Finally a gay dating app for men of color that is black owned!! Somebody finally did it! Gather around and let me tell you about this new experience for black queer men. FOR US! BY US!
After a swift development cycle, Noir 1.0 has been released!
What is Noir?
Noir is a mobile dating application for Gay People of Color & Lovers of Diversity.
The creation of Noir came out of a community need for a dating application geared towards all people of color. The creator of Noir is a gay person of color himself. A common issue found on the more popular mobile dating apps is the ever-looming presence of discrimination against people of color. No matter the community. It is common to see member profiles that use discriminatory language that leaves gay people of color feel unwelcome. It is not uncommon to find language such as, “No blacks/latinos/asians, it’s just a preference” on member profiles. It is no secret that people of color in the gay community face unique challenges, with the most hurtful being such blatant discrimination from many in the one community that boasts an embracing of all people.
The overall feeling is that gay people of color are merely tolerated in the gay community. This is not just with the members on these dating apps. Let us look at the imagery we see all around us. How often do we find these apps feature few people of color in their app advertising? How often is it that when we do see people of color it is in a fetishized way? How about events? How often are people of color included in the promotional material? Recently we have seen people of color being rejected from entering clubs and other gay establishments. Of course, it all goes unsaid and is displayed in the actions. Right down to the default user icons for these apps, we have no representation. We have very little visibility and when we are visible it is usually in a light that has a negative connotation, usually in ads regarding STDs or abuse.
Noir aims to change all of that! Noir is explicitly a dating app for all people but focuses on and caters to people of color. Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Natives, people who love people of color etc. are all welcome in Noir. People of color are featured in the application’s advertising in positive situations. Discriminatory language will NOT be tolerated. The imagery within the application itself involves positive imagery of people of color. We went as far as to ensure that even the default user icon represents a person of color. Representation, positive visibility and an environment where people of color are the focus is what Noir presents. A place where people of color are the feature but all are welcome.
What was the direct inspiration?
The inspiration for Noir comes from the Black owned nightclubs in Harlem during the 20s – 50s. The Black owned nightclubs where safe havens for people of color. Black people did not have to enter through the back door, they could sit where they wanted, speak to whomever they wanted, get the same food, the same drinks, and the same service as anyone else. These were also among the first safe havens for gay people.
Noir seeks to recreate this kind of environment. Noir is a place where people of color run the show and those who want to be with us can do so. The hope being that the obvious catering to people of color automatically weeds out those who have no interest in people of color. The idea is that this will create a social media community where diversity is celebrated.
Where can I get it!?!
Noir is a labor of love and can be downloaded for the iPhone via the app store at
or from the Noir website at
How can I help!?! Donations?
Noir does not ask for donations. Noir’s success relies on the support of the community. Basically, tell your friends to join Noir and use Noir. Make suggestions for improvements and request new features. Use your voice to make Noir uniquely OURS. The more people join, the better the app gets. Noir is a free application to download but with restrictions.
A free membership is ad supported and feature limited. The best way to contribute without buying anything is to simply use the app, click on and check out the advertisements. The ad revenue from many members can cover the costs of running it.
Of course, if you want to not have to deal with the interruptions of advertisements, a member can go to the shop screen and buy the Ad-Free version. It is a one-time fee of $4.99. From that point, after a logout and login, the user can use Noir, ad-free, for life. Of course, the other restrictions still apply. This is akin to a donation.
Lastly, there are monthly memberships. The membership can be purchased in increments of 1 month, 3 months and 1 year. Each tier saves you money off the membership per month above 1 month. Memberships will be the lifeline of Noir. With a membership the global members limit is lifted, allowing you to view more international users. The local limit is lifted and distance increased, allowing you to view more members near you! The flirt limit is increased; your favorites will also be increased.
With the revenue from these three methods, I can add new features to Noir, implement user requested features, research/develop new features and more. Programming is a full-time job and keeping Noir up to date will be a full-time job. I have an Android version planned but that depends on the iPhone version making enough money to allow me to do it.
Noir depends on the community of gay people of color to survive. We, as a community, have expressed our frustrations; many wondered where the black programmers are to make something for us. Noir is created by a person of color and is for people of color. With the support of the community, Noir can rival some of the large apps that have corporate backing.
Noir has no corporate backing!?
Not a single investor. This is an independent endeavor. I created Noir because of love the gay community and I love my fellow people of color. I did not want to have corporate influences in the direction of Noir nor to have it held hostage by the funding provided by investors or a corporate entity. We want Noir to be something WE control vs something created to exploit us for corporate gain.
What are you waiting for? Trade ain’t gone message himself!