Tinder Canada Finds Queer Users View the App as a Safer Space for Self-Discovery

An in-app survey finds 45% of surveyed Canadian 2SLGBTQIA+ users prefer to express themselves online than IRL

Tinder, the world’s most popular dating app, has released new Canadian-specific insights about the state of queer dating, expression and exploration across the country.

The app revolutionized how we make new connections, making it fun and easy for singles to meet with a simple Swipe. The queer community, however, has often used the app in diverse ways. The recent survey suggests that dating apps, like Tinder, may offer a unique, welcoming environment for self-discovery in Canada’s queer community.

Many 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, who represent the fastest-growing group on Tinder globally, say dating apps are considered essential tools for growth, community building and self-discovery for Canadian users, within the broader queer community. 

Some key findings include:

Here for a Good—and Safe—Time

More than 60% of respondents agreed that online platforms like Tinder provide a space for them to express their authentic selves; from their sexuality to their gender identity, to the type of partner they’re looking for.

45% of those same Tinder users shared that dating apps have felt like a safer space for self-expression compared to real-life.

Whether due to religious or cultural affiliations, the expectations of friends, family, or the public, or continuing to explore one’s own feelings and identity, virtual interactions can offer both a necessary comfort and a celebratory community.

Keeping it Fluid

In an era of fluidity and self-discovery—one that’s not tied to past sexual or romantic preferences— freedom is more important than ever. Tinder’s survey results suggest that for the respondents, modern online dating is less about checking boxes on gender or sexual preference and more about exploration and social connection.

One in four respondents identified as non-cisgender while two in five respondents described their sexual orientation as something other than gay or bisexual.

86% of respondents are open to exploring outside of their historical dating preferences, indicating a willingness to open themselves up to a connection they may not have previously considered.

“Tinder is at the forefront of this approach, empowering users with features that foster personal growth and relationships of all sorts. With options to select from over 50 gender identities and sexual orientations, Tinder helps users express their authentic selves and connect with a diverse array of people. It’s no surprise that 2SLGBTQIA+ users are the fastest-growing group on Tinder, often coming out on the app before they do in real life.”3

Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, Tinder’s Canadian Relationship Expert

Friends with (real) benefits

Two in three respondents agreed that dating apps are a great way to meet new people even when it ends in friendship vs. a relationship. As gender and sexual identities become less rigid, platforms like Tinder may provide opportunities to  discover a variety of human connections other than dating.

Nearly 70% of respondents agreed that dating apps have helped them learn about the types of people they like and may be attracted to. Dating apps may allow these individuals to express their authentic selves and connect with a community they may not have previously identified with.

This kind of community building suggests that 2SLGBTQIA+ Tinder users in Canada are redefining how they use dating apps.

We talked to Dr. Jessica O’Reilly to get some of the best date ideas you can do when making that switch from the apps to an IRL date. At the forefront, it’s all about fun and being comfortable to be your most authentic self!

This is what she said:

Get outside

Some of the most authentic moments can happen when you connect with nature, and luckily, Toronto has a lot of it. Visit High Park, the Leslie Spit, or venture outside the city for some exploration.

Grab a pastry from a queer-owned bakery

Breadhead‘s Founder Lucy Kirby makes the absolute best croissants and bagel bombs in the city. Baked goods can be aphrodisiacs too!

Check out some public art

Toronto has some incredible art, but not all of it is hanging in an institution. The Bentway is a great place to start, and artworxto.ca has a map of even more hidden artworks.

See if love is in the cards

Visit Rizz, aka Qveenofswordstarot, to have your tarot read and see if you and your Match are compatible. 

Take a class

Learning is always sexy. Drag Academy‘s workshops and classes help you tap into a new side of yourself—and support the art of drag while doing it. Emmy Tran’s “Paint Your Own Booty” classes promote body positivity in an immersive and inclusive setting.

Find even more date ideas to do this Pride Month around Toronto here!

Based on an in-app survey of Canadian Tinder users, ages 18-34, who registered in the past year and who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Survey ran from May 31, 2024 – June 5, 2024.

3 A study of 1,000 18-25 year-old actively dating singles in the US, UK, Australia and Canada between Jan 21, 2023 and Feb 7, 2023 conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Tinder.

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