For many, online dating has become old and tired. After all, what are we really doing on dating apps? We might spend hours distractedly scrolling through photos of strangers trying their best to look cute, in what feels like a virtual beauty contest that nobody really wins. A handful of apps have launched to provide an alternative for non-cisgender communities, like Thurst , GENDR , and Transdr , but none has emerged as a market leader. And while at least one app provides an alternative for queer women, called HER , it would be nice to have at least one other option. For photo editor Kelly Rakowski, the solution to solving Tinder burnout among a new generation of queer women and trans people could lay in looking to the past - specifically, to personal ads , or text-based ads often found in the backs of newspapers and magazines. Years before we ever swiped left, posted on Craigslist or logged online at all, they served as one of the main ways people found love, hookups, and new friends.
Rakowski, 38, has never launched an app or a startup. Its creation is being driven entirely by the voracious interest of the community. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that only 60 percent wanted to have photos involved at all.
Rakowski is learning as she goes, bootstrapping the development with a Kickstarter page that launches June 13, mentorship from experienced tech industry friends, and PayPal donations from users and supporters. Rakowski wants users to be able to search for people based on characteristics that are specific to the queer community - not just the standard location and age. Or the tops, the switches, or just the bottoms?
So many varieties.
It needs to be expanded upon. But what would a dating app look like if the entire structure were built with queer identities in mind from the beginning?
Rather than judging a person by their photo, one can search based on roles, fantasies, identities, and preferences. Instead, we can read all the ads one-by-one - whether as seekers or as voyeurs - and enjoy the creativity and charm that went into creating each one.
You just have to be looking for a good time.
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But it's not looking too promising. I'm agender, e, em, emself.
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I may be short but I'm big on exploring. I always see both sides of the picture and I love having conversations about what's going on in the world.
Some days I like whiskey, some days I like wine, and if I want to be both there's always