When it comes to why singles use Tinder, there are a lot of different reasons. Some people are looking for love, some people are looking for hookup, and some people are just looking. And the way people assume dating apps are being used doesn't always match reality. "There have been fears and concerns around the effects of technology on behavior and social values since the introduction of paper, literally!" Tinder Sociologist, Dr. Jess Carbino, tells Bustle. "Most concerns are related to the concept that technology may disrupt daily routines — like romance — and the way of life and understanding the world." And, while the concerns continue, studies consistently show that they are largely unfounded.
In fact, in honor of Pride Month, Tinder studied over 12,000 Tinder users aged 18-35, to get an idea of how Millennial queer folks use the app. They compared their use to straight users, as well as judging it on its own merit, to get a feel for how members of the queer community feel about Tinder. And, while you may think it was all about hooking up, there was a lot of love. I may be biased, because I found my girlfriend on Tinder, but it seems I'm not alone.
Here's what the research found about how LGBTQ Millennials use Tinder:
1. LGBTQ Users Believe In The Power Of Tinder
More than 60 percent of gay and lesbian users believe that Tinder is the app that can lead to a long-term relationship.
2. And Non-Binary Users Agree
Tinder was the first app to include the 'transgender' option last year — as well as 37 other options. Interestingly, non-binary users were about six percent more likely to think they could form a long-term relationship from Tinder.
And with good reason, just two months after the More Genders option launched, they found that 250,000 matches had been made as a result.
3. It's A Small World For Lesbians
And they like it that way. For lesbians, having a friend in common was their top ranking factor when it came to meeting someone.
4. Safety First
For gay men and transgender users, they said it was important to meet someone in public for the first time. Truthfully, that's a safe bet for everyone.
5. There's Still A Long Way To Go
Many LGBTQ singles still don't feel comfortable showing affection generally, because safety is a concern. Lesbians were the most OK with PDA, but still 22 percent won't do it comfortably — compared to just four percent of straight women.
While 40.2 percent of gay men avoid public displays, nine percent of straight men say the same. Only about 30 percent of non-binary users feel comfortable showing affection in public.
As someone who met my girlfriend on Tinder, I found the dating app to be a great option for LGBTQ relationships. It's nice to see how much luck people are having, but it's important to remember how far we have to go.