In an interview with Bloomberg Television last month, Joel Simkhai revealed he started Grindr in 2009 because “We don’t always know who else is gay.” Six years, 192 countries, 12 million downloads, and two million daily users later, on late Friday afternoon, Bloomberg also revealed something else about Grindr: it’s up for sale and that could have real implications for us all.
To be sure, for everything from increased STI risk to promoting racism within our community, criticism that Grindr can be counter-productive to facilitating the connections it was designed for is nothing new. “We get criticism that Grindr is a very visual experience and I’m not apologetic about that,” Simkhai said to the British Independent.
At the same time, Simkhai told thebacklot “From our perspective we have a responsibility,” and “Grindr for Equality” was born in 2010. While originally it was to encourage domestic political activism, like everything Grindr, its reach has gone global with Dutch, Australian and British candidates using Grindr as an additional way to spread their political platform as well.
Still privately held, the passions of Simhkai both political and libidinous should prevent a sale to a less sympathetic concern that would further censor profile pics or throttle activist outreach. To the NYTimes “I’m not saying inner beauty is not important,” Simkhai said. “But the visual leads to the drive to desire and to be desired.”
Despite the appearance of having it all, Simhkai remains single himself. If Grindr is ultimately sold, perhaps we’ll next find him on Scruff.
First, Grindr founder Joel Simkhai in a profile done by Bloomberg TV on April 17, 2015
Then shortly before this past Mother’s Day weekend, British vlogger Riyadh K posted this hilarious video of him reading Grindr messages with his mum
And even though there isn’t an upcoming “Brother’s Day,” Dion had his straight brother do the “read the Grindr” schtick too: