Tips from an LGBTQ app used in anti-gay regimes

In the age of social media, dating apps are a popular way to meet new people. Companies like Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, and Hornet are just a few of the many apps you can download to potentially find “the right one.”

When going out and meeting someone new, it’s important to keep your safety in mind. Stephan Horbelt, editor of Hornet, an international dating app for members of the LGBTQ community, said Newsweek on how to stay safe on dates in a world of anti-gay regimes. These safety tips can also help anyone looking to find love.

“We do a lot of awareness around the safety of our users, although a lot of it is to help fight malicious state actors who seek to harm gay people. But it’s interesting to see how to keep a young person safe. gay man in Indonesia or Turkey while on a date or meeting to meet and make sure a young woman here in the United States stays safe on a date – they’re not that far away,” said horbelt.

Above, two men are seen seated at a table. Newsweek discusses safety tips for dating in the age of social media.
RossHelen/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Organization (IGLA) reported in 2020 that there are 69 United Nations member states with strict rules on who can take legal action against a gay person, from imprisonment with the death penalty.

In a study by YouGov RealTime, researchers found that about one in five women always or often feel unsafe on a first date, and 61% of women exercise caution on a daily basis to avoid being sexually assaulted.

Located on the Hornet website, he created a list of ways to stay safe before and during a first date.

Before date

  • Agree to meet in a public place where you feel safe.
  • Avoid bringing anything valuable on a first date.
  • Make sure you’re talking to the person in their profile photos. Many apps have verification options that can be used to confirm someone’s identity. Video chat is also an option.
  • Beware of their social media accounts: check who they follow, how many photos they’ve posted, and how often they post them.
  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Before you meet in person, tell your friends about the person you’re talking to.
  • Share your location with family or trusted friends.

Over the date

  • Avoid getting drunk or using drugs on a first date.
  • If you decide to go home with your date, use your phone to look up the address and text the address to a trusted friend or family member.
  • Always remember that you can say no if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Have an exit strategy: Get a friend to call you so you can walk out of your date saying there’s an emergency.
  • Be very careful if you are offered food or drink at your date’s house.

What is an “angel kick”?

If you’re an avid TikTok watcher, you might have come across videos of bartenders or others discussing the “angel kick.”

An angel shot is something you can order at the bar to signal to the bartender that you don’t feel safe. There are three types of angel shots you can order:

  1. Angel shot with lime means you need the police involved.
  2. Angel shot clean means you want someone (security, employee or bartender) to accompany you to your car.
  3. Angel drawn on the rocks means you need the restaurant/bar staff to call a taxi or carpool to take you home.

“While ‘safety while dating’ will never cease to be an important concern – and which platforms like Hornet have a responsibility to uphold – for many queer people, the idea of ​​taking precautions before a first encounter is rooted in us,” says Horbelt.


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