We are stronger when we are connected.

When the names of the victims from the Orlando shooting were released, we felt compelled to honor their lives by collecting their photos and creating an online memorial. We encourage all members of our tribe to take a moment to see their faces and to know their names.

You can view it here.

But what happens next?

Grindr is committed to giving our LGBTQ community a more powerful voice, as well as providing opportunities to channel that voice in order to have a meaningful impact on issues nationally and globally. The more we’re unified, the more we can accomplish.

Over the coming days, look for more resources through the app and on our social channels to get involved, including:

A petition to lift the blood donation ban for gay and bisexual citizens.

Everytown For Gun Safety

Let’s take our anger, take our sadness, take our grief, take all the emotions we’re feeling and let’s do something. Let’s be the change that no one has seen before.
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We Stand With Orlando

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. ” Ernest Hemingway

The sudden and horrific tragedy that occurred in Orlando is being considered the worst attack ever on the LGBT community. 49 victims lost their lives and over 50 more were wounded at a place where they were supposed to feel safe to be themselves, and a man filled with hatred was allowed to unleash it there. Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone affected.

A moment like this has the power to make us feel broken and powerless. But as we mourn our losses and try to understand how this could happen, we must also recognize how much work still has to be done.

Violence occurs against the LGBT community every day in every corner of the world. A significant amount of Grindr users live overseas, some in countries where being gay is still illegal. For those of us that live someplace with greater tolerance, this reality – and the reality of the violence that unfolded over the weekend – is difficult to imagine.

The stories we hear from these places haunt us.  But for every Orlando or Syria or Indonesia, we keep count and we remember. And we will not stop until every queer identified individual is safe to live as any other. We owe it to our global community and ourselves to make that promise.

So remember to stand tall together. To move forward through the darkness. To ignite change everywhere.

We are equal, not afraid.

– The Grindr Family

 

If you’re interested in helping or making your voice heard, here are some important links:

A fundraising campaign to support the victims and their families 

How to contact your local congressman

A petition to lift the blood donation ban for gay and bisexual citizens

Other ways to help

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SEVEN YEARS OF ZERO FEET AWAY.

Everyone –

Today is a big day for me, and for Grindr.

Today marks our seventh anniversary. Seven years of helping men connect. Seven years of changing how people think about everything from location to technology. And seven years of hard work and fun along the way.

I can’t thank you, our users, enough, and all the people who work here at Grindr every day, for joining me on this trip. When this started in my house, there was no way I could have known where this would take us, but I am beyond thankful that every one of you has joined me.

Every day is a new challenge, and that keeps me stimulated, excited, and thrilled to come in and spend time with you. And every day I am out in the world, meeting you, hearing your stories, I can only marvel at how far we have come.

And be thrilled at how much fun the next chapter of this journey is going to be.

Today, let’s celebrate Grindr. And our tribe, all over the world.

– Joel

Exciting announcement: Grindr takes investment from Beijing Kunlun

JOEL-11 (1)Recently we took a major step forward that we want to share with you, our users. Grindr has agreed to take on a majority investment from a new partner, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., which is a huge vote of confidence in our vision to connect gay men to even more of the world around them. You can read the full story in The New York Times.

For nearly seven years, Grindr has self-funded its growth, and in doing so, we have built the largest network for gay men in the world. We have taken this investment in our company to accelerate our growth, to allow us to expand our services for you, and to continue to ensure that we make Grindr the number one app and brand for our millions of users.

It will generally be business as usual for us here at Grindr, but with a renewed sense of purpose and additional resources to deliver a great product to you. We hope you are enjoying our app and know you will be delighted by the new features and services we have planned this year.

Most importantly, none of this growth and change would have been possible without the hard work of our Grindr employees and partners, who have made so much happen in just under seven years, and keep me inspired every day to keep growing our brand.

Grind on,

Joel Simkhai
Founder & CEO

World AIDS Day 2015

When we created Grindr for Equality, we envisioned education and support for sexual health in addition to our work for LGBTQ rights. Today, World AIDS Day, we proudly recommit to these efforts, which exist in a four-pronged plan for your health.

  1. Testing– We’re ensuring Grindr users around the world know where and when they can access LGBTQ-competent, anonymous STI testing.
  2. Protection– We’re sharing the most up-to-date information in the languages our users are most comfortable with so they can make informed decisions about using protection every time they have sex.
  3. Prevention– We are increasing access to STI prevention tools like PrEP, the HPV vaccine, and, someday soon, theherpes vaccine.
  4. Treatment– We are supporting Grindr users who are HIV+ to gain access to treatment. We are also committed to fighting the stigma attached to being HIV.

