If there’s one thing everyone knows about Bumble, it’s that the girl has to message first (and if you don’t know that, it may be worth checking out our guide to exactly how Bumble works).
However, for all you armchair philosophers out there, this poses an interesting question. What happens then if you’re both girls? What happens if neither of you is? Is Bumble only for heterosexuals?
Thankfully, the short answer is no. Bumble is not just for straight people. It’s an LGBTQ+ friendly dating app, offering a safe and fun way to find love, or whatever you’re looking for, with whoever you’re looking for it with.
When signing up, Bumble will allow you to choose your sexual preference by selecting between men, women, or everyone, and choose your gender identity from a simple male/female binary, or an extensive list of other options.
And for anything outside hunting for a heterosexual relationship, Bumble will allow either of you to message first, so no need to sit and silence and stare longingly (although, that can be fun too).
And beyond just finding you that special someone, Bumble has, over the last few years, made specific efforts to donate to LGBTQ+ charities.
In 2020, they donated up to $5000 dollars to 22 different LGBTQ+ organizations, each with a focus on improving the lives of BIPOC. So not only are they helping you find love, they’re spreading it around a little too.
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How Does Same-Sex Matching Work On Bumble?
While the app’s whole pitch sounds geared towards heterosexual men and women meeting the heterosexual man or woman of their dreams, Bumble has included ways to use the app if your interests lie elsewhere.
The choices start from the moment you sign up. One of the first questions you will be asked is ‘how do you identify?’
The options are woman, man, or non-binary, but by clicking ‘more gender options’ you’ll be presented with an extensive list of other gender identifiers to choose from.
Beyond those choices, the matching process on Bumble is virtually the same for those looking for same sex connections, as for anyone else.
You’ll still be presented with profiles that match your settings, swipe right or left on each one, hoping for a match. Once you’ve got a match, you’ll have 24 hours to start talking before it disappears, no matter how the two of you identify.
Additional Gender Options on Bumble:
- Female to Male
- Female to male trans man
- Female to transgender man
- Female to male transsexual man
- Gender Fluid
- Gender Nonconforming
- Gender Questioning
- Gender Variant
- I use another term
- Intersex man
- Intersex person
- Intersex woman
- Male to Female
- Male to female trans woman
- Male to female transgender woman
- Male to female transexual woman
- Trans Female
- Trans Male
- Trans person
- Trans man
- Trans woman
- Transexual Female
- Transexual Male
- Transexual Man
- Transexual Person
- Transexual WomanTransfeminine
- Transgender Male
- Transgender Man
- Transgender Person
- Transgender Woman
- Two* person
- Two-spirit person
- Cis Female
- Cis Male
- Cis Man
- Cis Woman
- Cisgender Female
- Cisgender Male
- Cisgender Man
- Cisgender Woman
Pretty full list!
‘From there you can choose who should see your profile, whether that’s people looking for men or women, and which gender or genders’ profiles you’d like to see.
Your choices are between men, women, and everyone, and this can be updated at any time should you realize a thing or two about yourself.
Bumble Do’s And Don’ts
Just like heterosexual users, queer and nonbinary users are a slave to the Bumble algorithm. So just remember:
- The most popular users, and anyone that likes you, will be the first to appear when you start swiping.
- Bumble’s exact algorithm is secret, so we can’t know for sure how it works. From observation, though, it seems like while Bumble may use a basic Elo score it doesn’t closely track your swiping like, say, Hinge does. This means the Bumble algorithm will show you as wide a selection of people as it can.
- Don’t swipe right all the time. Bumble might think you’re a bot, or you just don’t know how to use the app, and will make you virtually invisible.
Can Girls Text Other Girls On Bumble?
You’ve found your match, you’ve got 24 hours to reply, but if you’re both girls, who gets to go first on Bumble’s unique platform? Can girls text other girls on Bumble? Luckily, yes.
