My 10 Year Old Downloaded Grindr

“This app is taking forever to load,” my 10-year-old son Chase said as I was driving. It was just the two of us in the car and he was fiddling with his iPhone*.

“What app is it?” I asked. He isn’t supposed to download anything unless he has our permission.

“It’s called Grindr,” he said. I nearly crashed the car.

iPhone5_Splash“You can’t download that,” I said quickly, full of panic and resisting the urge to reach over and snatch the phone out of his hands. I was certain the app would load faster than any app has loaded in the history of all apps and his profile would be automatically complete and naked selfies of men would flood his phone and his brain.

“I can download it; it’s just taking forever,” he said.

“No. I mean you aren’t allowed to download it. I’m saying no. You’re not old enough and, besides, you didn’t ask for permission.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. He hates even remotely feeling like he is somewhat near being in trouble.

“It’s okay. Why do you want to download that app anyway?” My panic was fading a little.

“I was looking through lists of the top iPhone apps and I saw that they had a list of the top LGBT apps and that’s so cool that they even have LGBT apps. I wanted to show my support and Grindr was the top LGBT app, so I wanted to download it to show my support for everybody who is LGBT and let Apple know that they should make more LGBT apps,” he explained.

Chase is the best person I know. When he’s old enough, and if he goes that route, some person on a dating app would be lucky to meet him.

“That’s very sweet. That app is for adult gay men who are looking for friends and boyfriends,” I explained.

“That’s cool,” he said.

I reminded him about the rules that came with his phone – including no downloading apps without approval from Matt or me.

Later, when we had a moment to ourselves, I told Matt that our son was loading Grindr to his phone.


Then, I called my brother to tell him.


Chase had the best intentions in mind…and he had a $30 iTunes gift card burning a hole in his pleather wallet. You see, Chase’s birthday is today, May 7. My first-born son, the one who made me a mother, is 11 now. Yesterday I took him on a lunch date. I watched him eat his hamburger. I just stared and stared and stared. He is beautiful to me. I could watch him forever. But he doesn’t want me to. I embarrass him.

He’s a tween. He has a playoff football game this weekend. After much prodding, he asked for a leather jacket and a coffee mug for his birthday. He wants steak for dinner. I took him to buy new sneakers; he now wears a size bigger than mine. I’m helping him become self reliant, but dread the day he leaves the nest.   I love that he loves all people and wants to support the LGBT community. He just can’t show his support by downloading Grindr.

How would you suggest an 11-year-old boy who identifies as straight show his support for the LGBT community?

*To some, the fact that my 11-year-old has an iPhone will be the thing that sticks out to them most in this blog post. I explain myself only to avoid receiving a shit-ton of comments and emails voicing disapproval of this. Chase does not ask for anything. Ever. We have to beg him to write Christmas and birthday wish lists. This past Christmas, the only thing he asked for was an iPhone. We were eligible to get one free from our wireless provider, so we did. And, we gave it to Chase. He deserves it. He’s the awesomest. End of story. Thank you for your concern.

About raisingmyrainbow is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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142 Responses to My 10 Year Old Downloaded Grindr

  1. Reblogged this on Follow Me Astray and commented:
    If I ever end up having kids, I want them to be as cool and kind as these two, and to be at least half the parent CJ’s parents are. 🙂

  2. Kate says:

    What a great reflection of the parents he has! Would he consider starting a LGBT/straight-alliance student organization in his school? A starting point:

    • robmast37 says:

