But she had some trepidation about diving headfirst into the dating scene.
He says he was fresh out of a long-term straight relationship when he first started dating men online and was attracted to the privacy offered by the sites, especially given his family’s negative opinions about the “gay lifestyle.” “I was really scared to actually go to a gay bar and go up to someone; with these apps you could be more discreet and choose where to meet up with people,” he says, adding that these dating services “played a vital role” in his coming-out process.
Mainstream apps are also becoming increasingly inclusive.
With more and more orientation-specific apps being released and mainstream apps catering to a wider range of sexual orientations, the world of same-sex dating has never been more accessible.
“Online dating platforms make it easier for curious people to explore same-sex relationships because they make the dating and hookup pools visible,” says Chelsea Reynolds, a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Communication who researches gender and sexuality in mass media.
Being outed to judgmental acquaintances or coworkers is less likely because anyone on the app is presumably part of that scene.
This was certainly the case for Kyle Govans, who met his fiancé on gay dating app Jack’d.
Jimena Almendares, chief product officer at Ok Cupid, says being able to use the right language is important in many online networks, but particularly those that help people find romantic partners.
“People are able to express themselves however they want and use the right language that meets how they want to talk about themselves, their gender and their orientation,” she says.
’ talk and get right down to business.” Weaver says being able to tag her sexuality on an online site gave her the visibility she felt she lacked in IRL queer spaces as a femme-presenting gay woman.
“People tend to assume that I’m straight because of how I present myself, and I think that’s always hard,” she says.
“If you’re not at a gay bar, it’s difficult to know who is queer or straight.