Scripts and Sexual Markets of Transgender People on Online Dating Apps: A Netnographic Study
In recent years, the LGBT community has seen an exponential increase in the use of specific online dating apps (e.g. Grindr and Wapa), designed to encourage meetings and affective or sexual exchanges, that have partially disrupted the traditional way of approaching studies on non-regulatory sexuality. Indeed, they changed the very meaning that some terms assumed in the past, such as “LGBT community” or “Rainbow Community” (Masullo, Gianola, 2017; Masullo, Coppola, 2020; Bacio, Peruzzi, 2017). This study aims to answer some research questions: how transgender people use the meeting apps (e.g. Grindr, Wapa, Badoo); which dating apps are most used by T people and how these new “communicative and intersubjective spaces” influence, orient and determine the defining processes related to gender expressivity and sexual script construction; to what extent these channels constitute spaces to meet emotional and sexual needs; and whether these spaces reflect the same discriminatory dynamics that T people experience in offline reality. This research has shed light on how the ambivalence of dating apps for T people. On the one hand, they are places of emancipation; on the other, they perpetuate the exclusion mechanisms experienced offline. The choice of a platform is crucial from an identity point of view and it roughly reflects the perceived stage of the user’s transition process. The app is regarded as a place to find confirmation and recognition of their newly acquired identity.
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