As anyone who's downloaded, and subsequently deleted, Grindr, Jack'd, Scruff, et. al. can attest, dating hookup apps are the worst. They facilitate and validate racism, homophobia and body-shaming within the gay male community, all while seamlessly highlighting the American educational system's galling failure at teaching proper grammar.
Well, Jack'd is doing its part to #ChangeTheGame with a series of tees and tanks that promote healthier discourse, proceeds from which benefit The Trevor Project. As Jack'd marketing director Kevin Letourneau explained in a statement:
"Gay men are three times as likely to have an eating disorder, twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety, and suffer a suicide rate double those of other men. Words matter. They have consequences. That is why we were disheartened to see Marek + Richard perpetuate the toxic put-down, 'No Fats No Fems,' in their new line of apparel.
As the youngest, and most diverse community of gay men around the world, we see it as our responsibility to create a safe space to connect, and empower our generation to stamp out exclusionary phrases from our vocabulary once and for all.
We appreciate the conversation this has sparked, but retroactive satire is not enough. All proceeds from our new #NoBulliesNoBigots apparel will go to support The Trevor Project, an organization focused on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth. For every purchase, Jack'd will commit a dollar-for-dollar matching donation.
Please show your support, and challenge all of us, both on Jack'd and throughout the gay community at-large, to respect our differences and embrace our uniqueness as individuals.
Together, we can #ChangeTheGame."
Letourneau is referring to this tee from Marek + Richard, which we used to recently illustrate a study on fat-shaming among gay men. The internet cast a withering side-eye at the "satirical" tee, and so the brand responded with a pink version, along with models from different walks of life other than the masc-for-masc dudebro they had modeling the original, as well as a statement about how they "do actually give a fuck."
Jack'd apparently just gives more of a fuck, or just gives a fuck in a different, less satirical way--either way fucks are being given. And while the hookup app certainly made a commendable step in the right direction, in order to actually change the game, gay/bi men will have to make a concerted effort to stop being awful to one another, stop treating these apps like a dick delivery service, and realize that behind the profiles they're talking to are real people (most of the time) with real feelings (some of the time).
So until that happens, here's a link to Jack'd's #ChangeTheGame tees.