Open Letter to Apple, Inc.

UPDATE: Minutes after sending this letter, Apple called me to say thank you for bringing this to their attention and that “bisexual” is no longer a flagged term!

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing with the backing of over 1,100 signers of an online petition that was launched less than 24 hours ago. I am sending this email to your address because you have been listed as a contact on an Apple press release in the last six months. If you are not the appropriate person to address this issue, please forward it to the correct department.

Yesterday, I logged in to iTunes Connect to update my app’s description text. My app, Quist, was approved and released in the App Store in late July 2013 without issue. Quist is an app in the Reference category that teaches the user about LGBTQ history. I was surprised to get a warning message yesterday that read: “The following is not recommended for use in this field: bisexual. Your app may be rejected if you use this term.”

None of my app’s content was rejected, but this message is extremely harmful. The “B” in LGBT is often overlooked, but it is the identity of millions of people and does not deserve to be treated as a spam word. The stigma against bisexual people is perpetuated by actions like this.

I understand that the term “bisexual” includes the word “sexual” and that you are probably trying to filter out sexually explicit or pornographic content. However, there must be a way to whitelist this specific word. I’m sure it wasn’t your intention to alienate this community, but to correct this you must immediately change your policy to reflect respect for all LGBT people.

Apple, Inc. currently has a perfect score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index and you have supported us on other LGBT issues such as same-sex marriage before. Please show consistency by removing the word “bisexual” from your list of “not recommended” terms.

Buzzfeed, Pink News, GLAAD, Queerty, and other press outlets have picked up this story. Tens of thousands of people read those articles yesterday. You can read the brief petition summarizing what I have written above here.

Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response.
Sarah Prager
Owner of the Quist App
www.quistapp.com

UPDATE: Minutes after sending this letter, Apple called me to say thank you for bringing this to their attention and that “bisexual” is no longer a flagged term!

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