Had it with HER, tired of Tinder and bored of Bumble? Here’s how to find queer women IRL


If you’re a single lez/bi woman, chances are you’ve dabbled in apps like HER, Tinder, or Bumble. Sure, it’s convenient, and will quickly direct you towards queer women, but is this really the only way to find a date?

We’ve made a list of places you can meet a potential partner without having to swipe – if you can pluck up the courage to ask someone out without the assistance of an electronic “match”, that is.

1. Queer venues

The old classic: the gay bar. Once it was pretty much the only way to meet other queer people, but now the tables have turned, and you can very often find so-called queer venues teeming with cisgender heterosexual people. Still, there are plenty of queer bars, pubs, and coffee shops which attract a primarily LGBTQI+ clientele. You’ll just have to be brave and make the first move.

2. Twitter

Okay, so you might say it’s no better than a dating app, but it worked for Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor, so it’s good enough for me. Sliding into someone’s DMs on social media can be a little awkward, but if you’re respectful and friendly, meeting in this way can be a way to find someone with similar interests, without the pressure of having to swipe left or right.

3. Hobbies

Do you have a hobby? Or have you always wanted to try something new? Whatever it is, there’s probably a club or a class you could join. You could even check online to find a group that’s specifically queer-friendly. If it’s not a specifically “queer” group, you might have to rely on your gaydar a bit more, but even if you don’t find Ms Right, you’ll still learn a new skill: win-win.

4. Events

Is there a queer performer like Mae Martin or Travis Alabanza coming to your hometown soon? Get your friends together, have a great night out, and meet some other LGBTQI+ people! The great thing about meeting someone at an event is that you’ve already got something to talk about. Look out for events held in queer spaces: places like Gay’s The Word bookshop in London run free queer literary events with plenty of time for chatting afterwards.

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