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First Nations woman exposes Tinder racism on Twitter

A Mohawk woman started a Twitter hashtag to expose the racist comments she was receiving on the dating app Twitter.

Jessica Deer says she started #S**tWhiteGuysTellMe to help other aboriginal youth dealing with racism

Jessica Deer says she has to defend her Mohawk identity on Tinder because her looks don't match First Nations stereotypes. (Twitter/Tinder)

A Mohawk woman started a Twitter hashtag, #S**tWhiteGuysTellMe, to expose the racist comments she was receiving on the dating app Tinder.

Jessica Deer, 25, is from the small community of Kahnawake, just outside of Montreal, and describes herself as blonde, blue-eyed, and pale skinned. She uses her Kahnawake name on Tinder, which sometimes prompts unwanted attention. 

She says people would try to make her First Nations identity into something exotic, or make references to their love for Pocahontas.

"Those are issues that a lot of other people who are single and indigenous are facing," she said.

In some instances, suitors don't believe Deer is First Nations at all. Deer says she often has to defend her identity because her looks don't match First Nations stereotypes. 

"I think it's just really a constant hassle to have to constantly explain my identity and defending my own identity when people don't believe me," she said.

"If I'm saying I am, please stop questioning it."

Deer says she started the hashtag to vent her own frustrations, but also to create a sense of solidarity among those who experience racism in the dating world.

She says aboriginal youth grow up dealing with issues of not only identity but dating as well, and that the combination of the two can prove to be a struggle.

"For me it was an issue of wanting to make sure that other youth or other young people going through you're not alone," she said. 

Advice dealing with Tinder racism

Deer suggests engaging in a friendly conversation with the offender to explain why certain comments are not acceptable.

If that doesn't work, Deer says to not dwell on the issue. 

"Just un-match and move on," she said. "There's more fish in the sea."

To hear more, click the audio labelled: Mohawk woman fights back against racism on Tinder.


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