Valentine’s Day 2023: Swipe Right on These Most Inclusive LGBTQ+-Friendly Dating Apps

Valentine’s Day 2023

These apps are helping people find love and connection in a world that can often be hostile and unwelcoming.

The dating landscape has undergone a significant transformation with the advent of technology. In particular, the rise of queer dating apps has been a game-changer for the LGBTQ+ community, providing them with tailored solutions that meet their unique needs and desires. These apps have made it easier for members of the community to connect with potential partners from the comfort of their own homes, breaking down traditional barriers and opening up a world of possibilities. 

Reports from members of the LGBTQ+ community suggest that these apps have had a positive impact, offering welcoming and safe experiences. The innovative features of these apps empower users to find love on their own terms, giving them greater control over the dating process. In this article, we will shine a spotlight on some of the most popular queer dating apps that are leading the charge in changing the dating landscape for the better.


Launched in 2010 by Johnny Skandros and Eric Silverberg, Scruff is a dating app that caters to the gay, bisexual and transgender community. Over the years, it has gained 15 million users from 180 countries and is available in 10 different languages, making it a popular choice for those seeking love and connection. 

One of Scruff’s defining features is the “Scruff Match” function, which sets it apart from other queer dating apps. This feature ensures that users seeking dates are only presented with potential matches who are single and open to dating or relationships. This effectively streamlines the dating experience for Scruff users and reduces the likelihood of confusion or disappointment. 

Similar to Grindr, Scruff allows users to view nearby profiles and send a “woof” to grab attention or send a message directly. In addition to this, the app offers matches tailored to individual preferences and a wide range of filters to improve the search process.

While Scruff is available for free, users can opt for the Scruff Pro premium version for a monthly fee of US$19.99. This premium tier provides additional benefits, including unlimited searching and filtering capabilities and the ability to sort matches into a grid view. This gives users more control over their dating experience and the ability to refine their search for the ideal match.


Launched in 2009, Grindr is a widely-used dating app catering to the LGBTQ+ community, specifically geared towards gay and bisexual men. Unlike Tinder, Grindr focuses more on sexual encounters and hook-ups instead. With its distinctive approach to dating, the app has gained popularity among the LGBTQ+ community seeking casual connections rather than long-term relationships. 

The app operates on a location-based system, allowing users to view and connect with other users in their vicinity. When creating a profile, users can upload a profile photo and a brief bio, which often highlights sexual preferences rather than personal interests or hobbies. 

Grindr offers a free version and a premium version called “XTRA”, which is available with a free trial and starts at US$19.99 per month. The premium version includes benefits such as ad removal, access to premium filters, the ability to view more profiles and the option to send multiple photos at once. Despite past controversy regarding user data privacy, Grindr remains a highly sought-after option for the LGBTQ+ community, providing a dynamic platform for them to connect and find love.


Hornet, launched in 2011, positions itself as the leading gay social network that promises to offer an enjoyable and effortless way for gay, bisexual and curious men to connect. With a user-friendly interface, Hornet allows users to find other men in their local area or from around the world, message each other and follow profiles to stay updated. It is a versatile platform that supports casual hook-ups, forming friendships and even building long-lasting relationships. 

In addition to its primary features, Hornet also has a “Stories” section on its website, which provides LGBTQ+-focused content, such as advice on safe shaving and recommendations for local bathhouses. This section not only serves as a source of entertainment but also as an educational tool to help the community make informed decisions.

Hornet is available to use for free, but users can upgrade to a premium version starting at US$9.99. It provides users with a more refined and customized dating experience, with additional features and benefits like more search filters, an invisible mode and unlimited picture sharing.


HER is a dating app specifically designed for the LGBTQ+ community, with a focus on providing a safe space for queer women. The app has 17 options for sexual orientation and 18 options for gender identity, allowing users to express themselves fully and be creative in their profiles. This includes information on gender, sexuality, pronouns, diet preferences and star signs. Users can also describe their relationship goals in the bio and join niche groups to connect with others with similar interests. 

In addition to dating, many HER users also use the app to make friends and connect with the local queer community, especially in new towns. The app features a community feed that allows users to participate in virtual hangouts with self-curated groups based on shared interests, such as queer women of color or new lesbian films. 

The app is free for LGBTQ women but also offers premium memberships with additional features and benefits starting at US$14.99 per month.

Queer dating apps are a unique tool in the dating world, offering a safe and inclusive space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to connect and find love. They are not just ordinary matchmakers but also trusty wingmen for the community. With features such as virtual hangouts and personalized profiles, these apps provide users with the chance to express themselves fully and match with others who share similar interests.

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Header image courtesy of Pexels


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