I was hanging out with an older cousin recently when she asked to see my phone. I don’t know if I had momentarily forgotten the kind of information I keep on that device or if I was subconsciously trying to out myself. To cut a short story even shorter, I gave the phone to her then spent the next five minutes holding my breath while feigning nonchalance though my eyes were involuntarily drawn to the screen as she scrolled through my applications list and past the popular gay chat apps – Grindr etc. My heart responded to every click with a loud thud. When she asked if I could direct her to my gallery, I immediately snatched my phone and pretended I had to respond to an email because there was NO WAY I was going to let her see my pictures. I wasn’t in any sexually or otherwise compromising photos but there were some I’d rather she didn’t see.
Which brings me to a question I hadn’t ever thought about: do heterosexual people know about gay mobile chat apps?
If a guy sees your phone, sees Grindr on it and gives you a weird look, does that mean he’s probably gay?
With all the gay gay gay in the news these days, everyone seems to know some of the lingo. Currently three people know about me and whilst one keeps praying it’s a phase I’ll grow out of (my response to her was don’t hold your breath!), the other two keep asking whether I’m top or bottom. I’m not sure whether to be surprised that they know the terms or that they felt that they could ask something so private with the same casual tone one would use when asking another to pass the salt.
Interesting also is the sort of people on the apps. Most often, I use them as a form of comic relief since the guys there are so unreal. They have enormous lists of likes and dislikes, lists that indicate that they will remain single for the near and far future. With the country becoming even more attractive to international investors, a lot of travellers are on these apps and most often request for appendages so humongous that you wonder whether they are trying to have casual sex or breed a whale. These requests are so ubiquitous that a couple of my friends think all Europeans are hyper-skilled ‘catchers’ until proven otherwise. All I ask of these size queens is that they may kindly inform the Ministry of Tourism after finding the gigantic appendages of their heart’s desires so that these guys may be approached and compensated for their service to the country since they are clearly bringing in a lot of foreign exchange into the country and are a huge asset to the hospitality industry in particular.