OUTober, Special Projects

Online dating within the LGBTQ+ community

Vivian Valoren, a psychology major at Long Beach State, identifies as a transgender, gender fluid, non-binary pansexual, and said they have experienced their share of challenges with online queer dating.

“People can ban trans people because they report them for misbehavior,” Valoren said. “I got banned off of Tinder for a day.”

Valoren has found that apps like Tinder are more typically catered to heterosexual individuals. Queer friendly apps such as Taimi, OK Cupid and Her cater to members of the queer community by offering more flexible options in expressing one’s gender and sexuality.

OK Cupid, for example, gives users the choice to select from 12 different orientations and 22 different gender options.

Valoren said it was difficult to date online if you’re a ‘specific type’ of queer person, and Jack Bozick, a film major at Long Beach State who identifies as gay, said he has given up on the use of dating apps.

Bozick said the anonymity of dating apps has allowed users to act without any accountability. In his experience, searches for a genuine connection have been replaced with the hookup culture.

“It’s like nobody cares,” Bozick said. “Anyone can do whatever the hell they want and be as rude or vulgar or whatever as they want.”

Dan Dao, a mechanical engineering major as CSULB, said there was a noticeable issue on dating apps with people putting little to no effort into their profile.

“Like 90% of these profiles are blank,” Dao said. “Where’s the effort?”

He has found that this type of profile is the norm for most apps, with users putting minimum effort and focusing on a quick fling rather than a long-term relationship.

Jennifer Elliott, who is gender fluid and is pursuing an English major in creative writing, said dating apps are “a necessary annoyance.”

“I’m a full-time student and I work full time so I’m going to stick with the apps, only because it’s a little easier right now,” Elliott said.

While Elliott would prefer to find someone to bond with in a physical setting, they understand how ingrained dating apps have become into youth and queer culture. And whether they or the rest of the Queer community like them, these dating apps will continue to stick around.

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