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?