The Top Dating Apps & Sites for LGBTQ+
As an out and proud lesbian, I can say with confidence that when it comes to finding other queer women, my gaydar is absolutely awful. And I mean truly atrocious. If a woman is wearing a flannel shirt there’s a good chance I’ll think she’s either a lumberjack or just has good taste in warm clothing. Unless she’s waving a pride flag in my face, I remain oblivious. As you might imagine, this makes dating difficult, to say the least.
Because of my lack of the so-called gaydar, I’ve found that dating apps and websites are my best friend, as they make it clear right away what people are looking for in a partner. I’ve tried a number of these* with varying success, and have decided to rate them for all of you in the LGBTQ+ community who want to find a date, a partner, or just a quick hookup.
To do this well, I’ll be giving ratings on a scale of 1–5, and rating each app and website based on five criteria:
- Is the website/app only good for hookups?
- Is it only good for relationships?
- How LGBTQ friendly is it (more LGBTQ or straight)?
- How targeted is the audience (just for men/just for women)?
- And finally, is it only good in large cities?
*Disclaimer: As a woman, I realize that I don’t have a complete picture of the male experience on these sites, but I tried to be as objective as possible.
Tinder might have a bad reputation for hookups, but I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by how many people find meaningful relationships on this app. And when I’m not matching with straight couples who only want to find a woman to join their threesome (just not my thing), I find there are a surprising number of LGBTQ+ individuals looking for relationships and hookups. And even in small towns you can still find people to match with! However, it loses a star because of how easy it is to catfish people, whatever their sexuality.
In my experience, OkCupid is wonderful if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, but only if you live in a large city. It’s pretty inclusive, with a fair balance of straight and LGBTQ users, but its user base seems to be mostly focused in urban areas. If you live in a small and/or rural town, you’ll be lucky to connect with more than three or four people.
This one gets a high rating because it’s one of the few that’s only for women. Like Tinder, it’s good for both hookups and relationships, and is very queer friendly. If it was more effective in small towns, I would give it five stars. Maybe that’s me being a little salty, but if I only find four women to talk to in my area, that’s not very validating, and leaves me in fear that I might die alone. Let’s step it up a notch, app designers!
Woohoo! Five stars! Grindr may get a bad rap, but it meets all the criteria for a quality dating app. Targeted towards men (gay, bisexual, trans, etc), it seems to have a presence even in small towns, and is effective for both hookups and relationships. From what I can tell, most men who use it seem to have had a successful experience with it, and receives a good overall rating online.
Bumble is an app I’ve only tried once, and it gets points for originality. Very similar to Tinder, you vote yay or nay on people’s pictures, and if a match is made, the two of you can begin messaging. The difference is, Bumble requires that the woman messages first. A unique idea that shifts the power structure a little. That being said, it’s not super queer friendly (or didn’t seem to be for the month that I used it), and not great in small towns, although that might be due to the overwhelming popularity of Tinder. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed Bumble for its uniqueness, and it could be great with a larger user base.
Match is very similar to OkCupid except that it seems to be successful in less populated areas as well as big cities. It gets only four stars because of it being primarily for dates and relationships, instead of just hookups. That’s not necessarily it, but if you’re looking for a hookup site, Match might not be the place for that. On the plus side, Match boasts a high percentage of LGBTQ users, so you’re bound to find someone you click with.
Elite Singles ★★★★✰
This is one I haven’t personally tried, but that I’ve heard about a lot recently. So after reading through some reviews, I give Elite Singles four stars. Like Match, it’s pretty inclusive as far as LGBTQ+ friendliness goes, but is targeted for people in search of serious relationships. No left or right swiping on this one, my friends. But if you’re looking for love, I’d try my luck here for sure.
I’ll go ahead and give this one five stars, because of how much I love Zoosk. The app is super easy to use, it’s LGBTQ+ friendly, is perfect for hookups and serious relationships, and is pretty effective even in small towns.
There you have it, folks! Eight of the top dating sites, rated for your reference. Keep in mind that these ratings are based mostly on my experiences, and won’t be accurate for everyone. I’d recommend trying a few of them out to see which one works best for you. Which one is your favorite? Is there another one you might recommend? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to share this list with that one friend who’s always looking for love.
Originally published at TravelPRIDE.