Honesty about your true self isn’t exactly the hallmark of most online dating apps, but a new one called Glimmer is trying to create a more transparent environment, especially for people with disabilities.
The emphasis dating apps like Tinder and Bumble put on superficial snap judgments can pose a unique challenge for people with disabilities. Profile formats can make it difficult to easily disclose your disability, and many people fear they’ll be passed over if they do. Glimmer is trying to provide an alternative by creating a more inclusive, transparent environment
The app, which launched this month, is for anyone — not just those with disabilities. Their promise is to “Go beyond just looks and connect users based on shared interests and lifestyles.” One of the ways they do this is to provide an easy way to add your disability to your profile. (Though disclosure is not mandatory and can be modified at any point.)
Glimmer was founded by Geoffrey Anderson, who was inspired by his brother, who has cognitive disabilities, and his experience using popular apps like Tinder. Anderson told Buzzfeed that he didn’t like that people felt the need to omit their disabilities: “The problem clearly isn’t the omission itself, it’s that having a disability is often stigmatized.”
Glimmer is aiming to normalize talking openly about all aspects of your life, including disabilities, which should appeal to anyone who’s craving a more substantial connection and is tired of the the prevailing insta-swipe culture.
Though only time will tell if Glimmer attracts enough users to have any hope of establishing itself as a meaningful alternative in what is already a very crowded market.