By Vish | @VishDelishUK

I admit it. There was a time I’d log in to Grindr with excitement at the prospect of meeting someone. Someone who wanted to objectify my mind, spirit and body.

My brain curated imagines of me cuddling up with some cutie as we giggle and watch Corrie. I embrace him tighter, our hormones bubble, and my head moves lower and lower towards his...feet…yes feet! Where I’d notice his untied shoe laces and do them up for him – because you know I wouldn’t want him tripping over shit – I know I’m fucking mother Teresa.

But unfortunately this all seems fated to remain a fantasy. My bubble bursts as soon as I look at my inbox. I quickly realise the 12 plus messages waiting for me are adverts for jockstraps and encouragements to upgrade to a paid account so I can throw my net further a field to meet tons more dudes.

Girl, I can barely get any attention from anyone with the free subscription, why would I dream of upgrading?

These dating apps are addictive – even after using these platforms on and off for the past few years, I’ve not really made any romantic connections. Even when luck doesn’t seem on my side, my mind somehow resets to ‘hopeful’ every time I log on. Let’s face it, there’s something quite alluring about clicking a few buttons to meet someone without even leaving the house - convenience is sexy.

Though recently, a couple of app incidents have left me feeling hopeless. Someone said I looked fat just by looking at my face picture and thus wouldn’t consider me. Another time, after I initiated a ‘hey how are you?’ chat, I got ‘no thanks mate, you’re a 4 and I’m a 10’.

I was gobsmacked! I know you’re thinking, this is what I get for approaching guys out of my league! Bitch Please! I don’t message stereotypical attractive guys as I’m more drawn to quirky faces and for your info: I AM A FUCKING CUTE QUEER ASIAN BEAUT!

After the later incident, I stopped using the app for three months. I guess it confirmed why I wasn’t getting messaged back. To put it simply. I’m ugly to the gay gaze because I don’t meet Eurocentric  masculine looks/ideals that many thirst over.

I’m not bitter (well maybe a little!) that I don’t easily attract and meet guys on dating apps and in life. But that’s OK, people are attracted to what they’re attracted to. Where I live, the men in close proximity to me are predominately white (as is the generally wider community).

I can’t expect some white guy to find me attractive if all he’s ever known is other white people in their social contacts and the media they consume. After all, aren’t our attractions and preferences an accumulation of our lived experiences and to what/whom we’ve been exposed to?

Yeah it feels a bit shitty and othering to be overlooked or made to feel invisible, but the truth is I have no right to anyone’s attention or affections – no matter how badly I may want them.

But that doesn’t mean you can be a dick to me.