“Sometimes it can be very constraining if you only have straight and gay for orientation or man and woman.” Almendares says privacy is a top priority for Ok Cupid, and the site allows users to use pseudonyms and settings like “I don’t want to be seen by straight people.” This lowers the risk of LGBTQ users being outed to friends and family who may also be on the site.
“What we really cared about is if you’re growing up in a small town and you’re feeling very different, you can go to Ok Cupid,” she says.
“Now, it’s as simple as typing in ‘looking for’ in your area.
If you feel like there is a part of you you’ve been holding back on, you’ve got the opportunity to hop onto almost any site and just do a quick search.” There is a growing host of online dating services catered to the LGBTQ community.
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.
“If I had never used a dating site, I really think my coming-out process would have been a lot more drawn out and a lot more difficult,” she says.
“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.Tinder, Ok Cupid, and Grindr help LGBTQ people sidestep the awkward ‘Are you into people like me?Users can also change their orientation at any time.“We see sometimes people reverse their orientation, or choose different ways of identifying themselves,” Almendares says.