Month: March 2015

It takes two to Scissr

Originally published in the Technology section of the Uniter (Feb 4, 2015). One week, I tasked myself with exploring how this exciting new app could change the dating scene in Winnipeg. I didn’t get very far.

A new lesbian dating app features mostly tumbleweeds

Anyone who says dating is easy and stress-free is lying to you. If it was a walk in the park, most dating and hookup apps wouldn’t exist.

Many apps are designed for straight people, with same-sex options as an afterthought. A cisgender bias – assuming that sex and gender are the same thing – is pretty clear. Mix in a dash of monosexism, and you’ve got a scene that’s still pretty awkward to navigate for queer, trans, and bi folks.

I’ve spent some time on Tinder, and it wasn’t the worst thing ever. They have a slider you can set for only men, only women or both. Whenever I’d hang out in the women-only side, I got to know the There’s no one new around you screen really well after about 5 minutes.

I was pretty excited to hear that Scissr was available in Winnipeg. It’s billed as “The Bespoken Lesbian App”, so if you’re any other shade of queer, prepare for that oh-so-common mental leap. It’s an app for ladies to meet ladies, hopefully. Let’s leave it at that, and explore the Sapphic potential at our fingertips.

The main screen greets you calmly, in sepia tones. It features the back of a woman’s head, wearing a long braid that ends in a red bow. She has her hands on her hips and is gazing off across a mountain valley, confident that across those rocky peaks, she’ll find a lady lover.

I suppose the Winnipeg equivalent would be standing on top of Garbage Hill, squinting into the wind, then giving up and dashing back into your car. That’s about as long as it’ll take you to try your luck on Scissr here.

Like Tinder, the login is processed through Facebook, with a promise that they won’t post on your behalf and inadvertently broadcast your dating life. My login was rejected due to a lack of information, and I was told I could email tech support for an invitation. When my tour was cut short, I went looking for a guide.

Sally (not her real name) has used OkCupid, Plenty of Fish and Scissr. She found the interface confusing. “It’s definitely not as user friendly as the other apps, or as clear,” Sally says.

“It doesn’t tell you where people are – just how close they are to you. Which I think is the same way Grindr works – but, there’s only 3 or 4 other people in Winnipeg on it right now (and thanks to our small city, basically I just always know how far [my friend] is from me.)”

At press time, I was still unable to log into Scissr, but I’m not sure that I’m missing much. Sally put it best: “I honestly can’t imagine what it would be like to be in a city where you could go on there and see how many people are around you.”

An app can’t expand your local dating pool – all it can do is let you know who’s out there. And any app is only as good as the people using it. So if you want to Scissr, give it a try.

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Where have I been?

I realized last week that I hadn’t logged into this site in what felt like forever. Really, it’s only been all of 2015, but that isn’t too much (yet).

The truth is that I’ve been writing more than ever, and immersed in other people’s writing as well, just not here. I took on the role of Arts & Culture editor at the Uniter, and it’s been a pretty exciting and intense few months. I’m working with a really strong group of staff writers, and some awesome volunteers as well. Of course, there are a few of my own pieces are finding their way into the mix, but most of my time is spent providing guidance in the pre-writing phase and feedback after.

I had some lofty ideas about being able to continue writing for the weekly yeah write challenges, but lo, that fell right off the edge of my desk. I do miss the community, the support, and the inspiration over in that little corner of the internet and hope to return soon.

But for the end of March – the last few weeks of the production schedule – are most likely going to be single-focused full steam ahead work weeks. I’m thankful that even though writing and editing is very clearly in the realm of daily work now, I haven’t lost the thrill or the joy in it. I’m still just as driven and inspired to hone my craft, and feel a particular specific delight in working with a gem of a piece from my writers. At the moment, that work and inspiration just hasn’t found its way over here.

But I’ll be back, and soon.