Apple’s bi spat

BCN cover image

This originally appeared in BCN issue 120

After the long wrangle to get Google to stop blocking ‘bisexual’ from their instant search tool, it was pleasing in August when in just 24 hours, Apple changed their mind as to whether ‘bisexual’ is a bad word.

Apple had barred it as a description term for Apps made available through the iTunes store for iPads and other such Apple devices. A new LGBT history app for iPhones and Android phones, Quist, had then hit a snag when its publishers tried to have it listed under lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans – only because of the ‘b’ word.  Up popped a warning on the iTunes store: “The following is not recommended for use in this field: bisexual. Your app may be rejected if you use this term.”

Quist’s owner, Sarah Prager, created a Change.org petition asking Apple to remove “bisexual” from the warning list. The petition quickly received over 1,100 signatures from around the world thanks to widespread press coverage and social media publicity.

With this backing behind her, Prager emailed Apple executives requesting that they respect the bisexual identity by whitelisting the word. An Apple representative called Sarah to thank her for bringing the issue to their attention and to inform her that the word “bisexual” is now no longer a flagged keyword in the App Store.