Every LGBTQ+ person knows of the struggle it is to find and create community, romantic and otherwise, in a world where some of us still don’t feel safe. That’s why many turn to the hellhole that is social dating apps, to get our carnal fixes and to find our friend groups. But since the app Chappy launched in 2017, it’s been on a mission to specifically end the stereotyping of gay and bisexual men in dating and friendship, one connection at a time — and they couldn’t have come sooner.
The slate of dating and relationship apps catering to queer people is finite. Sure, you have your major brands that allow just about anyone to use them, but few are made specifically with gay people in mind. And for the ones that are, so much of their focus is on the sexual aspect of our lives. Profiles run amuck with naked torsos and scantily clad derrieres, not to mention the rampant racist, femmephobic, anti-fat, and transphobic sentiments ever present of the platforms. Chappy, however, is aiming to create a kinder world.
For starters, they have multiple modes that allow users to craft their own unique experiences. Whether you’re looking to casually date, be in a longer-term relationship, or just find friends, there is a mode for you to explore a digital universe of safe, more accountable connections. Additionally, they actually take every effort to be part of the community by collaborating with local partners nationwide, directly speaking with users, and tapping into influencer networks to make meaningful and authentic connections.
One such connection is coming this October 11. In celebration of National Coming Out Day, the platform is throwing a free Gay BDay Party in West Hollywood and giving away limited edition Gay BDay merch as part of a sweepstakes to users who enter in-app. They’ve also collected a set of tips from a host of gay and bisexual influencers for new generations of LGBTQ+ people coming out today. Check out their advice below.
ABearNamedTroy @abearnamedtroy - Singer & Body Positivity Advocate
“Coming out can be scary and exciting at the same time. Just be true to yourself and don’t compromise who you are, all while knowing you’ll always be learning more and more about who you are every single day.”
Johnny Sibilly @johnnysibilly - Actor
“Surround yourself with people that will uplift you during your journey and give you space to grow. Stay patient with others─and, especially, yourself.”
Ben Cory Jones @benthewriter - TV & Film Producer
“Focus on your family. Oftentimes, as gay people, we don’t always have our family’s support when we come out, and we often seek solace in our friend and peer groups. However, having family support, wherever it may come from, is important. It’s affirming. Even if your family isn’t supportive right away, give them time. As much as we want them to meet them us our level, we have to also meet them on theirs.”
Gavin Beasley @gavinbeasley - The Wander Boys
“Be patient with yourself and others. If you need time to come out, then take all the time you need. If someone doesn't react to you coming out how you wanted them to at first, give them time to process and learn. Most people are not bad people. We usually hurt one another out of ignorance. If we learn to be patient with those who don't treat us how we want to be treated, we actually become the example of love that maybe they need and the bigger person.”
Mason McCulley @masonmcculley - Actor, Writer and Producer
"FLING open those closet doors because there are A LOT of people on the other side waiting to celebrate you!"
Ryan Mitchell @theslaygawd - Host, Channel Q
“Always remember that the world is lucky to have you. No matter what, you will always be what makes this world a better and more beautiful place. Plus, find yourself a chosen family because it's always better to have someone to slay with.”
Jared Goldstein @heyjaredhey - Comedian
“Do it on TikTok and try to monetize it because THAT is political/reparative.”
Harper Watters @theharperwatters - Ballet Soloist
“As a dancer, I still to this day get nervous before every show, but I’ve learned that nerves mean you’re on the brink of achieving personal growth. Know that on the other side of every intimidating, scary, or uncertain situation there will 1000% be a support system ready to uplift you, hype you up, and help your true self soar.”
Anthony Urbano @oh_anthonie - Content Creator and Blogger
“Come out whenever you feel ready. You can choose to come out to one person at a time if that feels more comfortable. There should be no pressure. It’s your choice and sometimes coming out one by one makes it easier to handle.”