GayBFF is First Non-Hookup Social Networking App for LGBTQ Community
Grindr, Jack'd, and Tinder are all great options for getting dates and "hooking up," but they are not ideal for making friends. So CEO Ruben Jauregui, Jr. developed GayBFF for the LGBTQ community and our straight allies who are looking for platonic relationships. He launched the app for iPhone and Android on April 4, and invites all those who want to make new LGBTQ friends to join.
"I have always struggled to meet other LGBTQ friends without going to a nightclub or bar," Jauregui told EDGE. "One day, I was watching a television interview with Laverne Cox that focused on trans rights. As I listened to her speak, I found myself wondering where people in the trans community go to meet other trans people and allies. As a tech-minded millennial, I was dumbfounded. I realized there were no social networking apps for anybody in the community to meet like-minded peers. I decided that I needed to do my part to help change that. I created GayBFF in order for us to create a community that will help us bond and grow, with each other as well as our straight allies."
GayBFF is much more than a social networking app. Think of it as a powerful tool to expand your social network, meet locals during travel, and find people you otherwise never would have met.
Jauregui said that making new connections on GayBFF is easy and fun -- just swipe right to like someone, or swipe left to pass. If someone likes you back, it's a match. Chat online with your matches, step away from your phone, and get out and experience new people. It's a new way to engage with the LGBTQ community.
"We keep waiting for the moment when we feel like we are not different from other people," he said. "The fact is, we are different, and it's about time we love and embrace that. Let's create a community that will help us bond and grow with each other and our straight allies."
To make matters worse, said Jauregui, the current presidential administration is attempting to reverse every single gain the LGBTQ community has made in the last two decades. The negative message this sends to us in the community -- especially the youngest ones, struggling with their identity -- could not be more terrifying.
While the LGBTQ community celebrates progress on legal and social acceptance, the rates of depression, loneliness, and substance abuse remain stagnant. The Trevor Project notes that suicide attempts are four times greater for LGBT youth, with 40 percent of transgender adults having attempted suicide -- 92 percent of those before they even reached 25 years old.
LGBTQs are more likely than our straight peers to take our own lives, and we are twice as likely to have a major depressive episode. It is still dangerously alienating to go through life as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
Gay BFF welcomes not just men and women, but provides users with five different gender options: Female, Male, Genderqueer, Intersex, and Other. They also provide the option to identify as Transgender. In regards to sexual orientation, users have six different options: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Straight, and Other.
Jauregui notes that, "In regards to age, I have seen Generation Z users all the way up to Baby Boomers."
He said that he hoped the app would bring LGBTQs together to form friendships, adding that the site will do their best to make sure the app does not become just another gay cruising site.
"Obviously, there is no way for us to control its direct usage, but I will definitely encourage our users to report any incidents of inappropriate behavior," said Jauregui. "I developed GayBFF for those of us in the community and our straight allies who are looking for platonic relationships. GayBFF is so much more than a social networking app, and will change the way people meet."
For more information, visit http://www.gay-bff.com/