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The Top Dating Apps & Sites for LGBTQ+



As an out and proud lesbian, I can say with confidence that when it comes to finding other queer women, my gaydar is absolutely awful. And I mean truly atrocious. If a woman is wearing a flannel shirt there’s a good chance I’ll think she’s either a lumberjack or just has good taste in warm clothing. Unless she’s waving a pride flag in my face, I remain oblivious. As you might imagine, this makes dating difficult, to say the least.

Because of my lack of the so-called gaydar, I’ve found that dating apps and websites are my best friend, as they make it clear right away what people are looking for in a partner. I’ve tried a number of these* with varying success, and have decided to rate them for all of you in the LGBTQ+ community who want to find a date, a partner, or just a quick hookup.

To do this well, I’ll be giving ratings on a scale of 1-5, and rating each app and website based on five criteria:

  1. Is the website/app only good for hookups?
  2. Is it only good for relationships?
  3. How LGBTQ friendly is it (more LGBTQ or straight)?
  4. How targeted is the audience (just for men/just for women)?
  5. And finally, is it only good in large cities?

*Disclaimer: As a woman, I realize that I don’t have a complete picture of the male experience on these sites, but I tried to be as objective as possible.

Image result for tinder logoTinder ★★★★✰

Tinder might have a bad reputation for hookups, but I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by how many people find meaningful relationships on this app. And when I’m not matching with straight couples who only want to find a woman to join their threesome (just not my thing), I find there are a surprising number of LGBTQ+ individuals looking for relationships and hookups. And even in small towns you can still find people to match with! However, it loses a star because of how easy it is to catfish people, whatever their sexuality.

OkCupid ★★★✰✰

In my experience, OkCupid is wonderful if you’re looking for a long-term relationship, but only if you live in a large city. It’s pretty inclusive, with a fair balance of straight and LGBTQ users, but its user base seems to be mostly focused in urban areas. If you live in a small and/or rural town, you’ll be lucky to connect with more than three or four people.

Her ★★★★✰

This one gets a high rating because it’s one of the few that’s only for women. Like Tinder, it’s good for both hookups and relationships, and is very queer friendly. If it was more effective in small towns, I would give it five stars. Maybe that’s me being a little salty, but if I only find four women to talk to in my area, that’s not very validating, and leaves me in fear that I might die alone. Let’s step it up a notch, app designers!

Grindr ★★★★★

Woohoo! Five stars! Grindr may get a bad rap, but it meets all the criteria for a quality dating app. Targeted towards men (gay, bisexual, trans, etc), it seems to have a presence even in small towns, and is effective for both hookups and relationships. From what I can tell, most men who use it seem to have had a successful experience with it, and receives a good overall rating online.  


Bumble ★★★✰✰

Bumble is an app I’ve only tried once, and it gets points for originality. Very similar to Tinder, you vote yay or nay on people’s pictures, and if a match is made, the two of you can begin messaging. The difference is, Bumble requires that the woman messages first. A unique idea that shifts the power structure a little. That being said, it’s not super queer friendly (or didn’t seem to be for the month that I used it), and not great in small towns, although that might be due to the overwhelming popularity of Tinder. Whatever the reason, I enjoyed Bumble for its uniqueness, and it could be great with a larger user base.

Match ★★★★✰

Match is very similar to OkCupid except that it seems to be successful in less populated areas as well as big cities. It gets only four stars because of it being primarily for dates and relationships, instead of just hookups. That’s not necessarily it, but if you’re looking for a hookup site, Match might not be the place for that. On the plus side, Match boasts a high percentage of LGBTQ users, so you’re bound to find someone you click with.

Elite Singles ★★★★✰

This is one I haven’t personally tried, but that I’ve heard about a lot recently. So after reading through some reviews, I give Elite Singles four stars. Like Match, it’s pretty inclusive as far as LGBTQ+ friendliness goes, but is targeted for people in search of serious relationships. No left or right swiping on this one, my friends. But if you’re looking for love, I’d try my luck here for sure.

Zoosk ★★★★★

I’ll go ahead and give this one five stars, because of how much I love Zoosk. The app is super easy to use, it’s LGBTQ+ friendly, is perfect for hookups and serious relationships, and is pretty effective even in small towns.

There you have it, folks! Eight of the top dating sites, rated for your reference. Keep in mind that these ratings are based mostly on my experiences, and won’t be accurate for everyone. I’d recommend trying a few of them out to see which one works best for you. Which one is your favorite? Is there another one you might recommend? Tell us in the comments! And don’t forget to share this list with that one friend who’s always looking for love.

Originally posted 2017-09-28 13:35:23.

Also published on Medium.

A 22-year old poet and writer, Summer is the voice for Tell It Like A Lesbian and the features editor for TravelPRIDE. She loves horror movies, rock climbing, and is trying to start an herb garden in her spare time.


