He quickly told me to meet him at the in an hour, where he would then take me to get dinner and drinks.
We traveled around the city, and because he had a background in architecture (and an Instagram filled with architectural commentary), I learned everything one ought to know about the clay-red rooftops and the golden gilded cathedrals that make up Lisbon’s hilly skyline.
We eventually said goodbye after a day spent discussing and exploring and eating delicious basil gelato.
Dating apps — and so-called hook up apps — certainly have their problems, problems that can be critiqued from multiple angles, but perhaps dating apps also provide us with a new way of embracing something we all desperately need and crave: community.
When it comes to those of us who have a more marginalized social identity (be it sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else) who might not so easily enjoy the comfortability of existing and interacting with new people in typical in-person social situations, these apps can provide us with real community building opportunities.
As we walked, on several occasions Belmiro was stopped by other, young citizens of Lisbon who knew him quite well.
Later I would learn the reason for this was that this man I had met on Grindr, who had wooed me with his beautiful and scruffy face, was in fact one of the most well known LGBTQ activists in Lisbon.With Belmiro, however, I didn’t need to worry about reconnecting or ensuring that social media kept us on each other’s minds.Our friendship that began on Grindr and took a route through his many activist friendships on the streets of Lisbon has continued onward.We, of course, stayed in touch so I could keep up with the possibility of seeing the U. premiere of his award-winning film — in which he was the star actor — but we also went our separate ways — his to work and mine to my much anticipated time with Belmiro.As Monday and Tuesday slowly passed, I woke up Wednesday and messaged Belmiro (our messages had finally converted from Grindr to a more battery-friendly platform, Whatsapp.) He proposed that we meet for lunch at a neighborhood Mozambiquan restaurant that happened to be on the way to a famous castle I was going to visit that morning.I quickly scoped out the castle and hurried down to the causeway to meet Belmiro.