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6 LGBTQ Apps For a Better Life

From healthcare to travel to education, there’s always an app to help make your life easier, keep you entertained, or better inform you. While plenty of dating apps are geared to our community, what about the other facets of modern queer life? Here’s a list of mobile apps for the queer community.

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Mister BNB

Airbnb and HomeAway popularized the concept of staying like a local by renting homes and apartments for your vacation. misterb&b connects you to gay-friendly rentals while donating a percentage of the profit to LGBTQ nonprofits.

When the company’s co-founder & CEO, Matthieu, and his partner booked a shared apartment in Barcelona, they found their host uncomfortable renting to a gay couple. The experience inspired him to start a short term rentals site focused on the gay community. misterb&b aims to connect the global gay community and offer a safer travel experience.

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GeoSure

Traveling in any of the 71 countries where homosexuality is a crime may be risky, but queer people, especially trans and gender nonconforming, can be at risk in far more places. GeoSure offers neighborhood-level real-time LGBTQ safety ratings for more than 40,000 places worldwide. By combining local statistics and data feeds, the app offers safety ratings on a scale from 1 (Very Safe/Cool) to 100 (Very Dangerous/Hot) across seven categories: overall safety, women’s safety, physical harm, theft, health and medical, LGBTQ safety, and political freedoms.

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Our Bible

While the LGBTQ community is usually pushed away by most mainstream Christian religions, plenty of queer people continue to hold deeply religious beliefs. Our Bible is an app that aims to bring the progressive Christian community together. The platform offers the largest collection of devotionals, podcasts, resources, and other media content that are pro-LGBT, pro-women, and encourage interfaith inclusivity.

Writer and activist Crystal Cheatham felt devastated when she was told she couldn’t be gay and Christian. She started Our Bible to offer the LGBTQ community a space to pursue their spiritual practice without sacrificing any part of their identity.

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Personals

Before the internet and smartphones, many queer people found romantic connections and friendships through personal ads in their local newspapers and zines. Throwing it back, PERSONALS is a lo-fi, text-based dating & social app for the LBTQIA+ community.
Kelly Rakowski, who also founded the lesbian culture Instagram @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y, started PERSONALS as a way for people to find eachother without the frustration of dating apps. While curating historical photos for her Instagram account, she came across an online archive of personal ads from On Our Backs, a lesbian erotica magazine. Her followers fell in love with these mementos from lonely hearts so she began soliciting personal ads for a new project that would become PERSONALS.
Currently, you’ll find PERSONALS on Instagram at @_personals_ while a full fledged app is still in beta. Start submitting your own personal ads by signing up for the beta and supporting the project.

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SpectrumScores

One of the biggest issues I consistently experience, and hear from other queer people, is the difficulty finding healthcare providers that understand the issues facing our community. A study by Lambda Legal found that 56% of LGB and 70% of trans patients have experienced discrimination in a healthcare setting. In general I’m struck that there isn’t a Yelp for doctors but to find an LGBTQ friendly doctor, I’ve had to rely on word of mouth recommendations. SpectrumScores was built to solve that problem. Users can leave reviews and rate their healthcare providers on four criteria: welcoming environment, inclusive process, LGBTQ+ knowledge, and overall satisfaction.

Naveen Jain, Jun Jeon, and Phil Williams were med students at the University of Pennsylvania when they set out to create the app as part of the PennHealthX competition, where student entrepreneurs develop health care-focused concepts. The app is currently in beta in Philadelphia, New York City, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.

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Quist

As I’m sure most of you have gathered from being avid readers of this blog, I love music and history. I especially love learning about moments in history that are often forgotten or rarely told, which happens to be the case when it comes to minority groups. Quist is an app that aims to educate the world about the history of LGBTQ communities, the struggles we have overcome, and the allies that supported us. Every day Quist presents a notable event in queer history that happened that day with interactive media and links to more information.

Since 2013, the app has mostly been created through the help of volunteers with the non-profit the Quistory Project, Inc. The organization was founded by Sarah Prager, the author of Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World.

What are your favorite apps? Is there an app you wish had a queer friendly equivalent?

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