Dating Apps Lesbians, Queer, & Bi Women Will Actually Want To Use

Photographed by Caroline Tompkins.
It's 2018 and just about everyone is using online dating apps, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. So why are all of the most popular apps still designed with only straight people in mind?
By it's very premise, which requires the woman in a match to send the first message, Bumble assumes that its users are straight. And as a lesbian woman who's spent a fair amount of time on both Tinder and OkCupid, I can tell you that the apps aren't great at weeding out men who don't belong (sorry for the immediate swipe left, Scott, Todd, and John, but I don't know how you got here).
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Of course, that doesn't mean that queer women have to stick to meeting a new love interest in lesbian bars (which are dying, anyway). In fact, I met my current girlfriend on a dating app, so I can 100% confirm that it's possible. All it takes is knowing the best ones to download and how to work with them.
Ahead, we've rounded up some of the best apps for queer ladies looking for love or hookups online.
1 of 6
Hinge

Hinge works by connecting you to friends-of-friends via your Facebook profile. If you know plenty of queer women, that can be great. Chances are good that your queer friends have other queer friends who could become your new girlfriend (or at least a hookup). But just know that if you're connected mostly to straight people who have straight friends, then your Hinge pool might be filled with a few less fish.
2 of 6
Fem

You won't run into profiles for men who don't belong on Fem. This is a dating app "geared for lesbians and people who are interested in meeting lesbians." While the language isn't very inclusive, the app isn't just for lesbians — queer women of all sexual orientations (and gender presentations, so you don't have to be femme) can use it.

Fem is slightly different from other apps in that it encourages users to create video profiles instead of just uploading photos, and it also allows for group chats. If you're too shy for a video, don't worry. It's not mandatory to make a video profile, and plenty of people use Fem like they would any other dating app — by uploading their best selfies.
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3 of 6
HER

No surprise here, since HER is one of the only popular dating apps that was actually created by and for queer women. Although it's known as a lesbian app (and "her" implies women), HER is actually a good space for both cisgender and non-binary people looking to meet other queer women or non-binary people. It's different from traditional dating apps in that it also allows users to create a social media-like presence through profiles and suggests queer events users can go to in their area to meet people IRL.
4 of 6
Tinder

I tried for years to avoid Tinder because I'd heard horror stories from other lesbian women about all of the random dudes that somehow find their way onto your feed. But online dating is partially a numbers game and the fact is that Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps out there. Just a few months after I finally swallowed my pride and created a profile, I went on my first date with the woman who's now my girlfriend. I guess that's karma for you.

So if you're only looking for women, it's worth the thumb energy it'll take to swipe past all the unnecessary dudes who pop up on the way to your dream girl.
5 of 6
Bumble

I know I already said that Bumble's very premise is incredibly hetero-focused, (and I stand by that), but that doesn't mean this app is worthless to queer women. The "rule" that women send the first message obviously doesn't apply to a woman-woman match, but there's one more Bumble "rule" that makes it slightly different than other dating apps: Bumble requires users to send a message within the first 24 hours. So Bumble is a good option for anyone who needs the motivation to actually say something to their matches (you know who you are).
6 of 6
OkCupid

Like many other apps, OkCupid started out focusing solely on straight people, but it has become much more queer-friendly in the last few years with the addition of a bunch of new gender identity and sexual orientation options. Because OkCupid has more extensive user profiles than apps like Tinder or Bumble, it's also good for anyone who's looking to connect over more than just a pretty face.
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