Nine years ago, Bumble started out as a dream. Over the course of its journey, this women-first dating app has fostered safety and respect, kindled empowered connections and promoted kindness in the dating experience. Today, as an enterprise that is dedicated to encouraging inclusivity, Bumble has teamed up with experts from the LGBTQIA+ community to launch a one-of-a-kind Healthy Queer Dating Guide. A collaborative effort, this project has been developed by Bumble in partnership with Social Media Matters, with the support of organisations like Rangeen Khidki, Sappho for Equality and Official Humans of Queer, and in consultation with Equal Rights Activists Harish Iyer and Manak Matiyani.
Through extensive research, Bumble’s State of the Nation 2023 Report found that 69% of LGBTQIA+ respondents compared to 56% of heterosexual or straight respondents found that being nervous talking to new people caused friction for them while dating. Additionally, 40% of LGBTQIA+ respondents compared to 30% of heterosexual or straight respondents said that not feeling confident being themselves resulted in further friction when dating someone.
In acknowledging these and other challenges faced by the queer community, the Healthy Queer Dating Guide addresses a variety of subjects such as navigating first dates, continuing onto the second date, approaching conversations with kindness, prioritising one’s emotional needs and many such distinct yet pressing issues.
Visionaries Behind The Guide
Samarpita Samaddar, India Communications Director at Bumble shared, “As a company rooted in kindness, respect, and online accountability, we aim to foster a diverse and inclusive community on Bumble where everyone can authentically express themselves. We are thrilled to partner with experts, thought leaders and organisations in India, who do such important work for LGBTQ+ communities, to develop this healthy queer dating guide. Our shared goal is to empower and enhance dating experiences for LGBTQ+ daters in India and hope to contribute to creating a kinder and more inclusive future for online dating.”
In the same vein, Pratishtha Arora, CEO, Social Media Matters expressed, “The healthy queer dating guide is an initiative to celebrate the vibrant diversity of relationships, empower connections, and help individuals navigate the dating space more confidently. We would like to thank Bumble for building the guide, created to help individuals in the journey of inclusivity, compassion, and self-discovery as we navigate the path to meaningful connections.”
Rolling Out New Features
To engage better with their resolve, Bumble has introduced features and policies that establish kindness, respect and inclusivity. This initiative introduces Incognito mode, which lets one control who can see their profile while swiping, combatting identity-based hate while also extensively moderating for harassment, fetishization, homophobic as well as body-shaming language, and more. The two new features, Private Detector and Photo Verification, in addition to the existing ones like Unmatch or Block and Report, are safety features which ensure a safer and healthier dating experience.
The app offers its users a safe space where they can elaborate on their gender identities and sexual orientations and choose their pronouns. With the flexibility to change this at any time and as many times as they would like to, Bumble has worked closely with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to help ensure that its platform is thoughtfully serving the needs of its diverse communities.
In addition to this, the app has improved the member experience for matches with non-binary people, enabling either person to make the first move on Bumble Date. While women will continue to make the first move in matches with men, either person can make the initial move in matches between people of the same gender. Most important of all, one can access the Safety + Wellbeing Centre resource hub with ease, specifically built to help the community foster a safer and healthier dating environment.