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Straight Is Not The Default - A Guide To LGBTQIA Dating In India

By Somdutta Mazumder

Updated - Jan. 21, 2020 5 min read

To say that being queer in India is not an easy journey, would be a massive understatement.


With boundless stigma attached to being a member of the LGBTQIA community, family members that refuse to acknowledge the truth let alone accept it, and words like "gay" used as indignant slurs to bully and humiliate, homosexuality continues to be one of the most widely misunderstood, misrepresented and mistreated concepts across the nation. 


Image Courtesy - Pexels


Considering that homosexuality was decriminalised in India less than 2 years ago, it's safe to say that we are quite a distance away from accepting the LGBTQIA community as regular members of the Indian society. If merely existing and functioning as a queer individual in India is riddled with so many challenges, can we even begin to imagine the difficulties associated with dating, and going out with like-minded individuals? 


Image Courtesy - Pexels


Luckily, with the advent of online dating, LGBTQIA forums and queer-friendly eateries and pubs, dating for LGBT members has become slightly less far-fetched. If you identify as a member of the queer community and are on the hunt for love and romance, we have curated a guide to LGBTQIA dating in India, especially for you! 


Dating Apps For The LGBTQIA Community 

To address the issue of ease in dating for the LGBTQIA community, several dating apps have established prominent platforms for individuals with non-hetero sexual orientations and identities to meet and interact, and possibly take each other out!


If you are keen on finding your soulmate but refuse to leave the comfort of your home to do so, these LGBT dating apps in India have made the process of meeting and dating fellow LGBT individuals, much easier, safer and more convenient: 



Planet Romeo 

One of the original revolutionary dating apps that catered exclusively to the queer community, Planet Romeo has long been recognised as one of the most effective platforms in India, for meeting and connecting with fellow members of the LGBTQIA community. Planet Romeo is mostly customised for gay and bisexual men as well as transgenders, and the app creators have included a feature that judges a person's authenticity by displaying the people that personally know them.


Image Courtesy - Twitter



Scruff is an actively used dating app that allows gay as well as bisexual men to browse through profiles of eligible guys from places located closeby, far and across the world. Scruff was one of the first LGBTQ dating apps to include an option for the transgender community and has now tremendously expanded its usability by employing features like advanced search, user videos and chats and even the option of finding a gay travel companion. 


Image Courtesy - APK Pure




Launched in 2012 as a dating app, OkCupid is an extremely effective and inclusive platform for the entirety of the LGBTQIA community. The matching strategies of this LGBT dating app, are based on some very interesting questions that allow genuine people looking for authentic connections to be successfully filtered out. This dating platform offers 12 gender identities and 20 sexual orientations for their members to describe themselves with, and the unique question-based matching system makes for connections that are longer-lasting!


Image Courtesy - The OkCupid Blog



India's first home-grown dating platform for the LGBTQIA community, The Delta app was developed by entrepreneur Ishaan Sethi, with the promotional message of #StrongestTogether. The app was developed with the objective of creating a safe and comfortable space for queer individuals to network, find companions and friends, and in the process get the support they otherwise don't have access to. The creators of this app have included some extremely comforting features such as disabled screenshots and lack of access to personal social networks. 


Image Courtesy - GQ India



This LGBTQIA dating app is as inclusive as it gets, with provisions for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, queer, non-binary and intersex individuals to find what they are seeking in the world of dating. This app has been specially curated for members who are looking for something a bit more substantial than a one-time meeting. New users are required to fill an LGBTQuestionnaire that allows them to express their subjective views, and connect with individuals who share those opinions and viewpoints. 


Image Courtesy - Owler



Arguably the most globally famous feature in the list of LGBTQ friendly dating apps, this app has been working favourably for men for around a decade now. This LGBTQ dating app uses geo-tagging to find potential companions nearby and spark conversations over chat with them. Grindr also allows you to trade photos with each other, as well as grants you access to Gaymoji, a collection of over 500 stickers that are LGBTQ themed. 


Image Courtesy - The Verge 


LGBTQIA Friendly Date Spots 

Although the struggle for acceptance within the Indian community is likely to be a lengthy battle for LGBTQIA folks, recent years have witnessed some progress. Several prominent eateries, pubs and bars across major cities of India have been forthright about their LGBTQIA friendly stance, thus paving the way for an array of options in dating spots for the queer community! 


Delhi NCR



Image Courtesy - Curly  Tales 



Image Courtesy - The Patriot 



Image Courtesy - Fashion Most Wanted 



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Image Courtesy - GQ India 



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Image Courtesy - Architectural Digest India



Image Courtesy - What Up Life 



Dating Tips For Members Of The LGBTQIA Community 

  • Considering the prevalent bias within the Indian society towards queer individuals, and various discriminatory, abusive and malicious behaviour towards them, it is best to be safe while exploring the world of online LGBT dating. If you are a member of the LGBTQIA community and are about to venture into dating apps and meeting people, be sure to:
  • Be mindful about sharing personal details. Only reveal intimate information about yourself if you wholly trust the other party.
  • When arranging for a first date, be sure to gather as much information about your date as you can. Pick a first date spot that is public, and moderately crowded. 
  • Do not exchange pictures wherein your face or other identifying features are visible. 
  • If you and your date share mutual acquaintances and friends, be sure to check with them before agreeing to meet with the person. 
  • Always share your details such as the place you're headed to and cab number with a close one before going out for a date with an unknown person.


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