A Room of Her Own

The Lesbian Dating App That Wants to T the Gay Away

First, there was Grindr, the dating app for gay men. Then there was Tinder for heterosexual men and women. Now there is Her for lesbians and bisexual women. Well, not really—but that is the meta-narrative the company wishes the general public takeaway. A glance at Her’s website is a somersault into the rabbit hole of bewilderingly ambiguous terminology. Her claims that one can “meet millions of lesbian, bisexual and queer people.” Given the current climate of what the alphabet soup implicates, this means Her is for everyone. 

Today, Her users received an email with various “news” items (I use that term loosely). One of the articles enclosed in the newsletter is entitled “Microdosing Testosterone (HRT)—What You Need to Know.” Under the title is written: “For folx seeking subtle, slower changes on testosterone, microdosing is a wonderful option. Read more from our friends at FOLX Health.” FOLX Health is a “queer and trans health and wellness company” that provides HRT, PrEP, ED, and STI Care with the addition of providing “Trans and Queer clinicians.”

My initial thought given the spelling of this company was why would anyone entrust this organisation with their health? Click on the link in Her’s “newsletter” and the woman who just wanted an app to meet other lesbians is quickly shuttled to a blogpost about micro-dosing testosterone on FOLX Health. So, what was supposed to be a lesbian dating app is pretty much funnelling private user information of females who then receive a newsletter which is no shade of news and every hue of paid advertising. The blog entry on FOLX Health’s website from 16 April reads “Microdosing (Low Dose) Testosterone HRT” with the subhead, “For folx seeking subtle, slower changes on testosterone, microdosing is a wonderful option.” Her claims to have shared “news” when this blog is a promoted advertising and nothing more. It begins with some of the most bizarre, anti-science claims:

In the sea of gender identities and expression, a lot of folx live somewhere on the great spectrum beyond male and female. Nonbinary, gender nonconforming (GNC), genderqueer, X-gender, transgender experiences within or beyond the binary can entail exploring bodily changes in all different ways. 

Many along the gender spectrum may be considering taking or are currently taking testosterone HRT as a tool for their body to reflect their truest self. With testosterone HRT, folx can expect changes such as facial and body hair growth or a deeper voice, along with other shifts, depending on the person. More and more now, we’re seeing folx who are interested in subtle changes, or those who want to ease into changes to slowly see how they feel, opting for microdosing testosterone.

Transgender activists have long insisted that gender identity is on a spectrum while also maintaining that those individuals who fall somewhere “in-between” on this vast road that stretches from boring cis-Kansas to the ever-so-fabulous Oz aren’t transgender at all. Now that there is a market for women to be told that they aren’t really lesbians but instead closeted men, suddenly we are witnessing a shift in narrative by the genderists whose prose is as illiterate as their knowledge of biology is inchoate, even incomprehensible. Where money talks, bullshit walks—or so goes the saying.

Micro-dosing is a term I recently discovered while watching the second season of The Good Fight when Diane (played by Christine Baranski) experiments micro-dosing psilocybin. Micro-dosing psychedelics is the practice of consuming very low, sub-hallucinogenic doses of a psychedelic substance, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin-containing mushrooms. Why is FOLX Health teaming up with a lesbian dating app to groom women into taking synthetic testosterone by turning synthetic hormone use into a social event?

In large part, FOLX Health is feeding a market that Her sold it. By presenting powerful and damaging pharmacological products as “leisure” and “wonderful” while also pretending that their paid advertising billed as “news” couched within the structure of a lesbian dating app that includes men, FOLX Health is merely capitalising on this new market sector born by identity politics. Testosterone is the new methamphetamine for lesbians or so the folx at FOLX Health would like it to be that way.

On the other side of this equation, the dating app Her pretends that its platform doesn’t distinguish between women and the very men who believe themselves to be women. Just ask my mate Graham Linehan who joined Her to expose the homophobia in an ostensibly lesbian app that tells women that men too are lesbians as well as potential sexual partners. Her is quite clear in its community guidelines noting: “These communities are for LGBTQ+ womxn, trans and non-binary people to be able to discuss and share in a space that is exclusively for them. Respect is absolutely required when engaging with other HER Community Members.” There are many glaring ironies in Her’s guidelines not least of which is that this company has not considered the meaning of the term “exclusive” given its use of “exclusively” literally refers to men and women—as in all men and women. Conversely when Her refers to sic “trans people,” it suddenly knows with laser precision what sex is since it knows that this clinic-cum-pharmacy will sell its wares to women, not men. Linehan was booted “also immediately” as he tells me.

The role FOLX Health plays in this tale is not only minimising the dangers of testosterone by making it seem fun through its many references to micro-dosing, but it also glamourises double mastectomies showcasing “Jace’s Top Surgery” in five parts. So, while Her’s community standards extol the virtue of “inclusivity” for “non-binary people” couched within a lobby that argues against binaries, the journey that Her highlights is undertaken in perfectly refined binaries of before and after this woman’s double mastectomy. Aside from this surgery, FOLX Health lies about the effects on fertility claiming on its informed consent page: “We know that testosterone most likely decreases fertility, but it won’t make it go away completely. Pregnancy is possible while you are on testosterone, even if you haven’t had regular bleeding (period).” The evidence of harms caused by testosterone on the brain has been studied and the results are devastating from “reduced growth that was dependent on puberty hormones” to the stagnation of bone density. The effects on the reproduction on females is hardly proven to this day and what is already known from trials of hormone-blockers in sheep is that it “is associated with permanent changes in brain development.”

Let’s recap, shall we? A dating app company which ostensibly caters to lesbians and bisexual women while also pretending that men can be lesbians suddenly knows precisely what sex is when selling its ad space to a “health clinic” that targets the very sex and sexuality that Her pretends doesn’t exist. And that “digital healthcare provider” seeks out lesbians to render lifelong medical patients based on the romanticising testosterone use while grooming lesbians to prepare for the amputations of their breasts. Are you still with me?

Let’s not splice words here: FOLX Health and Her are working in collaboration to target and groom lesbians into taking testosterone through a fleeting romantic reference to long-dismantled club culture where micro-dosing is not only part of the sales pitch, it is the sensory mechanism to melt the subject into submission: to push her to take part in an incredibly self-destructive culture. Not only are synthetic hormones dangerous and unnecessary, but FOLX Health is part of a larger pyramid scheme of lesbian community infiltration where they hold an HRT Care Fund in collaboration with Trans Lifeline, FOLX’s non-profit partner.

The end goal of FOLX Health might not be surgery for lesbians, but in their FAQ section of their website they make it quite clear that they can network the client’s surgery: “We are happy to provide you with our FOLX-approved referral list of surgeons and a letter of support for surgery from one of our clinicians.” This is where Jace’s testimonial and the many images of black lesbians are relevant here. Most worrying of all is that given the focus on people of colour within FOLX Health’s website, one can only surmise that its target demographic are black and Latina lesbians and that the coming community for lesbians will be that of speaking about getting your “labs drawn” where authenticity rests in denying one’s body and sexuality. Who needs meth with a drug like that!?

Lesbians have long claimed that the trans lobby seeks to erase them, an assertion which many within the gay community itself once regarded as hyperbole. Today we can no longer cast our eyes away from this truth. There is no better evidence of the attempt to erase lesbian bodies than a “lesbian” app that instead of supporting these women’s social survival, hooks them up with “female dick” and shady internet “healthcare” drug lords whose bottom line of capitalism quite perfectly matches their homophobia and misogyny.