal and prefers long term relationships. His last partner left him for no reason and he has had a really hard time to accept that breakup. Recently, Justin heard that his partner was infected with HIV during their relationship when he was having unprotected sex with another guy who was with the malicious intent to transmit the disease. After diagnosed, his partner felt ashamed and desperate, so he chose to put an end to the relationship. Although Justin couldn’t forgive his betrayal, he was so mad at the guy who infected his partner. That anger lead him to wrongly misjudge the present situation and make an immature decision to build a gay dating app that doesn’t allow gay men living with HIV.”

Image via DaddyBear on Itunes

The press release then goes into explaining how Justin has reflected and realized that HIV men are living comfortably in modern times.

“We realized that there are many hiv positive guys out there and most of them are receiving systematic treatment which can help them have an undetectable viral load and highly prevent HIV transmission.”

Then the press release thanked writers of gay sites, like Mark S. Knight, for criticizing the original app.

But what the press release fails to mention now is if it will really change after the fact. The letter ended stating, “DaddyBear is a great gay dating app for gay sugar daddies, gay sugar babies and all gay men,” but how will DaddyBear rework its advertisements and “healthy only” perspective?

While the letter seems apologetic and sincere, it did not outright state any plans to change. Plans of change are implied by the fact this is an apology, but it’s not stated.

And adding to that, the original story brings up more questions. For instance, why not state that inciting incident was the catalyst of this app from the get-go? That could have at least doused some of the flames from the app’s release.

But then, the story also complicates things. Ultimately, it’s the story of someone feeling hurt from a breakup and blaming all men living with HIV for the acts of a single man. Of course, many initiatives have been started for similarly stupid and close minded acts, but knowing the story behind this one makes the app seem even more pitiful.

So, while it’s nice to hear that DaddyBear acknowledges that many people were upset with its initial response. We have to see if the app will really change its mindset in the next few months.

Though, are any of us even using it to begin with?

Gay Dating App Blued Might Be The Best App In The World

Screenshot / via Bloomberg

There’s a lot of concern around China when it comes to gay content. China is constantly banning or flagging gay content in movies or series like Alien Covenant or Addicted the Web Series.

On top of that, Chinese companies have gotten hold of several gay dating apps and many fear they will ruin these apps.

For instance, earlier this year Grindr was officially bought out by Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech. The company had already bought 61.5% of Grindr’s stakes before deciding to buy the rest in May.

Then, a new sugar daddy app called DaddyBear came onto the scene this summer and offended many people for its jargon that ostracizes gay men living with HIV. It turns out that the company behind that app is also from China.

But, what we often forget is that the largest gay app in the world, and possibly the best one, is Chinese based Blued.

Blued is like any other gay app in that it helps gay men meet other gay men. That said, the app also has multiple other features that several apps lack. These features include having a built in news site, entertainment such as gaming, and a live streaming feature where streamers can earn money.

Perhaps the reason this app is so successful and focused on actually bettering the lives of gay men is that it was created by a gay man who wanted to find a way to connect with other gay men.

To find out that story and more, check out the video down below.