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Homophobic Android App Tests for Sexuality: 'Sorry, you're Gay'


The app store for Google's G1 phone on the Android platform is selling an app by Bendroid called "Straight?" in the Android Marketplace, Jason Dabrowski reports.

It's a program in which the user touches a finger to the phone's touchscreen, which then broadcasts one of two messages, either "You are the man" or "Sorry, Sweety, you are."

After the app was flagged, a Google employee posted the following response: "Regarding this specific case, though the app may be offensive to some, it is not in violation. Stereotypes in and of themselves do not constitute hate against a group."


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  1. The Google employee is correct, I don't see a problem with this app. Besides, no gay man would ever buy this phone, so... it's a useless app anyway.

    Posted by: JayDub | Feb 19, 2009 4:02:24 PM

  2. "Stereotypes in and of themselves do not constitute hate against a group."

    So, let me see if I get this right: Google is saying that were someone to introduce an app that "tested" for race or religion and the choices were either "Congratulations, you're white" or "Congratulations, you're a Christian" or else you got a screen that said something like "Sorry, you're black" or "Sorry, you're Asian" or "Sorry, you're a Muslim," then Google wouldn't have a problem with that?

    Someone ought to test that theory. Somehow I suspect it wouldn't hold up to much scrutiny.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 19, 2009 4:05:45 PM

  3. Well, you don't have to buy the app. I'm assuming it's response is random, so sometimes it will tell you the opposite of before.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2009 4:09:06 PM

  4. Imagine if, as Jason said, the app was about race, and when you "scanned" your fingerprint, you got one of two responses -

    "You're white! You're the man!"
    "Sorry, you're..." and instead of the rainbow flag there was a symbol of black pride.

    The "Sorry" is equating being gay with a negative. They are trying to ride the lines of semantics, but all you have to do is exchange sexuality for race and the deeply offensive nature of this app is clear.

    I am sick and tired of the thinly veiled attacks on gays and lesbians that seem to be utterly permeating our culture these days. I find it truly disturbing. We are being blamed for everything from hurricanes to moral decay. These smears and stereotypes are very dangerous. Countless genocides and ethnic cleansing began with just this kind of propaganda.

    Posted by: Lewis Payton | Feb 19, 2009 4:09:34 PM

  5. Come on. As a whole we have started taking ourselves a bit way too seriously? Flag this app because it’s offensive? It’s effing hysterical. Homos offended by that need to take a pill, for reals. I’m buying it for the simple fact that my gaydar has been broken for decades and maybe it’ll keep me from embarrassing myself the next time I try to pick up a straight guy cuz he’s wearing ridiculously skinny jeans.

    Posted by: (F)reddy | Feb 19, 2009 4:10:22 PM

  6. Or maybe I should say, since the app apparently doesn't specifically use the word "gay," what if the choices were "Congratulations, you're white" or "Congratulations, you're a Christian" or else you got a picture representing a common caricature stereotypically associated with a minority group and a "Sorry, you're a..."

    Somehow that even seems worse.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 19, 2009 4:10:23 PM

  7. It's stupid, but if somebody's willing to pay to download the app, then they're even stupider. While I don't disagree that if this were racial, it would be treated differently, I just think we've got bigger fish to fry.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 19, 2009 4:21:30 PM

  8. Yes, it's offensive. But we don't ban things just because some people find them offensive. I kiss my boyfriend in public, and if some wingnut said, "That's offensive," I'd laugh and say, "Too bad, it's a free country."

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 19, 2009 4:26:40 PM

  9. "Sorry, you were born a nigger and you'll be shot in your 'hood" would not be offensive, either, according to Google. It's just a stereotype, right?

    Posted by: Brendan | Feb 19, 2009 4:27:02 PM

  10. Wow, all this drama over a phone application? Get over yourselves! We've got much bigger fish to fry than an app that "sort of" says you're gay... I'm proud to be Gay and will tell anyone who's interested. I don't get all of this fuss...

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 19, 2009 4:30:35 PM

  11. Lewis Payton,

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 19, 2009 4:30:58 PM

  12. How many people own an Android-based phone anyways? It's like owning a Zune.

    Posted by: JB | Feb 19, 2009 4:32:34 PM


    This comes down to the semantic approach vs. the contextual approach to the meaning of bigoted symbols; the semantic states that some words are inherently offensive (like the 'N' word), whereas the contextual states that those words are only offensive in certain contexts.

    Since the contextual approach is unable to explain what it is about contexts that makes the words offensive, the semantic approach has an advantage with its commitment to the word being offensive--or carrying an offensive meaning of some kind--in every context.

    Thus, what this person says about stereotypes not being inherently offensive is false; even stereotypes that are somewhat true, but are used to transmit a negative value judgment based upon a meme. And THIS is meant to be insulting, obviously.

    He doesn't even know what he's talking about,'s just bullshit. Whatever confuses and derails is his job. The sun rises and sets on it for most people.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 19, 2009 4:33:16 PM

  14. I don't find it any more offensive than the Gaydar Gun which was advertised on Logo over Christmas.

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 19, 2009 4:36:50 PM

  15. Quit shit-talking the Android phone. I'VE got a G1. Sure, it ain't the guyPhone, but it's a good phone, yo. For real.

    Posted by: (F)reddy | Feb 19, 2009 4:40:21 PM

  16. The Gaydar Gun is FAR more offensive.

    Posted by: (F)reddy | Feb 19, 2009 4:42:52 PM

  17. NICK - just because you don't think it's any worse than the gaydargun doesn't make it okay. Logic, please.

    This app wouldn't be offensive if it just said: you are straight/you are gay. Instead it makes a judgment that gay=negative. If you all can't see the problem then I'm going to have to point you toward wikipedia so you can read all about internalized homophobia. Ciao.

    Posted by: altona | Feb 19, 2009 4:48:19 PM

  18. sorry you are gay! , if some of you don't find that offensive, what do you find offensive?!

    Posted by: art | Feb 19, 2009 4:48:51 PM

  19. Ching Chong! You're Chinese!

    Get some fried chicken! You're Black!

    Alalalalala! You're Indian!


    Posted by: MickeyD | Feb 19, 2009 4:48:59 PM

  20. G1 sucks... get a real phone! (hehe)

    And possibly find a desensitization class.

    Posted by: JayDub | Feb 19, 2009 4:54:30 PM

  21. iPhone has a very similar feature. It's called "owning an iPhone."

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 19, 2009 4:55:14 PM

  22. Crispy, I just spit out my drink. Well done.

    Posted by: Jay | Feb 19, 2009 5:01:50 PM

  23. Once again, thank you Crispy.

    The G1 does suck.

    And this app is patently offensive; the "sorry" is part of the insidious homophobia that is rarely recognized/challenged and is almost subliminal.

    Posted by: David R. | Feb 19, 2009 5:07:52 PM

  24. Gents, we have three competing for TSLH (Today's Self-Loathing Homosexual). It'll be close, so please get your votes in before midnight tonight!

    For your consideration...

    JAYDUB: "I don't see a problem with this app."

    (F)REDDY: "It’s effing hysterical. Homos offended by that need to take a pill, for reals."

    WAYNE: "Wow, all this drama over a phone application? Get over yourselves! We've got much bigger fish to fry than an app that "sort of" says you're gay"

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Feb 19, 2009 5:36:23 PM

  25. I LOVE it. And I wish that my BlackBerry would have a similar application! Come on guys, it's cute...the emoticon and everything! ;)

    Posted by: Cody | Feb 19, 2009 5:40:50 PM

  26. 1 2 »

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