One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Trump’s Trans Military Ban



The LGBTQ community has made significant progress in terms of equality. A person was not allowed to be openly gay in the US military until former president Obama repealed the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in September of 2011. Gay men and women are now allowed to be out, proud, and active members of the military. Unfortunately, this is not the case for transgender individuals. On Wednesday, July 26, 2017, president Donald Trump tweeted that transgender people are not allowed to serve in the armed forces “in any capacity.”











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How alarming! This is a clear violation of human rights and extremely detrimental to the fight for equality for the LGBTQ community. (We also have to appreciate the irony of the tweets considering that on July 26, 1948, former president Truman desegregated the military).

What Trump is basically saying is that allowing transgender people in the military would be a financial detriment. I’m assuming that he is referring to the cost of hormones for transgender people. What he doesn’t realize that the cost of hormones is significantly less than what the military is paying for medications such as Viagra. According to the United Press International, the US military spends ten times more on erectile dysfunction medication than transgender care. 

So, what does this mean? Well, it may mean any number of things:

  1. Trump has no idea what he’s talking about
  2. He’s pandering to the conservative right
  3. He’s transphobic

Who really knows? Whatever the reason, it is definitely a step back for equality. However, hope is not lost as many people are taking a stand against Trump’s ban. Celebrities such as Lady Gaga had some things to say about this ban.




Images via


Lady Gaga is not the only person fighting against Trump’s un-American ban. The Human Rights Campaign, or HRC, is fighting for the rights of transgender people, saying that the ban is an “all-out assault on service members” and that the ban would affect approximately 15,000 currently serving troops. This will clearly have a negative impact on the US military as it consists of millions of brave men and women who fight for the freedom of the American citizens and losing even one soldier due to bigotry can cause the military to weaken.











The American Civil Liberties Union, or UCLA, is also fighting against Trump’s ban.

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Don’t give up hope! This ban is definitely a step in the wrong direction and it hopefully won’t spiral into something even more horrible which is why it is very important that we speak out against this hateful action. Voice your outrage anywhere where your voice can be heard and stand with the transgender community during this trying time, use the hashtag #protecttranstroops on Twitter, repeat the maxim “trans people are not a burden,” and fight for what is right. It may not be easy but as long as we fight, the rights of transgender individuals can and will be protected.






Originally posted 2017-07-28 21:19:21.

Also published on Medium.

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48 Hours In...

48 Hours in Mexico City



Mexico City is a sprawling metropolis full of color and culture. You could easily spend a month there and still not get to see and experience everything the city has to offer. If you only have a weekend, you can get a taste of Mexico City’s delights, but be warned – you will probably be booking your next trip as soon as you arrive home.

With more museums than any other city in the world, amazing architecture, a scintillating LGBTQ scene, delicious street food and many other attractions, Mexico City is one of the most exciting cities on the planet.

Getting There

Juarez International Airport is located eight miles from Mexico City. If you arrive late at night, it is advisable to take an official taxi to the downtown area. During the day, the metro is a good alternative.

Getting Around

Mexico City’s metro system is extensive and one of the cheapest underground systems in the world. Having said that, it isn’t the most comfortable of transport options during rush hour. Taxis are cheap, but make sure you take one from the official sitio taxi stands or use Uber.

Day One

Start the day with Huevos Rancheros, a classic Mexican breakfast – tortillas, fried eggs, salsa and refried beans. Try Café El Popular (5 de Mayo esq Palmas, just off the Zocalo). It’s a popular spot for both locals and tourists and has a diner-style ambiance.

After a hearty breakfast, head to the charming neighbourhood of Coyoacan. The number one attraction here is La Casa Azul, Frida Kahlo’s house, which has now been turned into a museum. It provides a fascinating insight into the life of artist Frida and her husband Diego Rivera.

The garden in La Casa Azul

Afterwards, you could head around the corner to the house where the exiled Leon Trotsky lived the last year of his life. It was there that he was murdered by an assassin in his study. In contrast to Frida’s colorful abode, it is an austere house which has been changed little since Trotsky lived there, but is an intriguing slice of political history.

Coyoacan Plaza is a great place to sample some tasty street food. At weekends, it is particularly lively with food and handicraft stalls. There is often live music, adding to the festive atmosphere. It feels like small town Mexico in the heart of the big city.

Back in Centro Historico, take a stroll around the huge main plaza, the Zocalo, the second largest public square in the world after Russia’s Red Square. There are plenty of museums, shops and cool street art to explore in the surrounding areas.

La Catrina, the iconic skeleton lady

El Balcon del Zocalo is a perfect place for dinner. The restaurant has a rooftop terrace, bestowed with spectacular views of the cathedral and Zocalo. It has an international, Mexican and veggie friendly menu.

