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“If a community is predominately a certain race and expresses a specific preference, if you don’t fit with the majority, you’ll end up having a horrible experience,” he said.At the same time, he knew friends who were attracted to men and women outside of their own race, but they felt like it was too taboo to pursue anything because of pressure from parents or other reasons.

“All the dating data I’ve seen fits Ok Cupid’s pattern: black people and Asian men get short shrift,” noted an Ok Cupid study from 2014.

Vu, who went through Y Combinator with two separate startups before launching Color Dating, said that the online dating experience — particularly for quick-swipe apps like Tinder — can be frustrating for minorities.

Tran, a Seattle native who re-located to the Bay Area after stints with Student RND and Tune, said that he primarily made Color Dating after females consistently told him that “I don’t date Asian guys,” or, “I’m just not attracted to Asian guys.” Tran felt that this was unfair and that the trend carried over into dating apps like Tinder.

He cited experiments that showed Asian males getting significantly fewer “matches” than Caucasian males and studies that demonstrated how difficult online dating can be for black women.

“I’ve gotten quite a few comments from other black women noting similar experiences to me and the other women I mention in the article on the large sites. As for others, it’s easy to keep yourself in the dark about racism and bias when you are part of the majority, and I seem to have shone a bit of light about this in those spaces.”As Roderique alluded, there are incredibly complex social reasons behind racial preferences and stereotyping in dating. Sofi Papamarko is the founder of Friend of a Friend Matchmaking.

Systemic racism continues to oppress and “other” people of colour and interracial romantic relationships were taboo — even illegal — until shamefully recently in our history. Reach her at facebook.com/sofipapamarko The Toronto Star and thestar.com, each property of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited, One Yonge Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON, M5E 1E6. Please contact us or see our privacy policy for more information.

As an Asian male, he felt that the current offerings “get hijacked by the majority.” So, Tran and a few friends spent a weekend building an app that was focused on minorities and those who like minorities.

That was two months ago — since then, Color Dating has attracted more than 30,000 users and quite a bit of positive feedback.

Sexual narratives about Asian women suggest that they will not challenge a man’s masculinity the way that other women of colour might.

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