Gay Online Bingo: Inclusive or Offensive?

The recent re-opening of Fierce Bingo has led to some serious thought about whether the site is a positive place for the gay community to feel included,  or whether it’s inherently offensive and patronising for bingo (or anything) to be segregated like this.

About Fierce Bingo

When we at WDW initially visited Fierce Bingo we thought perhaps the whole site would be themed in the inclusive gay community style. However, upon exploration of the site, there isn’t actually that much that would support its tagline: “Online Gay Bingo Website.” There are no games or promotions that would suggest this.

In fact the only thing that gives it away is the welcome message on the homepage.

Particular pieces of contenfierce bingot to mention are:

“Fierce Bingo is the fabulous, irreverent, campy and wildly popular online bingo site created exclusively for the gay and lesbian audience.”

“In fact, you can play gay online bingo in the convenience of your home wearing just your boxer shorts…ladies.”

“And, lesbians, if you get a BINGO, yell like someone stole your Birkenstocks…”

“Let’s get one thing straight – we’re not!”

From our point of view (inexpert as it is), we find all of this very distasteful to the point of being really quite offensive. It just seems like someone looked up some very unfunny stereotypes and typed them all out on the page.

Merely the idea of a bingo site being designed purely the gay community sits very uncomfortably with us. Why would there be a need for segregating people by their sexuality for playing bingo online? How does who you decide to sleep with make a difference in terms of why and how you enjoy playing bingo?

Viewpoints of Online Gay Bingo

Perhaps we’re entirely missing the point and are way off the mark though.

We asked members of a gay community forum online for their thoughts. The following is what a few of them had to say.

Some were positive about the site: “It’s not about sexuality; it’s a place for like-minded people to go, a bit like this forum.”

We suppose this is a valid point, but we wonder how relevant talking about your sexuality or relationship status is, even on generic bingo sites? Why would you feel like those sites aren’t appropriate for chatting to like-minded people, outside of sexual preferences? Do many of us define ourselves as people solely based on the gender we find attractive?

If you were looking to meet and chat with like-minded people, wouldn’t you be looking for a dating site, not a bingo site anyway?

gay forumThe most comprehensive negative response received was as follows:

“Is regular online bingo non-inclusive? Is there an actual market for this? I’m a little surprised – there seem to be so many thousands of bingo sites already out there (they are advertised constantly) – I would have thought most would attract a primarily female member base so already be quite open places for chat?

On the site’s name, “Fierce Bingo”, I vaguely have an idea that “fierce” is a term drag queens use – I’ve never heard it used in real life though and don’t really understand what it means, so it doesn’t make much sense to me. It sounds like something straight people think gay people might say, so in that respect it’s a bit patronising.

Dear oh dear at the sex puns and stereotyping on the homepage though (particularly the stuff re: lesbians), I’m guessing you might have a niche audience in the gay community that might enjoy them, not a fan personally. Donating some profits to gay charities is a plus though.”

One respondent simply said quite bluntly: “I don’t see the point”.

Implicationssite segregation

If we consider the concept of online bingo sites designed especially for gay people, how much further can this be taken?

Perhaps we might see different shopping sites appearing, depending on your sexuality?

Or even different cinema booking pages, which take into account which gender you have a preference for and suggest films for you, merely based on that?

This might be straying into the realms of the ridiculous, but maybe it is something that has crossed the minds of companies.

If someone considered online bingo to be a good market for creating separate gay sites, then who else might be inspired to follow their lead?

The Future

the future

One thing we wonder – are the creators of Fierce Bingo even gay themselves? Maybe they just see the site as a gimmick, and we all know gimmicks and novelties sell!

According to the site, they support the gay and lesbian community by donating quite a good proportion of their profits to charity. They especially look to donate money towards the causes of HIV and AIDS.

Whilst we celebrate the efforts of Fierce Bingo, we can’t help but wonder what they’re trying to get out of it by segregating the very people they want to appeal to.

At the very least we question how much of a demand there is for online bingo sites specifically for the gay community.

We think they might struggle to keep afloat in the saturated world of online bingo sites and may well close down again.

Do you find Fierce Bingo, and the concept of bingo specifically for gay people, offensive?

Let us know in the comment box below!

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