Most people have at least one horror story about online dating. It’s a rite of passage that singles love to hate.
For members of the LGBTQ+ community, however, the horror stories are a little different. In addition to the classic, awkward hinge date anecdotes, one-night stands Shoe theftsand screenshots of a hackneyed biography full of second-hand embarrassments – gay singles deal with all sorts of alienating interactions.
Unfounded questions about sexual history, harassment, and fetishization—some of them from cisgender heterosexual people who shouldn’t have appeared in your feed in the first place—aren’t exactly a cause for concern.
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Still, dating apps have become an important way for gays looking to settle down to meet each other. A Stanford study 2019 And Pew Research 2020 survey found that online meetings have become the most popular way for U.S. couples to connect—particularly for gay couples, 28 percent of whom met their current partner online (versus 11 percent of straight couples).
But the Pew survey also brought to light these ugly harassment experiences. This is where certain gay dating apps like HER and Grindr could come into play. Their perfectly tailored environments are so well known in the gay community that they’re basically in a class of their own.
Is Grindr the only option for gay dating apps?
Although Grindr and HER are big players, they aren’t the only ones in the queer dating app market. There are apps like Zoe, Taimi and Scruff. However, their stagnant popularity can be attributed to similar complaints: too many scam profiles and too few legitimate users (at least those within a reasonable distance to plan a date). Chappy was a promising app for gay men switch off just as it began to gain serious traction.
And at the end of the day, sometimes the best choice for a gay dating app can be to choose a popular dating app – because that’s actually where the most queer users are. Putting Tinder on hold isn’t just a straight thing (especially those who live in less populated areas where Grindr and HER are in short supply). Additionally, some mainstream apps deserve recognition for the steps they have taken to create a more inclusive atmosphere. Tinder, Bumble and Hinge now offer many options for sexual orientation and gender identity. OkCupid gets credit for enforcing this change years ago and making social justice a central part of its compatibility assessment — effectively self-selecting the type of people on the app.
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How to Choose the Best Gay Dating App
If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community and looking for love online, you’ll find that there are some pretty good options available to you these days. Depending on whether you’re looking for something serious, a date, something that will stay exclusively online, or a completely different definition of connection, there is the ideal queer dating app for you. We are here to help you analyze the offers and make a selection based on your intentions.
How we tested
We regularly test dating sites to provide our readers with the most up-to-date and accurate information. We also thoroughly examine the features and functionality of each website/app to ensure we provide a comprehensive review, from sign-up to the actual user experience.
We test by creating different profiles – some complete and some empty – to see how each app and website handles different levels of information from users. So when hundreds of matches are generated with incomplete profiles, we take note as it may indicate a lack of quality control, bots and fake users.
Additionally, we consider the diversity and inclusivity of each platform we test, including whether or not it appeals to the LGBTQ+ community. Apps on this list of linked reviews have been hand-tested by Mashable staff or freelance writers with experience researching/writing about sex and relationships.