5 actually legit dating apps for queer women and non-binary people

Paisley Gilmour
Photo credit: GeorgePeters - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Yeah, yeah, dating apps are veritable cess pits of human garbage, I know - and that's if you can actually get replies from people . But when you're lesbian , bisexual , queer , trans , non-binary , pansexual , any LGBTQIA+ identity, dating apps can connect you to people you might not encounter in your day to day life. And they can be a goddam lifeline.

Of course, most dating apps aren't build with us lot in mind. Nope, they're mainly for the straights. So, shortly after becoming single, I took it upon myself to test a variety of queer-specific and mainstream dating apps to see just how good they are for LGBTQ+ people. For context: I am a cis woman, and was up for dating people of all gender identities.

PS: Eight months later, I have a legend of a girlfriend who I met on one of these apps (but probably not the one you'd think...) during this experiment. Thanks journalism, thanks Cosmo you bloody matchmaker, I owe it all to you.

1.Her

Photo credit: Her

Her says , "From lesbians to queers, bois, to femmes, trans to fluid, and everyone in between, HER is here for you."

Just how inclusive is it? Promising "there's a community for everyone on Her", the app connects people of varying LGBTQ+ identities with friends and dates. So yeah, pretty inclusive.

What makes it different? It currently has 4 million users and claims to be the largest free dating site for LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people. That's a lot of people.

Cost: Free and upgrade versions are available. A basic account that lets you like and message people is free. And you can upgrade for the ability to see who is online now, and to filter potential matches by sexuality (rude).

The verdict

It's a little clunky and confusing to use compared to the likes of Tinder, but it's a hell of a lot more inclusive in terms of sexualities and gender identities represented. I felt like no one really messaged though, and the UX experience was all kinds of annoying. But maybe I'm an undesirable thicko, who knows?!

Download on Apple App Store , or Google Play .

2. Bumble

Photo credit: Bumble

Bumble says , "There’s no equality without respect, and that’s where all healthy relationships start. To challenge outdated heterosexual norms, women make the first move on Bumble."

Just how inclusive is it? When you get started, you can choose between being shown "men", "women" and "everyone". Once you set up your profile, there are shit tons of gender identity options. You can also decide whether you are shown to users looking for women, or looking for men. You can also choose not to display your gender identity.

What makes it different? The whole premise of the app is that women can message men first. So if you're LGBTQ+ this feature is kind of redundant.

Cost: Free and upgrade versions are available.

The verdict

I was definitely shown way more cis men than anyone of any other gender. In the end, I switched it to women only, because, well, straight white men. And I ran out of women and non-binary people very bloody quickly. And I live in London for god's sake.

Download on Apple App Store , or Google Play .

3. Hinge

Photo credit: Hinge

Hinge says , "Hinge is the dating app for people who want to get off dating apps. And it’s working. Currently, 3 out of 4 first dates lead to second dates."

Just how inclusive is it? This app certainly isn't designed with LGBTQ+ people in mind, as you can only register your gender as male or female. And the only options for your sexuality are "interested in men", "interested in women" or "interested in men or women".

What makes it different? As well as the usual height and age range filters, you can also specify where you want kids, take drugs, smoke and what your political leanings are. Instead of swiping based purely on pictures, users fill in answers to a number of set questions. You have to like something specific on their profile, which then gives them the next "move" aka chance to respond to you. This is to encourage conversation, rather than mindless liking that never comes to anything.

Cost: Free and upgrade versions are available.

The verdict

I was kind of into it, ya know. There were loads of people on the app I probably would have matched with based on their aesthetic (I'm a sucker for a fringe and a nose ring, sue me!) , but seeing their answers made me realise it would never work out *cough* Tories. It saved me a lot of time.

Download on Apple App Store and Google Play .

4. Tinder

Photo credit: Tinder

Tinder says , "Tinder makes being single more fun and rewarding by connecting people who may not have otherwise met in real life. We celebrate that being single is a journey. And a great one. Being single isn’t the thing you do, unhappily, before you settle down. We stand up for how a whole generation chooses to live their lives."

Just how inclusive is it? I found I could only register as a man or a woman, which utterly pissed me off. But then I messaged Tinder all angry, and they were like, 'No hun, go into your settings'. And it turns out, if you dig deeper you can actually pick from 72 options. It's not super-easy to find, so FYI: Under 'edit info', scroll down to 'Gender/I am' and click on 'More' underneath male and female. you can then search words and it should come up with all the options. In terms of which profiles you're shown, the options are "show me men" or "show me women", however you can toggle both.

What makes it different? It's the most popular dating app for a reason. It's super easy to use, and you can connect your Spotify and Instagram which enables low-key snooping on potential dates. Plus, there are just shit tons of people on there.

Cost: Free and upgrade versions are available.

The verdict

The best thing about Tinder is just how many people and potential matches you get, especially compared to the baron, queer-less wasteland of Bumble. Say what you want about Tinder being a hot bed for arseholes who'll lead you on, shag you and then immediately ghost you, but the first person I went on a date with on here is now my girlfriend. So...

Download on Apple App Store and Google Play .

5. Feeld

Photo credit: Feeld

Feeld says , "A dating app for open-minded couples and singles. Discover a space where you can explore your desires and find your people. Join solo or pair up with a partner, a lover or a curious friend."

Just how inclusive is it? Ever so, TBH. The sexuality and gender options are never-ending, and as specific or vague as you want them to be. Truly inspirational, all apps should be like this.

What makes it different? It hooks you up with sex-positive people who want some fun/casual sex, and who are up front and honest about it. That's more than most apps can say, right?

Cost? Free and upgrade versions are available.

The verdict

I love the ethos of the app, and everything it stands for. I did however, find navigating it a little trickier than usual. It ain't as easy as Tinder or Bumble, that's for sure. I must be honest, I only used it for a week before deciding I wasn't going to date anyone else/be having threesomes left, right and centre. If I'd given it more time, maybe the verdict would be different.

Download on Apple App Store and Google Play .

There are plenty more LGBTQ-specific dating apps that people rate, from Fem and Passion Fruut (vomit at the name). But this stupid bitch ended up falling for someone before she had chance to try them out. Let me off, yeah?

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