For a taste of Mexican style nightlife, head to Calle Amberes at Paseo de la Reforma in Zona Rosa. This area is the hub of the LGBTQ scene in Mexico City. Have a wander and take your pick of the many bars and clubs that line the street.

Day Two

Pasteleria Ideal (Calle 16 de Septiembre 18, Col. Centro) could be the largest and most heavenly bakery you have ever seen. The choice of baked goods, both sweet and savory, are a feast for the eyes and as the name suggests, is an ideal place to grab some pastries. With breakfast and coffee in hand, make tracks to Alameda Park and find a bench to sit to enjoy your first meal of the day and partake in a spot of people-watching. You can’t miss the opulent architecture of Palacio de Belles Artes, the grandest building in Mexico City.

Just across the road (Calle Revillagigedo 11, Cuauhtemoc), check out the Popular Art Museum. Housed in an ex-fire station, this contemporary museum is full of colorful Mexican folk art. It’s fun and quirky and the exhibits range from Day of the Dead skulls and skeletons to vibrant piñatas.

Museum of Popular Art – fun and quirky

La Ciudadela is an artisan market (Calle de Balderas, s/m Centro, 06040 Cuauhtemoc). It specializes in Mexican handicrafts from 0axacan fantasy animals to beautifully decorated skulls. Prices are reasonable and you are bound to find something that catches your eye.

Even if you have never considered attending a wrestling match before, lucha libre is a unique Mexican experience and not-to-be-missed. (Arena Mexico,189 Calle Dr. Lavista, Colonia Doctores).  Regular sessions are held on Tuesday and Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. The atmosphere is electric and whole families attend shouting abuse at the bad guys and cheering for their heroes.  

Round off your time in Mexico City with some tequila shots and mariachi music at a bar on Plaza Garibaldi. The haunting sound of roving mariachi bands echo around the square, as you reflect on two action-packed days in this amazing city.

Tequila shots at the ready!


Originally posted 2017-07-29 11:22:36.

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Love It, Leave It: The Portland, OR Edition



Back to the Pacific NW, a not-so-secret favorite destination of mine. It very well could be that I’m just all jazzed up off of increased oxygen levels (man, they have a lot of trees), but I swear that everything tastes better out there. I constantly imagine tiny gnomes in tweed hats and hemp-based sweaters pulling out the freshest, organic vegetables from the depths of the soil. Albeit slightly far-fetched, this fictional scene will hopefully help you imagine just how epic the Portland food landscape is. But, there are two things (that just so coincidentally happen to be my favorite) we should focus on for now: brews and doughnuts.

Love It: Breakside Brewery. Blue Star Donuts.

(Photo credit: Erin Oliveri)

Breakside Brewery: With two locations in this quirky town, Breakside is a hipster mecca churning out solid craft brews and hearty, standout dishes. The newest spot in Slabtown (what a weird, yet endearing Portland name) is a boisterous, bi-level warehouse, that was jam packed on a Sunday afternoon. While most were throwing back some pints (most likely IPAs, since the list is bursting with them), plenty came just for the food. The brewery sources organic seasonal produce and meats; and while menus at breweries are often there solely to help combat hours of drinking, this one is a solid partner, justly accompanying the top-notch beers. The Bavarian pretzel is one of epic proportions — a woman from the table over asked if she could come over just for a photo. And, the fried chicken biscuit sandwich was gone so fast from my plate…but also from the menu since it’s only served from “3 p.m. ‘til gone.”











Blue Star Donuts: A hotly debated topic in Portland just so happens to be one near and dear to my heart (and stomach): doughnuts. I was told by locals on my first visit that these are the “grown up” doughnuts. I agreed once I took a spin around the BSD website — wooing me with phrases like “brioche recipe,” “cage-free eggs” and “the dough takes 18 hours to make.” Well, I wanted all of that, immediately. And what a coincidence, there’s one just a few minutes away from Breakside Brewery. I’d advise snagging a maple bacon or blueberry bourbon basil — or any beautifully baked ring ‘cause they’re so delicious — and sample en route to your future beer tasting. Carbs are your friends.

Leave It: Rogue Distillery and Public House

It’s not without a sad face emoji that this Rogue outpost turned out to be a big miss for me. Back east, I’ve drunk everything from the classic Dead Guy Ale to offbeat collabs with Blue Star rival, Voodoo Doughnuts. The core of Rogue was present, with plenty of beers on tap to sample, but the ambiance was non-existent and the menu was stacked with uninspired bar food. My original excitement for the poutine shortly faded after just a few bland bites. I’d say if you’re looking for the true Rogue experience and you just so happen to be headed toward the Oregon Coast, the original Public House (originally the Bayfront Brewery) and a newer, bi-level brewpub are nestled in the quaint coastal town of Newport. These locales may serve for a more authentically ‘Rogue’ experience.

Originally posted 2017-07-26 18:18:16.

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