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We Test-Drove India's First Homegrown LGBTQ+ Dating and Networking App

We Test-Drove India's First Homegrown LGBTQ+ Dating and Networking App

As 'India's first homegrown LGBT community, networking and support app', Delta is that self-aware friend that shares inside-jokes with you, eggs you to say hello to that cute boy (or girl or anyone you prefer, for that matter) by the bar, and has long conversations (about sex and sexuality) with you well into the night.

It wants to be your best friend-flooding you with a deluge of notifications and (sweet) nothings by the hour. Maybe it's my settings, or maybe Delta knows how eager I am to mingle with other (hot) gay men in the area, but for an app that proudly asks you whether you are 'sick of getting spam or unsolicited messages from anyone and everyone?', it's a tad bit ironic.

But yet, Delta isn't only here to just earn brownie points in best friendom. Like how Grindr paved the way for queer (okay, mostly gay) dating across the world, Delta is changing the LGBTQIA+ landscape (and the way my loins work) in India.

It's the first step in what I believe can herald a new age of queer culture, but it still has miles to go before it reaches the finish line of the marathon.

How it works
'Grindr is for the gays!' any non-gay identifying queer person would scream at you a party-but that's where Delta swoops in and saves the day. Serving the entire spectrum of sexuality (apart from the obvious heterosexuals), it's the most woke (queer dating) app there is-with only one motive.

To find you your one true love.

'Would I want to meet and date amazing singles from the community?' it prods me, as soon as I download the app. Well, considering I am an ' amazing single from the community', what do I have to lose? I dive right in. The interface is colourful and easy to use-but that doesn't mean you should let your four-year-old nephew use it. There are currently two ways to meet singles near you: a simple 'Match' feature or the recently introduced 'Discover' mode, which lets you join groups (read: chat rooms) of like-minded individuals. Find your needle in the haystack? Send them a spark and hit them right up with a DM.

DISCLAIMER: Since I made my profile months before the app rolled out a new update, I am slightly clueless about the signing up process-but the gist remains the same. There's a stringent five-step verification (including sending in a selfie, because Black Mirror has really changed the way we look at ourselves) and a compatibility quiz (of 12 questions) that makes it 'easier' to find you your future plus one.

Are we ready to start? I sure am.

Profiles slide in one after the other, names hidden behind usernames, photos sans headless torsos and stock images that can be found on Google. Each profile comes with a trust score-the higher your score, the more the number of sparks that get credited into your account. These are what you send to each other to match and (ultimately) unlock real names, and other such trivial details. More chances of finding my potential partner-in-crime for life?

Hello, verification.

What I like about it
Delta's compatibility feature is a breath of fresh air, pairing people based on common interests, and things that actually matter such as their expectations from a long-term partner and their views on a long-distance relationship, rather than their preferences in bed.

While this Disney-style method of matchmaking is important, there's one major loophole: People lie on their compatibility tests just like they like in their resumes. So the off chance that the attractive architect who told you he believes in monogamous relationships is actually lying? As high as a groupie at an EDM concert afterparty.

What I don't like about it
Like all the men I've ever dated (or mated), Delta is extremely promising. An app that understands that the future is fluid? Hell, yes. An interface that highlights a calendar full of LGBTQIA+ events and inclusive-brands? Here are my credit card details. A special Discover mode which lets you talk to people who share the same interests (and pop culture references) as you do? I'm looking for my chequebook right now. But the icing on the cake: a safe space to be (and love) queer? SIGN ME UP ALREADY.

But like all the boys I've loved, Delta has one CRUCIAL con: It can get taxing. Sure, a five-step verification process and a compatibility quiz is important to make sure you don't catfished, but for a world that believes in instant gratification, finding a soul mate can get soul crushing-because by the time I've found my first (potential) match on Delta, I've already lined up three dates on Tinder.

And they are all amazing singles from the community.

The final takeaway
If, like me, you are tired of every other dating app in the world, then you should swing the doors wide open for Delta. If the app were a boy, I'd casually ask him out for a date because I find him (and his ideas) 'interesting'. I'd pile him with wine and sweet nothings. I'd watch him endearingly as he tells me about all his passions (and there are a lot of them) with a twinkle in his eye. I'd kiss him good night at the front door, and thank him for a lovely night.

But would I see him again? I think I'd stick to Grindr.