Dating between Deaf gay men who are American Sign Language (ASL) users and hearing gay men who use spoken language has historically been a challenge, creating a binary in Deaf-hearing relationships. The dating game has been revolutionized by the creation of geo-social networking (GSN) apps, where people communicate through the medium of written English and digital photographs. Furthermore, GSN apps have created a network for meeting other men who identify as Deaf and gay, as well as revealing the existence of a sexual fetish for Deaf partners. The main research question driving this investigation is: What are the impacts of gay GSN apps upon the dating and mating rituals of Deaf gay men in the United States? Using Grounded Theory Methodology, findings indicate that GSN apps have lifted previously-encountered communication barriers between Deaf and hearing men, creating a causeway for communication that gives rise to increased comfort, but leads to an increase in rejection based on being Deaf.
Cheslik, B., Wright, S.J. The Impact of Gay Social Networking Applications on Dating in the Deaf Gay Community. Sexuality & Culture 25, 1025–1040 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-020-09807-4