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It’s normalized.”Bumble disrupted the antiquated dating norm of male initiation among heterosexual swipers when it launched in 2014.

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As difficult as it may be to admit, LGBTQ people – including LGBTQ youth – can be and are perpetrators of violence as well as its victims, and too often, that violence occurs in the context of romantic and/or sexual relationships.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), lesbians and gay men experience equal or higher levels of intimate partner violence (IPV) as heterosexuals, with bisexual women suffering much higher rates of IPV in comparison to lesbians, gay men and heterosexual women.

While 29 percent of heterosexual youth surveyed reported being physically abused by dating partners, for example, 42.8 percent of LGB youth reported the same.

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The rates of sexual victimization for LGB respondents was 23.2 percent, nearly double that of heterosexual youth, of whom 12.3 percent reported sexual coercion.For same-sex-seeking users, it’s dating-app business as usual.“Approximately 15% of users are those who seek the same sex; 10% of female users seek same-sex matches or both male and female matches,” Alexandra Williamson, VP of Brand Content at Bumble told me.“From what we’ve seen, same sex-users [who identify as female] are equally as engaged as heterosexual matches, since in both of these connections women are making the first move.”Alex, plus two other women I spoke to for this story (Liz, a 31-year-old living in Portland, Ore. ’ I’ve gotten lazy about that myself with other apps, though, so I like that Bumble adds the time pressure.”“I don’t like risk,” said Liz.When we talk about major concerns facing LGBTQ youth, we typically discuss topics like bias-based bullying and harassment or familial rejection and homelessness; and when we talk about violence facing the larger LGBTQ community, we typically discuss hate crimes.In other words, we talk about the violence facing our community from those outside it, from those who are openly homophobic and transphobic, but what about the violence happening within our community?about 10 percent of high school students reported experiencing physical or sexual dating violence.Unfortunately, most studies of IPV in the LGBTQ community focus exclusively on adults, and most studies of teen dating violence fail to take into account respondents’ sexual orientation or gender identity.and Rachel, a 27-year-old NYC resident) all brought up Bumble’s time limit as a catalyst for conversation.“I typically reach out to people because I hate when my friends are like, ‘He should message me,’” said Rachel. “In real life, I initiate everything up until the point that the other person asks me out. Rachel, a fairly new Bumble user, has seen more women seeking women on Bumble than on Hinge or The League, where she gets “a lot of overlap [of the same person].”All agreed that there were people they legitimately found attractive on Bumble.But say I was at a party and I thought someone was exceptionally attractive — I’d figure out a way to talk to her before I left.”It’s not just the time that runs out, however. I was told numerous times that the pool is smaller when you’re a woman looking for a woman on Bumble — and other dating apps in general. And while three women don’t exactly make for a large sample, they confirmed that the trolling often associated with straight men on Tinder isn’t a problem they’ve encountered among the community of women looking for other women.“It’s generally assumed that everyone’s looking for a girlfriend on Bumble,” Alex told me. If you’re on there and not looking for a girlfriend, that can be viewed negatively.” She has used the app casually before, to date for fun and see who’s out there, though she noted, “People take it pretty seriously.In the short span of three years, Alex, a 25-year-old New Yorker, has watched dating apps evolve and change — “especially when it comes to women seeking women.”“When I first started,” she told me of her online same-sex dating experience, “Tinder was the main thing.Now, in the scene that I’m in, Bumble’s the most socially acceptable option.

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