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Dating

This new queer dating app ‘inspired by newspaper personals’ is determined to keep the creeps out

Lily Wakefield November 8, 2019
Lex dating app

The dating app is "low-fi and text-based". (Lex/ Instagram)

A new queer dating app has launched and it’s the opposite of Tinder in every possible way.

Lex began life as the Instagram account and dating platform Personals. It was “inspired by the personal ads in On Our Backs, a women-run erotica magazine of the 80s and 90s. The personals were written by lesbians and detailed their desires and romantic requirements.”

Kelly Rakowski, founder of the lesbian culture instagram account h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y, asked her followers to post personal ads to connect with each other, inspired by the On Our Backs ads.

The idea took off, and she began receiving so many submissions that she realised Personals needed its own account, which became a hugely popular photo-free dating service with a distinct lack of swiping.

Within a year the number of submissions far exceeded the amount she could post on the Instagram page, so Rakowski decided to create an app for the ever-growing Personals community, and Lex was launched on Thursday November 7.

It was created for “lesbian, bisexual, asexual, queer, trans, intersex, two spirit, non-binary, genderqueer community”. The only people who are excluded are cis men, for which is says there are many other dating app options and that Lex is “centered around the other queers of the world”.

Rakowski told The Guardian: “With dating apps like Tinder, the queer people are an afterthought. It’s not built into their kind of binary system. This is completely different than what is currently out there … and it’s run by queer people.”

The app “adheres to a zero tolerance policy towards creeps: no transphobia, no racism, no fatphobia, no ableism. No hate speech of any kind. We reserve the right to delete personals or missed connections for any reason. A healthy, loving community is our top priority.”

She said she was inspired to change the name when making the app partly to make it harder for the “creeps” to find, but even during beta testing of the app there were posts saying “looking for college girls” and others with similar sentiments.

In an Instagram post, Lex creators said: “Making a safe space for queers is our highest priority—we have report functions built into the app which will automatically block users posts and profiles. The admin will monitor the reports as well.”

Lex is short for lexicon, a nod to the app’s focus on language, and will be “low-fi and text-based” just like Personals. The app adds functions like being able to filter by location and age, search for key words and message other users directly.

More: asexual, bisexual, dating app, genderqueer, intersex, lesbian, Lex, non-binary, Personal ads, personals, Queer, Tinder, Trans, two spirit

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