There’s a new LGBTQ app on the market, and it’s dedicated to helping queer people find and build their own communities through group chat. SPACES, launched this year by the same team behind the queer social network Hornet, was created with a very important premise in mind: the mainstream social media platforms don’t care about queer people or our online safety, so the LGBTQ community needs platforms of our own.
Upon downloading SPACES (currently available on iOS but with an Android version coming soon), users are able to explore all sorts of in-app communities … and if the community they’re looking for doesn’t yet exist, it takes mere minutes to create your own.
In addition to Spaces that are meant to bring together queer people over their passions — interests as diverse as the MCU, tattoo art, Drag Race, or Pokémon — the app has also proven to be a great way for users to find and connect with other LGBTQ people in their vicinity — not with geo-tracking grids like so many other queer apps, but through group-chat communities centered around their state, city or neighborhood.
More than 150 Spaces aiming to bring queer people together based on where they call home (or where they’ll soon be visiting) already exist on the app. Here are just a few local queer communities that are currently thriving on SPACES:
1. NYC LGBTQ
A Space for all queer people throughout the city’s boroughs — and the occasional out-of-towners who will find themselves in the city — this Space is primarily used by locals to share photos and personal stories about life in the Big Apple. It’s also been a great way for them to spread the word about their favorite new restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and parties.
Described as “A Space for queer Angelenos to gather, share invites and event info and shoot the shit,” the app’s Los Angeles contingent uses this Space to discuss everything from nightlife and cultural events to recommendations for locals with friends or family coming to town.
One of SPACES’ most vibrant communities is made up of queer people from London and across the United Kingdom. Hosted by Sam Togni, the well-known founder of London-based record label and party Boudica, this Space is mostly centered around nightlife events. Members share event info and coordinate party plans, especially those who otherwise would have to hit up an event solo. But the Space has also been known to gather its members for in-person daytime meetups, too, proving that digital platforms can be a great way to spark IRL friendships, too!
Full of LGBTQ users from across the Southern United States, this Space is meant as a safe place to connect despite living in what often feels like an oppressive part of the country. In addition to Space members introducing themselves and where they call home, conversations here range from politics and general discussion to weekend plans and mental health check-ins.
A great example of a Space that’s intended not just to gather local queer people digitally but connect them in the real world, this Space for trail runners regularly schedules in-person running events across those stunning Bay Area landscapes. Members also share photos from their excursions. There’s no better way to find a local hike or run buddy!
Queer people who call the nation’s capital home have gathered here, ready to chat about upcoming events, the local queer bar scene, and — of late — recommendations for DC’s best non-chain breakfast and brunch spots.
7. Texas LGBTQ
SPACES has a lot of users who hail from the Lone Star State. This Space is where they can gather to chat about everything from local politics to restaurant recommendations. Members of this Space also participate in occasional polls, like its latest: “As a Texan, are you a fan of Whataburger?” (The results may surprise you.)
Check out these local Spaces and tons more when you download SPACES in the App Store.