Has Trump’s regime induced suspicion of everyone you date? You’re not alone. The new presidency makes us want to do a lot of things, but dropping trou definitely isn’t one of them. I mean, dating in New York City was hard enough without having to worry about whether that coffee shop meet-cute might land you in a first date with a Trump supporter, to say nothing of online dating, where well-chronicled fatigue seems to preclude even the possibility of a politically sound romance.
But a lack of libido didn’t stop Andrew Nosrati, an Iranian-American tech distributor in East Williamsburg, from attempting to use the Brooklyn dating scene as a recruitment pool for #TheResistance. For the past few weeks, Nosrati has been using his Tinder profile to gather anti-Trump forces.
“Wait! Before swiping, you should know that I’m not using this app for what it’s intended,” reads Nosrati’s Tinder profile, which explains, in vague terms, his intention to organize against the Donald Trump presidency and calls upon interested parties to swipe right. “TLDR; using my profile as a way to recruit for our revolution. Not sex.”
I don’t need to tell you how I stumbled upon the handsome 29-year-old upstart, because it’s pretty obvious, right?
In our first message exchange, Nosrati confessed that he’d been swiping right on everybody as a means of building his movement.
“I feel like this is the most effective way to organize a revolution,” he wrote. “We in agreement?”
If I wasn’t at first, I’m now somewhat more receptive to the idea. Nosrati’s so-called revolution, dubbed “The American Stand” and extant in website, newly Facebook and Twitter form, brands itself as “a grass-roots organization dedicated to bringing together all Americans under common cause, in pursuit and in defense of the American dream.”
The movement’s tagline is “Swipe Right to Unite.”
While it has yet to hard launch in rally or protest form, Nosrati’s plans include localized, multi-city resistance efforts, single-issue committees under the movement’s larger umbrella, and outreach programs in red states, with the ultimate goal of bringing the country closer together.
To this end, he finds Tinder the “lightest” app to connect on, compared with other, more formatting-heavy dating apps like OkCupid. He’s recently started using Bumble, too.
“Branding is a way to connect people.” So sayeth the tech-savvy radical.
It is fair to say that in this day and age, a hookup app is as much a means of connecting folks with like-minded ideals as a philosophy lecture, right? Nosrati’s efforts have garnered a Tinder and Bumble-born mailing list of about 200 (and counting) anti-Trump individuals willing to mobilize, mostly under the age of 35.
“We’re the generation that knows how to figure it out.”
Like many recent local movements and efforts to organize, Nosrati’s call to action came from the Women’s March on Washington in January. After attending the march, Nosrati found himself wanting to channel the energy from the protest in order to keep up the momentum of resistance, and “made a vow to [himself] to figure out how to contribute to this cause.”
That vow took both a figurative shape, in the form of The American Stand, and a literal one, in the form of a tattoo on Nosrati’s inner forearm. The ink reads “1.24.2017,” which Nosrati credits as the date he founded his movement.
“It’s my first tattoo,” he said. “To keep myself accountable.”
This Tinder tactic isn’t the first of its kind, by the way. Last year, Bernie Sanders supporters were banned from the dating app after using it overzealously to stump for the candidate. Nosrati’s profile did get taken down temporarily after his first few weeks, but it wasn’t because of his politics. It was because he changed his gender to Female, stoking the ire of hetero male users who didn’t like seeing him in their swipes.
His profile tried to justify the change: “Women don’t seem to trust this as much.”
It’s not hard to imagine why. As easy as it is to be drawn in by Nosrati’s good looks and liberal mission statement, the idea of a straight white-ish dude trying to start a political movement on Tinder is wont to make any sensible woman under 40 furrow her brow. My generation was practically raised in chat rooms, so we’re all hip to the anonymity afforded by the screen. We are suspicious of intention. And to any skeptic, Nosrati’s charming profile might read like a groomed attempt to get in someone’s pants.
“I try not to be creepy,” he said, explaining that he quickly redirects flirtatious messages into a chat about The American Stand. “There are a lot of people that have been looking for something to pull them in. Others don’t want to commit until you have plans.”
Even after the political spiel, he still gets a lot of “Are you sure you don’t wanna go on a date?”
Whether or not Nosrati’s dating app takeover will lead to meaningful political resistance remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s certainly offered a unique means of connecting with Trump supporters.
After all, Tinder capitalizes on one essential human thread that runs across the political spectrum: Everyone just wants to get laid.
Sorry, I mean fall in love or whatever.