LGBT history app Quist challenges bisexual stigma in Apple Store

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Quist, the first app to bring queer history to users’ fingertips, has once again made history itself: it got “bisexual” removed from the Apple Store’s list of flagged terms.

On August 12, app owner Sarah Prager went to update the app’s description to read, “The Quist mobile app displays the LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS events of note that happened on that day. We’re bringing gay history, lesbian history, bisexual history, transgender history, and HIV history to the world in a new way.”

However, an error message popped up: “The following is not recommended for use in this field: bisexual. Your app may be rejected if you use this term.”

Given Apple’s track record of being LGBT-friendly, Prager was shocked; she responded by putting up a petition on Change.org, asking the company to remove “bisexual” as a flagged term. Social media and press outlets quickly picked up the story, and within twenty-four hours, the petition had over a thousand signatures. Prager then emailed Apple requesting that they respect the bisexual community; she also posted it as an open letter on Quist’s website.

As fast as the LGBT community and its allies acted, Apple responded even faster; within minutes, Prager got a phone call from a representative of the company, thanking her for letting them know about the issue—and told her that the word “bisexual” had been removed as a flagged keyword.

Launching at the end of July, Quist has already been a huge success; Prager told 429Magazine, “I’ve been thrilled with the response around the world. I hoped for maybe 1,000 downloads in the first week as a goal. We doubled that in 24 hours.” On August 13, Quist reported in a press release that it has been downloaded over 10,000 times in 60 countries.

Quist is available on Android as well as iOS; due to being ad-supported, the app is free. For $4.99, users can upgrade to the paid version for an ad-free experience.

429Magazine

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