LOCAL NEWS: Philly Queer Woman to Launch Inclusive Dating App

Plus: HRC Philly announces its gala headline performer.

Dating Sapiens is a new app that is trying to provide more inclusion for LGBTQ users.

Dating Sapiens is a new app that is trying to provide more inclusion for LGBTQ users.

Tara Taylor is the co-founder of a new dating app geared toward redefining LGBTQ matchmaking.

Two queer women of color have just launched the beta testing submissions for a new dating app focused on inclusive gender identity and expression. “Dating Sapiens is LGBTQIA, feminist, polyamorous, differently abled, and for all people of all colors and all intersections – we’re tired of people feeling like a piece of meat online,” says Philly-based co-founder Tara Taylor. The idea for the project started in April 2015 and has gathered support and promotion here in the city and in New York. At a time in which many LGBTQ dating apps are being criticized for being cisgender male focused, Sapiens has programming that accommodates gender pronoun choice, a proper metric for gender expression, and a deliberate void of direct labels on sexual orientation. “Sapiens is about empowerment … it’s about creating a welcoming dating environment online that doesn’t predicate itself on marginalizing and alienating you,” Taylor says. The company plans to host promotional events in March, followed by a Kickstarter campaign in May, leading up to a full launch in June.

“Rhythm Is a Dancer” singer Thea Austin is this year’s Human Rights Campaign Philly Gala headline performer.

SNAP! lead singer Thea Austin has been announced as the 2016 HRC Greater Philadelphia Gala headline act. The black vocalist of the number-one hit “Rhythm Is a Dancer” will join a lineup of guest speakers at the February 27th event at the Downtown Marriott, including SCOTUS same-sex marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell, HRC president Chad Griffin, Mayor Jim Kinney, and L Word actress Katherine Moennig. The notable inclusion of women and people of color headlining this year is a laudable result of HRC’s efforts to address its diversity profile.