Swiping Isn’t Just For Straight Singles

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Especially in times like this, we might find ourselves lonelier than usual. In these conditions, those who are missing that someone special in their lives right now might find it helpful to resort to online dating if they haven’t tried it before!

Online dating has expanded far and wide with the amount of platforms, apps and websites available, and has become more and more popular with time. In a time where technology seems to be on people’s minds more than ever in society, it is important to note that virtually meeting others can sometimes be more preferred over initial in-person interactions.

What really sticks out is the fact that online dating is especially popular among young adults and specifically those in the LGBTQIA+ community. According to a Pew Research Report, dated March 26, 2020, 55% of those who have used dating apps are in the LGBTQIA+ community. Platforms have expanded to give those in this community more opportunities to meet others in their area and beyond. Because sometimes it could be hard in certain areas and a lot of other factors that go into play for those in the community, online dating gave them convenience. “Rather than having to scroll through thousands of local matches – some of whom may or may not correspond to your sexual orientation – LGBTQ+-specific services allow members of the community to find what they’re looking for, fast,” said Online Dating Association.PI_2020.02.06_online-dating_1-1.png

While heterosexual people can find online dating convenient and efficient, the LGBTQIA+ community has found it especially helpful. Not only does it give them the opportunity to meet people when they might not have other resources to, such as bars clubs and other places to meet specifically related to sexuality, but it gives them a comfortability. “The use of LGBTQ+ dating services also mean that people who may not be publicly ‘out’ can happily explore their sexuality, while reducing the risk of accidentally coming across someone they know,” said Online Dating Association.

The comfortability can come quite literally from being behind the screen. Those who aren’t ready to express their sexuality to the public or put a label on themselves to the world, seem to feel more comfortable with doing it in dating apps rather than in government reports. It shows a level of trust that these people have with online dating platforms that they might not have with their everyday profiles. “In the U.S., it is estimated that nearly 20% of online daters identify as gay and seeking a same-sexpartner.  Intriguingly, this percentage is a lot higher than those who report being lesbian or gay in the general population, where the figure is just below 4%,” said Psychology Today. Jake Saparito, a 22 year old heterosexual male uses platforms such as Tinder and Bumble for his online dating. “I have heard of Grindr, the app for those in the sexually fluid community, and I think it’s extremely awesome for them to have their own outlet for online dating so they can really feel comfortable expressing themselves and putting themselves out there,” said Saparito.

Although it seems to the outside world that it has made it convenient for the specific community, it hasn’t always been that way. “It’s unfortunate given that the queer community helped pioneer online dating out of necessity, from the analog days of personal ads to the first geo-social chat apps that enabled easy hookups. Only in the past few years has online dating emerged as the No. 1 way heterosexual couples meet. Since the advent of dating apps, same-sex couples have overwhelmingly met in the virtual world,” said Washington Post. It is safe to say that it was very important to this community in many different ways and was more of a need than a want.PI_2020.02.06_online-dating_1-4.png

As a 22 year old woman who is very close to people that are a part of the community and are young adults like herself, Katie DePietro shares that she loves the comfortability online dating can give anyone looking for a someone to talk to. “I am a huge advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and support them with my whole heart. It makes me smile to know that it is reported statistically that online dating is a huge part in the dating experiences of sexually fluid people. But it also is still evolving and I hope that it can evolve even more-so outside of the virtual world,” said DePietro.

In a world full of social media and expectations, young adults chose to put themselves out there and try dating apps. Those who are in the LGBTQIA+ community chose to do it even more than those not, and it shows a lot of courage and the statistics prove that online dating is effective for them in some way.

https://www.onlinedatingassociation.org.uk/news/how-online-dating-changed-lgbt-community.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-digitally/201901/is-lgbt-online-dating-different

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/10/08/queer-users-guide-wild-terrifying-world-lgbt-dating-apps/

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