      omg…i am new to blogging and new to this site…you are one of the first bloggers i came across and i have spent the last half and hour reading through your blogs regarding your sons and your husband….i only pray you see this because i really hope to get to read what i have to say…unlike your very blessed son…not chase but the other one that at this exact second i can’t seem to recall the exact phrase you to describe him so i am just going to say the “trans” wonderful one…wow what an amazing young man and how super blessed is he to have two such amazing parents who have worked this hard to not only understand but to as well support him for being just exactly as God created him to be. And that Chase of yours…seriously? At that age he is that understanding and supportive of a brother…oh wow awkward moment for me I just realized I am not sure hoe Chase refers to his sibling but please trust me my heart is the right place here….that he, without anyone else being involved, wanted to download what he saw as the #1 LGBTQ website on amazon…i can not lie, when i was reading that paragraph i was doing so through tears……and then you and Matt…..I truly and finding myself without the proper words I want to convey…..please don’t take this as me somehow putting your acceptance, love and understanding ranked below my Matt’s…..if my words fail to express just how much I feel you all should be applauded please forgive me for that is definitely not my intention……you have two of the most luckiest children this world has ever seen….I am a gay man…and i was raised penecostal….because of that i kept my true feelings secret for many, many years and i cried myself to sleep so many nights out of fear of upsetting my parents or God……it took me such a very long to be able to realize I am exactly who God intended me to be and it took me even longer to be able to admit that to the most important people in my life…..sadly my dad died without ever getting to know who I was truly born to be, and i can not applaud loudly enough for you and Matt for your complete and total love and acceptance of your sons for being just who they were meant to be according to God’s plan…..this is so inspiring to me and I have never met nor read of any parents being this unbelievably understanding and accepting of their children when it comes to issues of gender or sexuality. I applaud your family like I have never applauded another soul in my entire life. And I want to say something else but I don’t want u to take it as me in any shape or form downgrading the utterly amazing mother you are…..cuz u totally blow my mind and u have got to be for mother of the century somewhere someday……but reading all the things u said bout your husband being a cop and real tough guy and the total mans man…..when i read about him wanting to be the one to be there so your son could see the disney princesses with him…….omg doll it was like a damn broke and i just bawling…………………i love my parents i truly do and although my dad is gone slowly over the years my mom is trying to do her best to understand but our family has a very long deep rooted penecostal history and although i know her and my sisters love me they still ultimately feel i am a sinner that will go to hell when the lord comes again………….i’ll never be able to change that and i have had to come to accept it……………so when i read such an amazing set of blogs from such amazing parents as you……………it truly truly moved me and i think your boys are so blessed in so many ways but i believe they know it and i think you and matt are probably two of the most amazing parents i have ever heard of in my life………….as i said i am new to this site and new to blogging and i am not super tech so i really hope i have done this right and you guys get to read it…..if i did do right…can u please let me know even if just one word you got to read this…would mean so much to me

  3. jordan says:

    Well I think there could be many ways for a straight child to show his support of gay and lesbian people. Depending on the are you live in, he could read up about gay rights, and discrimination issues, and then show is support by vocalizing his feelings on this subject. I very known you tween kids who started anti bullying programs at their schools. I very known one little girl who became so outspoken about the subject, that she actually travels around her state now and speaks to other schools about this issue. One thing to be noted, if your son wants to support the glbt community, i’d highly suggest sitting him down and having a talk with him about the ramifications. He could begin to be bullied himself just by showing his support. People might even assume he is gay, just because he is not ignorant and wants to be supportive. I think it is important to let to him know what he could be getting himself into. And if he still wants to do it, he could even go to events locally. Many cities have gay pride events every year in june. Maybe he could start a sort of gay/straight alliance when he gets a little older in high school. The possibilities are endless. And I think it is beautiful that your son is so kind, so gentle, and so loving. Your very lucky to have such a son.

  4. chris a says:

    For someone his age I’d say the Trevor project. And Ben Cohen’s Stand Up Foundation. There’ll be lots of bullying ahead and tackling all of it not just that based on lgbt is crucial.

  5. Gary Riemenschneider says:

    Give you son a great big hug. He deserves it. The world is changing and becoming more supportive of the LGBT and for him to want to support it is amazing. If he wants to help out check on ur town and see if you town has a LGBT chapter and let him volunteer for them. As a gay man who is in a same sex relationship of almost 12 years and we are also dads to our 5 grown children and grandpa’s to our first grand baby it means the world to us. We say thank you from out hearts. We live in Texas where it isnt legal to marry yet but we know it will be soon. God bless you Chase.
    Gary and Troy

  6. Tessa says:

    If Chase wants to show support, help him make a donation to HRC and he will get a sticker that he can put anywhere. Also, i own a store and we make tshirts and if you give me his size ill send him a straight supported if LGBT rights.

    My daughter turned 11 in April, she is an amazing young girl and like your son never ask for anything. She runs her own small business and has a kind loving heart. When she does not ask for something we do what.we can to give it to her.

