There are plenty of fish in the sea, but fishing is so much easier when the goods are delivered to your phone. That’s why we still use dating apps, no matter how many photos of a dude holding a bass show up. But the sea is better when the waters are inclusive, which is why we’re a fan of the best LGBTQ+ dating apps.
LGBTQ+ people are some of the most avid dating app users. A 2020 survey from Pew Research Center found that 55 percent of lesbian, gay, or bisexual respondents have used a dating app, compared to only 28 percent of straight people. It makes sense, numbers-wise. There are fewer queer people – only 4.5 percent of the population – so you have to cast that fishing net wide to get good bites.
Anchovies just aren’t going to do it.
But the dating app experience can be worse for LGBTQ+ people. The Pew survey found more than half of lesbian, gay, or bisexual online daters have experienced some form of harassment, compared to 32 percent of straight daters.
That’s why we found the best LGBTQ+ dating apps by talking to people who have actually tried them. Our list includes both apps aimed at specific LGBTQ+ communities, and apps that are popular with (but not exclusively for) queer people. So go ahead, charge that battery and get to swiping!
Or order some pizza. You’ll need the sustenance.
7 of the Best LGBTQ+ Dating Apps
Founder Robyn Exton created HER to address her frustrations with dating online as a lesbian. What, she didn’t even want to try dating men who marked their profile as “woman seeking woman” to trick her?
HER is a social media and dating app for queer women and non-binary people. You can swipe the old-fashioned way, or you can participate in HER’s social communities like “Good Vibes Only” or “40+ Community.”
“HER gets positive feedback for its commitment to creating a safe, inclusive space for LGBTQ+ women and non-binary individuals. Users appreciate the app’s feature-rich interface that includes options to make friends, join communities, and, of course, date,” says Tina Fey, relationship expert and founder of the love and dating website Love Connection. But not a friend of Amy Poehler, as far as we know.
This dating app is best for: Lesbian, bisexual, non-binary, or queer people.
Price: HER is free to use, but you can upgrade to the ad-free premium membership starting at $14.99 per month. It includes additional features like incognito mode and rewinding profiles.
Lex is a queer-owned app designed to get you offline and meeting up IRL. It’s a “social space to meet cool queer people IRL. The app is generally for queer, femme, trans, or nonbinary people, but all are welcome,” says Demi Wylde, sex educator and host of the Hookup Horror Stories podcast.
You can scroll through personal ads and event listings to find ways to connect in person for dates, hang-outs, or group activities. “It’s a bit like a ‘Facebook for Lesbians,'” says Wylde. Which, we must say is a much better name than ‘The Facebook.’
Launched in 2019, the app is still relatively young with a growing user base. “I think this app still needs to gain its footing a bit, but it is pretty active with lots of users,” says Wylde. Like many dating apps, you’ll have the most options if you live in a populated area.
An active pond, if you will. When will we stop with the fish metaphors, you ask? When the sea runs dry.
This dating app is best for: Queer women, nonbinary, or trans people in populated areas looking to meet IRL.
Upgrades: The app is free to use, but you can donate if you’re feeling generous.
Feeld is a dating app for people who are open to a variety of relationship models, such as open relations or polyamory. You can swipe through profiles of singles, couples, throuples, and more. While Feeld is not exclusive for LGBTQ+ daters, the app is inclusive to all gender and sexual identities.
“As a polyamorous, bisexual, non-binary person, I’ve found this app to be the most adaptable to folks like me. I can list myself as my actual gender and find other folks who are looking for more open relationship structures,” says queer educator CJ Higgins.
You can even scope out the potential metamours while you’re polycule shopping. “When you’re in a relationship, you can connect your account to your partner so folks can check out their account too, which I think is adorable,” says Higgins. That’s 2023 relationship goals if we ever heard it.
This dating app is best for: People open to relationship models other than “monogamy ‘til I die.”
App price: While the app is free to use, a lot of key features are behind a paywall. “You don’t get to see details about who’s swiped for you unless you pay for membership,” ays Higgins. “I get it, they have bills to pay, but how am I supposed to know if I want to connect with that person too unless I get to see their profile?”
OkCupid has been in the dating app game for nearly two decades. You’d think that angel baby would have run out of arrows by now, but Cupid has stayed in the game by prioritizing their get-to-know-you questions. After taking a multiple choice personality quiz, you can swipe through matches and see how your answers compare.
