Hornet, the gay hookup app, will promote #ResistMarch marches planned in Los Angeles and West Hollywood as well as New York City and Washington, D.C., in protest of discriminatory policies by the Trump administration.
In a press release, Hornet said it “will be sharing content and information through push notifications. Additional protest march logistics will be pushed out to members of the LGBTQ community seeking information about when and where marches are being held, how to participate, and how to connect with others that share a commitment to social justice. Users can then share the content with their network, including editorial, photos and additional event information.”
The Los Angeles “#ResistMarch for LGBTQ+ and People of Color Equality” is planned for June 11, the second day of the L.A. Pride weekend. It will begin at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland and proceed to La Brea Avenue, at which point the protestors will march south to Santa Monica Boulevard and through West Hollywood to West Hollywood Park.
The protest march is a project of Brian Pendleton, a Los Angeles resident who is a major supporter of LGBT organizations and causes and a new member of the board of Christopher Street West, the non-profit that puts on the annual Pride parade and festival.
“When any marginalized group’s rights are under threat, all our rights are threatened,” Pendleton said in the announcement of the partnership with Hornet. “We must march to remind the world that this is about basic human rights and dignity. We are grateful to the Hornet team for working with us and others to share information about where and how we gather. And, more importantly, we are excited that Hornet understands and supports why we must gather.”
“Unlike other gay apps, we recognize gay culture goes deeper than just a passing moment,” said Hornet CEO Christof Wittig. “Hornet was designed to stay connected and build community. As part of our on-going advocacy partnerships and health initiatives, we are proud to become the trusted content and news source for our community and its allies gathering information to create change,” explained ”
Hornet is one of several gay mobile phone apps used to facilitate sexual connections that are trying to refocus and rebrand themselves without losing the “hookup” aspect that is their main attraction. The Hornet app’s “discover” page includes links to stories about LGBT issues as well as guides to local events, bars and parties and gay gossip posts.
Grindr, which is based in West Hollywood and considered the most popular of such apps, also is trying to recast its image. While the app still promotes sexual connections, it removed explicit offers from drug dealers after its app after an investigation by WEHOville cited that problem. Grindr’s website notes that it sends messages to non-paying app users about social issues. The website, to which the app isn’t linked, contains information about HIV prevention and LGBT rights issues around the world.
Hornet and Grindr have another thing in common. Both have attracted big money from Chinese investors. Late last year Hornet announced that it had received an investment of $8 million from Shanghai-based venture capital firm Ventech China. Also last year Grindr sold a 60% stake to China’s Beijing Kunlun Tech Company to its founder, Joel Simkhai, for roughly $93 million. That put a value of $155 million on the company, in which Simkhai and its employees will retain the remaining 40%.