  7. David says:

    Help him to get involved in local LGBTQ organizations. Stay away from HRC as they care more about their pockets than the community and have discriminated against the teams community a few times.

    If your city has an LGBTQ-friendly homeless shelter, he can volunteer there. Many queer youth would love to have a friend like him.

    Such beautiful parenting and I love you all for existing. Much love and light to your family.

  8. Drew says:

    This has been the only success story I’ve ever read that involved the word “Grindr”. What an amazing child and astounding representation of you as parents. As a certified member of the LGBT community (haha) I commend and encourage you as parents to continue this amazing work in implementing reality and love in the raising of your [amazing] children. I will say this though… The only thing that stuck out to me was “it’s for adult gay men who are looking for friends and boyfriends”. Oh poor little booger the day he finds out what the app is really used for. Thank the sweet lord y’all intercepted that poor boy from experiencing that of which you cannot unsee that is Grindr lol.
    God bless y’all and thanks for posting. This made my night/day/whatever it is at 3:30AM

  9. Props to you for being an amazing parent 🙂 and props to your kid for being an amazing kid too ❤

  10. Brian says:

    Perhaps go with him to volunteer for an LGBT charity. Help him support the community by donating time to help others. Most organizations would love to have an enthusiastic young person wiling to help!

  11. This is super cute. But you can set age restrictions on the phone so he cannot use apps that, for instance, are meant for 18+. If you didn’t already know, of course.

  12. This is an amazing story. The fact you have raised your son to be accepting to anyone no matter who they are inside or out is amazing. You are a great parent. To show support is to continue to do what he is doing. Be an ally, it’s what we need, being a gay male myself I wish I would have had a friend like your son growing up. If your son wants to further help he can start a GSSA (Gay, straight student alliance) They have started at several schools here in my area. It’s a great way to show support and educate.

    Thank you!!

  13. Lucas Hargis says:

    Reblogged this on The Write Frame of Mind and commented:
    I love everything about this.

  14. Steve McApe says:

    This post is in response to the post script pertaining to comments about giving your son an iphone. I am a separated gay father (I came out after marrying a woman – Meg) and I have two children (it’s a long story but Meg and I have a great relationship and are there for our kids first and always).
    When my son was born we got rid of cable TV (videos on DVD/VHS only) and tried to edit toys and the home environment to eliminate the commercial, crass and even overly plastic (we still like Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf educational principles).
    Flash forward to Xmas 2012 and I take my son to BestBuy a few days before Xmas for his 11th birthday. He, like me, has a birth date that is a few days from Xmas so I let him know that he can do what I did when I reached his age and he can combine Xmas and birthday into a ‘supergift’. I had a good year and so his purchase limit was $300.
    I suggested an iPad mini or Wii (hey, it promotes mobility – a first for video games);
    My son looks at me and asks “um, Dad, can I get an Xbox?”
    I immediately think of my hippy roots and sensibilities and my aversion to a range of things that I feel video games promote that are questionable – violence being the top concern.
    Then I reflect on reality – he already plays Xbox nearly every day but he goes to his friend’s house up the street and is there all weekend sometimes.
    So we walked to the Xbox display and my son picked out an Xbox system and was nearly bursting out of his skin with glee in a way I don’t think I had ever seen him.
    Since he got an Xbox, now my son and his friends spend time in Meg’s house and we see them much more than before, when he gamed at the homes of his friends.
    Instead of banning violent games (almost all of them are), I will watch my son play the games and simply inform him that while I don’t like the violence and don’t think that the violence in the game promotes healthy values, that I do enjoy the detailed rendering of the game environs (hey, no matter how you feel about the values in GTA5, it is a gorgeous game to watch). I share my feelings about the games he plays and we have some excellent Dad-son time with the games being the meeting point.
    The point in my story is that to critique a parent for giving their child an iphone or an Xbox is unfair when you don’t know the context and to think that you can limit technology exposure by banning it in your house means that your child will just find access elsewhere.
    It’s not about the child having access to the technology, it is about the parent supervising and managing how the technology gets used.
    The people I usually hear criticizing parents like the author or us are frequently idealists who don’t have children themselves.
    Bravo for giving your son an Iphone, he clearly has great parents – and the Grindr story is hilarious!

  15. What a cool story. Cool, straight but not narrow kid, cool parents.

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