When you hear the phrase “gay app,” the faceless, glistening torsos of Grindr probably come to mind – at least, they do for me. That seems awfully reductive, doesn’t it? Distinc.tt, the first LGBT social app to get Apple iTunes store approval for users age 12 and older, is out to disrupt the market by focusing not on sex, but on events and activities where you’re likely to meet other members of the gay community.
In the iTunes store, Distinc.tt is endearingly described as the “LGBT app that you can bring home to Mom.” The app also charts trends based on user interests and recommends fashionable events, restaurants and vacation spots. But with its apparent emphasis on gays as consummately stylish tastemakers, Distinc.tt does sounds a little early-2000s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy for my liking.
That said, this is a big deal. Though the convenience of the smartphone-facilitated random hookup is an undeniable miracle of our modern times, there’s no reason why tech for queer people should be defined by their sex lives any more so than tech for straight people. Besides, it’s difficult to imagine anyone more in need of a welcoming, understanding community than an LGBT teen.
The Beta version of Distinc.tt is available for download now. And Queer Eye just celebrated its 10th anniversary, in case you needed to feel a little bit old.