If two girls match on Bumble, they still have 24 hours to start messaging with one another. But, rather than having to wait for one party to make the first move, either person can jump in there with their best chat-up line.
The same applies to connections between two guys. There’s no waiting around for some girl to wander in and give you the permission to get chatting, one of you just has to pluck up the courage and say hello.
Is There A Male Version Of Bumble?
Bumble is obviously a platform designed with women’s experiences of dating at its heart, but there is, in fact, a Bumble for men. It’s called… well… Bumble.
If you’re a guy on the lookout for a girl, yes, Bumble puts the power to make the connection in their hands, but that already seems to be the case.
According to a study conducted by three universities from around the world, only 7% of men were likely to start a conversation on Tinder, compared to 20% of women. So, unless you’re part of that brave 7%, Bumble just means you’ve got a terrific excuse not to be the one making that first move.
As a man on Bumble, you still have the same opportunities to swipe through profiles, make connections and see where things go as you would on most other dating apps. Beyond that, I can’t really work out what a Bumble for men would actually be.
Blue rather than yellow, maybe? However, if you’re looking for something with a little bit more of a queer focus, then take our free quiz to determine which dating app is right for you, whether it’s Grindr, Scruff, Feeld or, maybe it even is Bumble.
Is Bumble Feminist?
Yes, Bumble was started with an explicitly feminist point of view. Whitney Wolfe, a founder of Tinder, set up the company to attempt to redress the balance of power on dating apps.
In her view, ‘a lot of dysfunction around dating has to with men having the control’ and so with Bumble she decided to make sure it was the woman who got to decide the terms of engagement. They’d make the first move, and they’d have 24 hours to do it.
But guys, don’t run off scared. Just because Bumble was started with feminist ideas, doesn’t mean they want to burn their bras or lock up all men.
The feminism that’s baked in Bumble allows for an app where you can be sure when a potential match reaches out that they are truly interested, they want to get to know you better, and that, if nothing else, should make conversation flow a lot easier without worrying if just saying ‘hey’ might have fell flat.
What Is Bumble Mainly For?
When we think about dating apps, we obviously tend to separate them into those that are for hook-ups, or something on the more casual side, and those that are for looking for long term love.
While Bumble may not refer to itself as a hookup app (and with its origins, you can see why it’d look to differentiate itself quite strongly from competitors like Tinder), free apps do tend to lean towards more casual encounters when it comes to romance. But Bumble offers more than just romance.
Bumble is mainly for making connections, and that’s connections of any sort. By clicking on the settings wheel at the top right-hand corner of your screen, and clicking on choose mode, you can select between three different options:
- Bumble Date
- Bumble BFF
- Bumble Bizz
Bumble Date is straightforward enough, offering you a chance to meet people you might want to start a romantic adventure with.
Bumble BFF, however, is for something much more platonic. In BFF mode, you can search for new friends without the weight of some grand romantic love hanging over the two of you. So, if you’re new to a city, or you’re just looking to find someone who likes Star Wars as much as you do, then BFF mode can offer a great way to widen your social circle and make friends for life.
Bumble Bizz is a strange hybrid of a dating app, and LinkedIn. In this mode, you’ll create a whole new profile that focuses on your professional experience and goals. From there, you can swipe through other professionals in the fields you’ve chosen while setting up your account, and start to build a network of like-minded business people who might offer you your next big opportunity.
So in the end it’s not a choice between hookups and serious dating on Bumble. It’s about connection, whatever form that takes.
While Bumble does have a fantastic LGBTQ+ community, and it’s terrific that you can go swiping through each of your potential matches knowing you can search for exactly what you’re looking for, it is clear it wasn’t necessarily made with queer people in mind.
By removing its unique selling point, the rule that the woman must message first, Bumble is sort of just like any other dating app, but with a slightly smaller pool of LGBTQ+ users.
If you are looking for something other than a heterosexual relationship, your best option may be to take a look at those apps that were designed with LGBTQ+ users in mind, and that already have a thriving queer community.