Gay men have Grindr. Gay women have Her. Straight people have OKCupid and Plenty Of Fish and JDate and Tinder and Bumble. (Okay, queer people technically have access to all of those too, but the pickings are slim, and those platform were definitely not designed for us.)
Where do you look for a new lover if you’re attracted to more than one gender?
If you’re genderqueer, where do you look for a lover who will accept your identity unquestioningly?
Thurst is “the first dating app designed for queer people of all genders.”
It was designed by Morgen Bromell, a queer woman of color who was tired of seeing cisgender white men dictate the app-based dating industry. A straight white man created Tinder, and almost all other dating apps have stemmed from that, implementing a swipe-based system that doesn’t always work for queer people.
Bromell created Thurst for “queer, cis, trans and non-binary folk who are seeking to connect in person.”
What makes it different from other queer dating apps? First, Thurst has enhanced levels of security – in many U.S. states someone can be fired for being LGBT, so being discovered on a queer app carries elevated risks. Second, Thurst doesn’t just let you choose “Seeking Women” or “Seeking Men and Women” like Tinder does. You can also look for people based on their kinks and fetishes. And you can filter people based on how they identify politically.
The only questionable aspect of Thurst is that it also allows you to filter by race. While Bromell undoubtedly means well, this feature risks fostering the same racism that has made Grindr infamous.
Still, Thurst has gained a lot of well-earned praise for pushing beyond the gender binary. As Bromell says:
I have always centered and prioritized trans folks and especially trans women, who face unparalleled levels of violence. These are essential principles, and embracing non-mainstream understanding of how to care for people has influenced the ways I envision Thurst, as not only an app, but a platform for cultural change. My hope is that we can allow folks to express the truths of their existence and be their full selves while seeking to connect with others, however that may look for them.
Check out the app for yourself.