While this app isn’t exclusive to LGBTQ+ daters, OkCupid was among the first apps to add inclusive gender and sexuality options back in 2014.
“With OkCupid, the sky’s the limit. The app’s inclusivity is like a breath of cosmic air. The diverse questions lead you to more compatible, star-crossed lovers,” says Raquel Rodriguez, relationship expert and founder of Your Zodiac.
This dating app is best for: People looking for a long term relationship.
App price: The app is free to use, but some users find that OkCupid’s pricey subscription options are necessary to use the app effectively. “You basically can’t do anything unless you pay,” says Wylde. “If you don’t pay, you’ll get buried in the stack, so good luck matching with anyone.”
You can upgrade to ad-free subscription options for additional features like incognito mode and unlimited likes starting at $19.99 per month for 12 months.
“Hinge, as its moniker claims, is ‘designed to be deleted.’ I believe this to be true,” says Wylde. “I have gotten the most first dates out of this app than any of the others.” Hinge’s algorithm prioritizes matching users with friends-of-friends, so there’s a better chance your match is someone you want to hang out with and/or not a serial killer. It’s the simple comforts in life.
While Hinge is not specifically for LGBTQ+ users, Wylde says that “Hinge has been upping their marketing towards the LGBTQ+ community, and it intentionally harbors inclusivity.” The app’s features, like responding directly to written and voice prompts, make it a great place for people of all genders and sexualities to make a personalized connection.
“One feature that sets it apart from all the others is the voice memo feature, which I found myself using more than just text messages.” says Wylde. “There is something welcoming about hearing someone else’s voice that makes the interaction a bit more personal.”
Plus, you can envision if you’d like to hear their voice when you wake up every morning. Getting ahead of ourselves? Huh?
This dating app is best for: People looking for a long term relationship
App price: The app is free to use, but you can upgrade to a membership for $9.99 a month for six months.
“The free version has all the features you ever need, but if you are serious about putting yourself out there, the paid version is decently priced and can actually do a pretty good job of shuffling your profile to the top of other potentials,” says Wylde.
Grindr was one of the first dating apps for gay men and it’s still the most popular. Your fingers might get tired swiping through their 13 million monthly active users, but maybe fingers were ready to do some work, anyway.
This app shows profiles in a grid based on location, making it easy to find nearby date options. Most users are focused on finding hookups, so you’ll see a lot of profiles featuring headless abs. Of course, some users find the emphasis on sex and bodies dehumanizing and exhausting. And, users can message without matching first, so you never know if you’ll see hot dogs and buns when you open a message. (Unfortunately, not the food kind.)
Even though it started out as a hot app for hot men, Grindr has become more inclusive over the years. It allows users to choose from a range of gender options, including “trans man,” “woman,” “cis man,” “non-binary,” “non-conforming,” and “queer.”
But still, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
“Do you want to constantly get messaged by anonymous profiles, get inundated with dick/hole pics? Download Grindr now!” says Wylde. “Chances are you’ll probably get laid.”
This dating app is best for: Queer men looking for hook-ups.
Upgrades: The app is free to use, but you can subscribe to Grindr’s ad-free premium XTRA subscription starting at $19.99 for additional features like access to profiles globally and read receipts.
Dating apps have a racism problem that they all suddenly wanted to address in 2020 when racism became bad for business. But since its founding in 2010, Jack’d created a more inclusive environment specifically for queer men and mascs of color.
The format is similar to Grindr with a grid of local users. But unlike Grindr, you have to match before sending messages. So you’ll at least get to say “hello” before being sent genital photography. Chivalry ain’t dead after all.
Wylde likes the features included in the free version, like advanced filtering. “You can list travel plans if you like to plan your hookups in advance of your vacation,” he says. But some of the UX is tough to use, like uploading photos, which won’t allow text.
“So if your t-shirt or tattoos have words, you are SOL.” It’s not like anyone is looking at the photos on dating apps, right?
This dating app is best for: Queer men looking for a more diverse dating pool.
Upgrades: The app is free to use, but you can upgrade to Jack’d’s premium subscription starting at $9.99 per month for additional features like Stealth mode.
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