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Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. It's also particularly challenging for members of the LGBTQ community, who've traditionally only had access to hetero-based sites and apps. When I was on the apps in the late aughts, queer women could barely be found. I met so many cis straight men who checked the "women seeking women" box so they could match with queer women who, they fantasized, would magically change their sexual orientation just for them.
Some of that hasn't changed. But as the number of out LGBTQ people has grown, so too have their opportunities in online dating spaces. Queer-friendly dating apps and sites are multiplying, and there are even a few that are — wait for it — pretty damn good. The cast of 'Queer Eye' gives us their take on millennial trends. Here are the best dating apps and sites that'll maximize your opportunities while minimizing your human contact.
And queer women basically have one: Thankfully, HER is a non-offensive, user friendly app good for folks seeking long-term relationships as well as those who want a more, uh, temporary arrangement. The site doesn't assume that all of their users are cis women and allows folks to identify as genderfluid, non-binary, and otherwise.
HER is totally free to download. Accounts are verified and linked to people's Facebook profiles , so you're less likely to find fake profiles and trolls. Users have to be incredibly selective about their words and corny jokes. It can sometimes take several message before you realize the person you're speaking with is way too into Harry Potter.
More than 50 million people use Tinder monthly, and not all of them are straight dudes hiking mountains. Queer and trans folks head to Tinder because its dating pool is colossal. The app worked with GLAAD, the cast of Transparent , and trans activists to make sure it met the diverse needs of the trans community. In December of last year, however, Tinder came under fire after a group of transwomen reported that they'd been repeatedly kicked off the app.
The users contended that they were removed from the site after male trolls submitted multiple false complaint reports. Despite all of this, Tinder has made notable efforts to be more trans and queer inclusive over the years by offering an above average number of gender options. That's more than most apps its size, which typically offer a grand total of Tinder is free to download. More than 50 million people use Tinder , and chances are you're going to see someone who you work with on the app.
Because of its popularity, Tinder is the app people love to hate. This doesn't mean the haters don't have a point, but in general, the quality of people you find on Tinder is no better or worse than you'll find anywhere else. Chappy is the latest app to cater to the relationship-seeking crowd among gay men. In , Chappy was introduced in three major cities: Los Angeles, London, and New York. Chappy brands itself as an app that caters to three demographics — people who are looking for long term relationships "Mr.
Right" , those who are looking something more casual "Mr. Right Now" and those who don't know what they want "Mr. It's unclear whether Chappy will produce longer and more satisfying relationships than traditional apps like Grindr. If nothing else, the app at least gives people the illusion that such a partnership is in their future. Delusions schelusions, we'll take it. Chappy is relatively small and young in app terms, so don't expect the overpopulated dating pool you might find on Grindr or Scruff.
The app requires users to have Facebook for verification purposes, so it won't work for those who've rightfully abandoned the platform. You're disproportionately likely to find people like this on the app. Chappy is free to download, though as their user base grows, so too might potential in-app purchases. It would be great if someone developed more queer- and trans-specific dating apps. It's also not likely to happen anytime soon, due to the scale of investment required and the audience served.
Dating apps need lots and lots of users to be successful, and with Tinder and OkCupid already sort of serving the community, I don't expect new ones to make major inroads anytime soon. OkCupid was much faster than other apps to expand their orientation and gender identity options.
In , OkCupid began offering their users more than a dozen different ways to identify. The app currently offers users 22 different genders and 13 orientations to choose from, and also includes helpful descriptions of each for folks who are unfamiliar with this kind of stuff.
And unlike Tinder, OkCupid gives so much more room for people to write profiles, answer questions, and explain their possibly questionable worldview. While it's impossible for the app to screen out all the haters, you can get a decent sense of user's views on trans and queer people and whether they're gonna be an asshole because you love cable TV.
If you want more people to see your profile, you can pay to have it promoted like you would on Twitter. OkCupid also collects really interesting data about users on their OkCupid blog. Sure, some of their data collection services might be a wee bit invasive, but I'm not aware of any services that aren't. Grindr brands itself as the world's largest dating app for gay men as well as queer and trans people. With a dearth of functional trans-specific dating apps on the market, it's no wonder the app attracts a sizable segment of this population.
Grindr lacks the boundaries other apps provide, so don't be surprised if people you haven't liked on the app message you. The app isn't exactly known for it's, uh, lovely and harmonious conservations about race , either. Still, it's a blockbuster app with a diverse dating pool. The company has conducted some pretty illuminating research about its international user base. Like most apps, Grindr is free to download but also offers additional features through its subscription service.
There are plenty of decent apps out there, and even more that are up-and-coming. For people who are queer and want to connect, fear not.
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