Best LGBTQ+ Dating Apps
Admit it. Dating is tough, and not just for introverted or shy folks. Dating is tough for everyone. Within the LGBTQ+ community, dating can be made especially difficult by factors such as a smaller pool of potential matches, lack of dedicated queer spaces, and the ever-present possibility of discrimination and violence. Luckily, we live in a time where technology can offer us safe, sexy, and meaningful connections with folks nearby or across the world.
Check out our top five picks for the best LGBTQ+ dating apps.
If you’re not old enough to remember ‘personals ads’, imagine this: at the back of the newspaper (pre-internet days, of course) there used to be a section where single folks wrote brief descriptions of themselves and their perfect partner in the hopes of finding love. Of course, newspapers charged by the word and printing a picture alongside your text was out of the question, so in one hundred words or less you had to convince all the potential lovers perusing the personals section that you were worth writing to. As they say, history repeats itself and personals ads are back in a big, big way.
Lex, the “text-centered social app that connects queer lovers and friends,” seeks to disrupt the endless swiping that users encounter on most dating apps where photos take precedence over personality. Users can link their Instagram accounts to their profiles, but it’s by no means a requirement. Lex’s lack of pics allows users to slow down and really get a sense of what each person is looking for before diving in. It also helps users avoid quick judgements based on appearance only. But don’t be fooled by this app’s focus on creating meaningful relationships––plenty of users are just looking for hot and heavy hookups.
As one of the largest dating apps for LGBTQ+ women and queer folks, it’s hard to not find someone you vibe with on HER. This app is tailor-made for the queer community from its inclusive marketing, which always features diverse models and couplings, down to the various self-identification options that allow users to define their gender, sexuality, and preferences.
HER is well aware of the unique difficulties queer folks can experience while using dating apps; having their sexuality fetishized by straight couples looking for a third, unfriendly interactions, or otherwise hostile, unwanted behavior. To counteract these experiences, HER has created a safe space for queer folks where users can be open about their trans identity, their interests in kink and polyamory, and any other sexual preferences they may have.
Hinge, the app that’s “designed to be deleted”, wants to help you find the love of your life. While not designed specifically for LGBTQ+ people, Hinge has taken many steps toward accommodating their queer users, such as working with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to create LGBTQ+ specific conversation starters and prompts.
This app uses a “Nobel-prize-winning algorithm” to help you go on better dates and touts authenticity, courage, and empathy as their core values. It’s safe to say that this is the place to go when you’re tired of the endless hustle of hookup culture.
For gay, bi, trans, and queer guys, Scruff is the app to use when you want to have fun. It boasts a huge audience of over twenty million users across the world which makes it the best choice when you’re traveling and need a hot tour guide to show you around or just want some company while out at dinner.
This app boasts a huge search and filter system that lets you connect with other users in ways beyond just proximity. With its ‘communities’ feature, users can filter potential matches in various communities, such as Bear, Leather, Discreet, Daddy, Military, Muscle, Jock, Bear Chaser, Daddy Chaser, Transgender and Twink. Scruff has also recently added a “Poz” community that allows HIV positive guys to easily connect. When you find someone you like, give them a ‘woof.’
No list of LGBTQ+ dating apps would be complete without Grindr. The king of all gay hookup apps still reigns supreme and hosts a whopping twenty-seven million users. Grindr’s use of GPS location changed the dating game for the queer community, essentially becoming an app for safe cruising and easy hookups. Grindr is considered to be the first app to combine dating with geolocation services and has since inspired dozens of similar apps. By showing user’s locations in relation to one another, Grindr made clear that queer people are everywhere. And by allowing them easier, more accessible communication with each other, helped to normalize the desires of LGBTQ+ folks all over the world.
If you’re out and about and feel like hooking up, Grindr is your best bet. With the largest user base and the ability to see who’s close by, you’re almost guaranteed to have a good time on Grindr.