The Best Dating Apps for LGBT Women

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Why mess with mediocrity? That’s been the unofficial slogan of OkCupid for the past several years. The internet dating behemoth still boasts more users of every orientation (although still overwhelmingly straight) than any of OkCupid’s competition. Why? Name recognition and numbers. It’s a vicious cycle, really: lesbians sign up OkCupid because there are more lesbians on OkCupid, thus increasing the number of lesbians on OkCupid. The logic is sound, but the truth is nothing will change unless we change. You don’t have to quit the pastel leviathan entirely; just try signing up for another app, particularly one exclusively for lesbian and bisexual women. Build the community you want. Here’s what I said about OK Cupid in 2013.


What I said in 2013:

Style: OkCupid’s color palette of Pepto Bismol pink and gender-normative blue isn’t the chicest choice, but it’s not ugly. Tone wise, OkCupid is relentlessly upbeat with tongue in cheek terminology and a pleasant aura of “we don’t take this too seriously and neither should you.”

Amenities: Like all of these apps, getting starting with OkCupid is quick and simple. All you need is an email address and a (hopefully charming) username and you’re reading to get creepin’. Regular members can filter potentials based on a variety of criteria, which allows you to cast your net as wide or narrow as you like. OkCupid has more features, filters, and functions than any other dating app I’ve seen. Some of the best include:

  1. Compatibility questions that allow you to see your “match %” with other users
  2. fun quizzes galore so other people can pre-judge you.
  3. ability to search based on location, age, height, religion, smoking, drinking, drug use, race (ugh), etc.
  4. ability to sort potentials based on match %, last online, newest, etc so you’re not stuck looking at the same assortment.
  5. tool to set “broadcast” so women in your area can see you want to hang out right away
  6. The choice to not appear to straight people- this cuts way down on creepy straight dudes so blinded by their own delusional desperation they refuse to believe “gay” means “not interested in men including you.”

Experience: The biggest free dating app in America, OkCupid combines a wide array of filters, detailed profiles, and arguably the largest density of LGBTQ women to choose from. I, and most gay women I know have at some point(s) used OkCupid to go upon date after awkward date in hopes of (maybe) meeting someone worth waxing sweet nothings upon.

One downside of everyone being on OkCupid is everyone will know you are on OkCupid. This is particularly awkward when you click on an appealing profile only to find that profile is someone you know, who knows you, who will know you know they know you’re alone. No amount of horrified back clicking can un-visit an unfriendly acquaintance’s OkCupid profile.




Tinder is the same. You can meet girls on Tinder, but you will have to swipe past a ton of dudes to get to girls. Tinder has a sizable portion of lesbians and bisexual users you may judge solely based on their appearance. A lot of my friends are on Tinder and they think it’s ok. Tinder remains a constant, like death and taxes and sneaky thotties with boyfriends trying to trick you into having a threesome on Tinder.




What I said in 2013:

Style: With it’s clean layout and modern typography, Tinder is hands down the most aesthetically appealing app. Unfortunately, form comes at the price of function. Profiles are incredibly limited, and searching for matches is limited to flipping through pictures of every Tinder user who shares at least one similar “like” with you on Facebook.

Amenities: Tinder is basically a flip book of people vaguely connected to you on Facebook. You flip through pictures and press “heart” if you like what you see and “x” if you don’t. Since Tinder sees me ending up with a man, even though the thought of ending up with a man makes me internally scream, I spent 99% of the time pressing “x.” If you want to see more about someone, you can look at their very limited profile to see five pictures, a brief summary of how chill they are, and what “likes” you share. I can’t imagine a less effective way of searching for my next girlfriend/victim.

Experience: Tinder is the cyber-equivalent of standing on a street corner, pointing at passersby, and asking, “What about that one? What about that one? What about that one? What about that one?” to determine your next date. I’ve read article upon enthusiastic article about Tinder being the new big thing, and I get the appeal: maybe the one for you is a friend of a friend, just waiting to be discovered.

Unfortunately, Tinder operates under the oppressive, heteronormative assumption that that person will be of the opposite sex. Tinder matched me with an overwhelming majority of almost 100% male matches, even though I set my preference to “women.” When Tinder did match me with a woman, there was no indication whatsoever whether that woman was gay or just also enjoyed Mean Girls. Apparently Tinder thinks gay women are just going through a phase, maybe working through some daddy issues, and all we need to do is look at enough pictures of men and we’ll return to our position on the D.

Out of morbid curiosity, I created a Tinder account linked to one of my straight guy friend’s Facebook, and surprise surprise: not a single picture of a man popped up. Not one. I sifted for so ages in hopes that maybe Tinder really does just treat all people as if their sexual preference is equally irrelevant; it doesn’t. Tinder treats LGBT users as second class users because it views LGBTQ sexualities as second class sexualities; we are not the norm and therefore not worthy of even the most basic of consideration. Tinder graciously allows LGBTQ women to sign up for their service but don’t expect them to treat us as anything other than straight. To Tinder, we’re clearly not worth the effort.

Virtually nothing offends me, but being treated as if my sexual orientation is irrelevant offends me. An app only useful to straight people masquerading as an LGBT friendly app offends me. Tinder might be stylish and based on an essentially good idea (matching via friends of FB friends/similar interests), but this is 2013 and it is not ok to treat gay women like second class users in any context or medium.


Final Verdict:

In conclusion, the competitive app arena benefits consumers by motivating companies to create better dating apps. Unfortunately, the myriad of options dilutes the gay community’s already small pool of potential dates. We want to see all our options in one rad place, not jump from app to app or settle for a mainstream site that doesn’t provide the tailored experience gay women deserve. We sure as hell shouldn’t be shown men (TINDER, you basic fuckbros). Apps like Hinge and Bumble blur the line between dating and networking, an excellent development for business women and online dating newbies.

So which dating app is best for LGBTQ women? And the winner is…


HER is the only app on here owned, operated, and solely targeted on LGBTQ women. Sleek design, fast functionality, and friendly social emphasis make HER a cutting edge delight. HER opened to all U.S. users in July (from seven major cities), extending HER’s coverage include Australia, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States.

So download HER, send a message, buy the ticket, take the ride.


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