The lesbian behind an LGBT history app was shocked to discover Apple’s iTunes may reject her hard work if she used the word ‘bisexual’ in the description.
She says ‘bisexual’ is not a ‘dirty word’ and Apple should change their alerts accordingly.
Sarah Prager, from Berwyn Heights, Maryland, USA, launched the Quist smartphone app two weeks ago to tell more people about LGBTQ history.
It was approved by Apple and has already been downloaded by 8,000 on iTunes and 2,000 on Android.
But this morning (12 August) Prager went to update the app’s description and was ‘shocked’ to get this warning from iTunes: ‘The following is not recommended for use in this field: “bisexual”. Your app may be rejected if you use this term.’
She was doubly surprised as they hadn’t previously objected to her using the words lesbian, gay or bisexual in the original description.
Prager told GSN: ‘The app was approved. The description was approved. Apple did not remove or reject any content but I think the message itself was terrible and harmful.
‘It [bisexual] is clearly on some kind of blacklist.’
She posted the information on her personal Facebook and friends urged her to start a petition, which she has now done on Change.org – you can find it here.
Her appeal to the multinational is simple: ‘Apple, “bisexual” is not a dirty word. It is the identity of millions of people. Your company has said it is pro-LGBT and proven it with action many times. Show it in all of your policies, including acceptable language for your App Store.’
Prager argues bisexuals are already struggle for visibility and acceptance more than gay or lesbians and this treatment adds to the stigma.
She told GSN: ‘I know Apple has been LGBT friendly so I am confident they will right this wrong when they become aware of it and I thought the petition was the best way of doing that.’
GSN contacted Apple to ask for their comments and is waiting for a response.
Meanwhile you can still learn more about Quist and join the thousands who have downloaded it for free in 60 countries here.
UPDATE: Apple has now (13 August 2013) removed ‘bisexual’ from its warning list.