It’s been a while since dating sites became the virtual singles bar where the curious, playful or hopeful post their wanted notices and wish lists. And while the concept took some time to gain traction with the mainstream public, for LGBTQ singles it was the ticket to a brave new world. After all, what better way to privately seek other like-minded individuals without having to deal with disapproving family members, outing yourself to coworkers or even placing yourself in a dangerous situation? Just the logistics of having to find a gathering spot in some parts of the country made the online experience a no-brainer.
That said, the dating world heavyweights made sure to include a few questions that allowed members to customize their profiles a little, but the effort — while well-intended perhaps — provided little more than that. Smaller sites lacked the numbers for any real diversity in their membership.
Enter LGBTQ-specific dating sites. I mean, why not? After all, there are farmer-specific sites, and in this case, sexual-orientation is incredibly relevant. Having worked at Match.com and tried the service himself, Onegoodlove.com creator, Frank Mastronuzzi, ultimately felt the need to build a site from scratch. That site is now the onegoodcrush dating app. And that’s where it’s at. While Match.com improved its LGBTQ game, and the Zoosk and OkCupid platforms were built to be inclusive, it’s been apps like Grindr, Jack’d, Fem and HER, among dozens of others that have taken dating to the next level.
So what do they have to offer? Here’s a quick rundown:
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Unlike most dating apps, Fem offers video dating features instead of just basic photos. This allows members to let their personalities shine. Currently ranked No. 1 among lesbian dating apps in the iTunes app store, it’s become a popular way for lesbians and bi-curious women to make new friends, chat and meet other singles.
This app was created with gay, bisexual and bi-curious men in mind. It has grown to have more than 5 million users, so there are plenty of men to choose from no matter where you are — members are scattered across 196 countries. Grindr is definitely on the casual side, so it’s probably not the first choice for those seeking anything more long-term.
Formerly Dattch, this app verifies accounts, so lesbian, bisexual and queer women can safely and securely contact each other via unlimited messages and unlimited picture uploads. Members can also browse lesbian articles on pop culture and see what’s happening in their cities. It’s great if you’re new in town. Play a quick game of “Would You Rather?” to strike up a conversation.
Guys who want to meet other guys can chat with more than 5 million users across the globe. Jack’d predominantly markets itself to gay black men and offers easy and accessible communication features. Woof!
Widely considered one of the best dating apps, the OkCupid platform makes it easy to browse profiles of other members that are nearby. It’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android, and you can start by sending and receiving messages for free.
This is yet another mainstream dating app that is great for LGBTQ singles, too. It features a robust platform that makes getting started easy. After just a few questions you’ll be on your way to romantic bliss…or at least meeting some interesting people.