It’s vaxxed girl summer and lesbian dating apps are popping off.
Now that the world is opening up again, the prospect of actually meeting people on dating sites and hookup apps is finally feeling more and more feasible for all of us. But those who identify as lesbian, bisexual, and queer may have had hesitancy around online dating even before the pandemic. In real life and on mainstream apps, LGBTQ+ people often have to jump over hurdles that straight, cis people don’t to find partners who accept them and are looking for the same things.
When it comes to making online dating inclusive, there’s still a lot of work to do—like reducing the harassment LGBTQ people experience on dating apps. But thankfully, today, daters have plenty of options beyond traditional heteronormative frameworks. A number of free lesbian dating apps and more apps with queer-friendly settings are making sure that finding love (or sex) is a fun, safe process for people of every sexual orientation.
Here are some of the best lesbian dating apps to check out as you re-emerge into the world in 2021. (The best news? All of them are free to download.)
Designed to be inclusive of people of all gender identities and sexual orientations, Thurst emphasizes safety and privacy by providing secure messaging and not connecting to social networks or sharing users’ data. And if you’re looking specifically for Black lesbian dating apps, this app is Black developer-led and committed to fighting racism, with strict community guidelines requiring members to be accepting of all identities.
If you’re looking for a lasting relationship, this app is focused on helping people, particularly LGBTQ people, build meaningful connections, including friendships as well as romantic relationships. Another feature of Qutie is in-app video messages that help reassure users that they’re really talking to the person they think they’re talking to.
One of the first of its kind, HER was originally known as an app for queer women but has since rebranded as one for all lesbian, bisexual, and queer people. In addition to facilitating connections between people, HER connects users with local events geared toward LGBTQ people as well as news relevant to them.
Described as a “text-centered social app that connects queer lovers and friends,” Lex is modeled after old personal ads — particularly the lesbian personals from the women-run erotica magazine On Our Backs. That means profiles include detailed bios that put an emphasis on people’s personality traits and interests rather than just their photos.
This app originated as a platform for people to find threesomes but has expanded to cater to people seeking all varieties of judgment-free arrangements, with an emphasis on non-monogamous relationships. It attracts open-minded people who are accepting of LGBTQ identities as well as kink and polyamory. Couples can link their accounts together, and singles can create their own.
A Tinder-like app specifically for women interested in women, Lesly’s standout feature is its “show” feature, which lets you share photos with the app’s community to essentially advertise yourself. In addition, Lesly’s staff screens users’ profiles to make sure everyone on there is genuine. Users laud its clean, user-friendly design and responsive support team.
This app is for not just open relationships but also open-minded people, with the ability to include as many or few identifiers of your gender and sexual orientation on your profile as you want. Users’ profiles can also indicate what they’re “open” to, including kink, different relationship structures, and various activities. You can use it on your own or create a joint profile with a partner.
This Android app is based on video profiles, so you can show off your personality and get a sense of who other people are before you meet them. Once you match with people, you can send each other more photos and videos. You can also join group chats if you’re looking to meet a bunch of different people at once.
Bumble originated around the concept of women sending the first message, to which men had 24 hours to respond, but today you can also make same-sex matches on the app. When a match is made, either person can make the first move, then the next person still has 24 hours to respond before the match expires. This method motivates users to say something so that the conversation doesn’t die down (and if you are matching with men, you’re in control of the conversation). In addition to Bumble’s dating mode, you can also use BumbleBFF to find friends or BumbleBizz to make professional connections.
A few years back, Tinder added a feature that lets users select up to three terms to describe their sexual orientation, as opposed to just saying that you’re seeking men, women, or both. These terms can be displayed on your profile and can also be used to vet potential matches. The app also includes 37 terms you can select to describe your gender identity.
One of the older dating apps out there, OKCupid has become more LGBTQ-friendly over the years, allowing all users to share their pronouns and allowing LGBTQ users to only be seen on the app by other LGBTQ people. Users also have more options for describing their gender and sexuality than ever before.
Originally Appeared on Glamour