by Kat Black
This summer, Shanghai’s self-styled “Lesbian Godfather,” will make queer women worldwide an offer they can’t refuse: a networking app for Lesbian professionals called LesQueers (LQ).
The app is the brain-child of Gabby Gabriel, a 30-year-old American expat who founded LQ in 2015 as a community hub and safe space for Shanghai’s queer women. The group helped to launch the city’s embryonic lesbian scene into one of China’s most vibrant and active.
The LQ app will work as a virtual lesbian bar where queer women globally can connect on a personal and professional level.
Users will be able to search for events and organisations by city and filter other users to connect with by occupation or interest. Users can also submit videos to be featured on the “queer channel,” join chats and post to a newsfeed.
“We’re only going to feature queer content. Anyone’s welcome on it but you’re going to be stepping into our world,” Gabriel said.
The app will also introduce the “Q Key”, which provides a queer-friendliness bench- mark in local businesses.
“Say you’re in New York, you prefer gender-neutral bathrooms, and you’re going out to dinner. So you check with the Q Key – and it will show all the restaurants nearby with gender-neutral bathrooms,” said Gabriel.
The app’s debut comes at a particularly contentious time for LGBT+ civil liberties in China. In April, Sina Weibo (“Chinese Twitter”) attempted to censor gay content on by initiating a “clean-up campaign” on the website, but this was later reversed.
Gabriel believes attitudes are shifting. She hopes to become a part of the LGBT+ civil rights movement, by launching the app.
She said: “I believe this app is going to revolutionise what it’s going to mean to be queer. We’re going to be able to find and support each other in a way that technology has never let us do before.”
Featured Image: Gabby Gabriel, the “Lesbian Godfather” of Shanghai