In the latter half of 2015, we took a deep dive into the third piece of this plan, as we sought to understand our users’ experience with pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

For those who may not know, PrEP refers to any medication taken by HIV-negative people to reduce their likelihood of getting HIV. The most common and only U.S. FDA-approved drug in this category right now is called Truvada, which is taken daily and has been shown to be extremely effective in preventing HIV infection. In fact, the U.S. CDC just published a reportrecommending that 1 in 4 gay and bi men should take PrEP.

So along with our partners at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF) and with help from theCenter for Disease Control and the Gilead science team, we fielded a survey and heard from Grindr users who shared their experiences. We’re very excited here to be able to share a little bit of what we found.

  • 1,213 users (25.5% of those surveyed) reported currently being on PrEP. An additional 2,655(55.7% of those surveyed) were interested in taking it in the future. Of the racial cohorts,Latinoswere the least likely to be currently taking PrEP.
  • Information. Grindr users want more general information about PrEP. 51.4% of those who aren’t on it but want to be said they didn’t know enough about it. 37.3% of those who weren’t interested in taking it at all said lack of information contributed to their disinterest.
  • Rural respondents faced a variety of increased hurdles to accessing PrEP, notably including lack of access to LGBT-competent doctors and community clinics.
  • Anxiety. 1 out of 20 respondents that were currently on PrEP rated the anxiety they had about bringing it up with their doctor at a 1 or 2 on a 5-point scale with 1 being the most nervous. 17% of respondents who weren’t currently on PrEP but want to be said anxiety about talking to their doctor was part of why they hadn’t started. 3.9% of those who were not interested in taking it said anxiety about talking to their doctor contributed to their disinterest.
  • Doctor Pushback. 1 out of 10 respondents who were currently on PrEP, reported they had trouble getting their doctor to prescribe it for them. This figure was double for Black Of those who were not currently on PrEP but want to be, 5.7% said their doctor refused to prescribe it.
  • Adherence. 35.2% of those who weren’t taking PrEP but would like to said they were anxious about having to take a pill consistently everyday. On the other hand, over 90% of respondents currently on PrEP said they had taken all seven doses over the past week.
  • Side Effects. There is some concern over immediate side effects among respondents, but there is much more anxiety about PrEP being new and the possibility of facing long-term side effects or unknowns in the future.
  • Outness. 3.6% of those who are currently on PrEP said they were not ‘out’ to their doctor. 21.2% of those who weren’t on PrEP but would like to be said not being out to their doctor was a factor. 7.6% of those who were not on PrEP and don’t want to be said that not being ‘out’ to their doctor contributed to their disinterest.
  • Health Insurance. A large majority (91.2%) of respondents were accessing PrEP through their health insurance with only 1.9% reporting they did not have any insurance. More than half of respondents currently taking PrEP were making use of Gilead’s copay or medication assistance programs. Of those who were not currently taking PrEP but would like to, 16.8% said one of the reasons was a lack of health insurance. 13.0% of those who were not currently taking PrEP but would like to, said they have insurance but it won’t cover PrEP. 19.3% of those who are not interested in taking PrEP said issues of insurance contributed to their disinterest.
  • Stigma. Among those who are currently on PrEP, only 2.9% rated their concern over stigma as “extreme” whereas 52.3% said “unconcerned.” 14.6 of those who are not currently taking PrEP but would like to said stigma played a role. 7.2% of those who were not interested in taking PrEP said lack of insurance coverage contributed to their disinterest.
  • Doctors’ Silence. Most respondents said they found out about PrEP from their friends. Only one in ten reported hearing about it from their doctor.

All of this information has helped us to craft a nuanced plan for 2016 as we increase the number of pro-bono PrEP-related in-app messages.  For example, seeing that Latinos were so much less likely to be accessing PrEP, we will prioritize the circulation of PrEP information in Spanish. And seeing that many don’t know where to get it or are nervous to ask their usual doctor, we intend to undertake a mapping project of LGBTQ clinics in the country so more people will know what their options are. We already have efforts underway to measure PrEP access and attitudes in Puerto Rico as well as among trans and gender non-conforming Grindr users across the country.

This is only the beginning of our work. Grindr for Equality has always been all-in when it comes to the health of our community. Our very own founder and CEO, Joel Simkhai will be among those featured in a forthcoming CDC campaign designed to normalize HIV testing and motivate individuals to get tested.

At Grindr for Equality, the rights, well being, and advancement of our community are our focus.  You are our tribe.  Together we are changing the world.