Gay-Check Online, Congratulations: You are gay!


The latest edition of the Olympic Winter Games held in Sochi will perhaps be better remembered for the international controversy surrounding the racial and homophobic (im)positions of the Russian Government than for the sporting events and the athletes involved. Reports of beatings in public places and the suicides of gay teenagers bullied by their peers at school often appear in newspapers around the world. And although there are 13 states in the world that allow gay marriage, there are many more (over 70) in which homosexuality is a crime punishable by sentences ranging from imprisonment to death. In the international framework of the third millennium, comes the site Gay-Check-Online which scans faces to determine sexual orientation using the webcams of connected users, a process taking approximately 10 seconds. Using a facial recognition algorithm (similar to those used by Facebook), the faces of users are examined to look for common traits in homosexual people. For those interested in trying the service personally it might reduce the chances of engendering some deep crisis of sexual identity to know that the result will always be: “Congratulations: You are gay!”. Gay-Check-Online, according to statements made by the author, is not intended to be a practical tool, but rather something ridiculous that parodies homophobic attitudes. The attempt to understand the sexual orientation of a person by observing aesthetic traits has no scientific underpinnings and recalls, with a nice dose of critical cynicism, the Nazi methodologies for research and the preservation of the Aryan race.
Benedetta Sabatini

Congratulations: You are gay!