Dating apps are all the rage right now and are very much a part of the millennial landscape. When we’re checking text messages and social media notifications, we’re also casually swiping left and right, or reading messages from potential dates on apps like Tinder to Bumble.
With the wide array of dating apps available today, it seems like everyone should be able to successfully land a date or two. That is if you are white and straight.
To be blunt, online dating for queer women sucks. While mainstream dating apps like Tinder have attempted to be more inclusive of LGBTQ folks over recent years, queer women are still finding little success on apps created and sustained by heternormative standards.
Here’s the good news: Finding companionship over tech doesn’t have to be so bleak. Thanks to LGBTQ folks that are doing their badass work in tech, many have created mobile platforms made specifically for LGBTQ women trying to find love, friendship or sincere connections over a safe space.
Although dating apps for LGBTQ women aren’t perfect yet (some are still working to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary folks), these apps are on the right track to allowing queer women to foster relationships unapologetically.
Her is a mobile dating app created by LGBTQ women for LGBTQ women. The app is a hybrid of dating and social networking, where you not only can find a romantic partner, but you can also make friends with fellow lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and queer women.
The user interface is minimal and easy to navigate and setting up your profile is extremely straightforward, allowing users to interact right off the bat.
Her is ultimately a safe place where queer women can build community, and there isn’t necessarily pressure to hookup with the people in which you connect. Beyond the dating and social networking aspect of this app, users can also keep up with LGBTQ news and get updates on meetups, parties and other events happening near you, all submitted and curated by the Her community.
LGBTQutie is one of the first apps of its kind that caters to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, queer, non-binary and intersex individuals, making it easily one of the most inclusive dating apps out there.
Similar to Her, LGBTQutie isn’t just a dating app–it’s also a space where all folks in the LGBTQ community can foster friendship and sincere connections. The creators of LGBTQutie acknowledged many current gay and lesbian apps aren’t inclusive of all LGBTQ people and wanted to fill in the gaps for queer people wanting connection beyond hook-up culture.
The app’s interface is a lot of fun, opting out of the typical minimal, achromatic aesthetic of many dating apps today. New users fill out their ‘Relationship Readiness Quiz’ and ‘LGBTQuestionnaire’ to gauge their feelings about a variety of topics, which users can compare with each other to determine similarities, preferences and perspectives. Through the app’s unique ‘video teaser’ option, users can also send 10-second video messages to each other to show a little more personality.
Although similar in its mission to LGBTQutie in cultivating a collective, inclusive, LGBTQ community, Thurst is the only queer dating app of its kind to cater to queer, cis, trans and non-binary people of color.
Thurst founder Morgen Bromell found that queer, trans, non-binary people of color lacked a safe space in the online dating world and wanted to create that space for them. Thurst aims to build a sense of community among LGBTQ people to challenge oppressive expectations and Western heteronormative dating standards to find sincere connections.
Thurst’s interface is as straightforward as they come. It has many of the basic features of a standard dating app, from matching and messaging, to blocking and user reporting to better maintain its safe space.
Thurst is preparing to relaunch in Fall 2017.
In a dating app that’s been called the classier “lesbian equivalent” of Grindr, Scissr gives its users the option to indicate what they’re looking for from the get-go, whether it’s a romantic relationship, friendship, hookup or networking opportunity. There isn’t pressure to get intimate–users can connect with other users to simply talk culture, current events, and everything in between.
Scissr utilizes geo-location services to match users to people in their area but won’t impose a geofence to restrict potential matches. But Scissr’s ultimate goal is to give queer women an easy and safe way to connect to each others. Users are required to sign up for Scissr through their Facebook account to filter out fake profiles or creepy men trying to hit on women. Also, the app’s interface is pretty gorgeous (I’m a sucker for the right typography).