On Eric Cervini’s Kickstarter page, you’ll see his mom, Lynn in the promo video joking about how he’s spent all his money — “all his money” — developing the prototype for Q.
Cervini describes Q as a “community driven, gender-inclusive queer app.” Still in the building and testing stage, the app has some familiar features like member profiles, filtering, chatting and Micro Q, which connects members in the same bar, club, or café.
Despite the similarities to some of its pick-up app counterparts, Cervini hopes Q will set itself apart as the more inclusive, less intimidating alternative.
“Everything on Q starts without presumption. For example, users can send ‘compliments’ to others, which may be simply platonic, or they may signify the beginning of something else,” Cervini said.
Members can chose from more than 20 genders when registering and profiles require members’ faces and first names.
Cervini says he didn’t come out until after high school, but when he did, he says, he was lucky to get the love and support from his mom, and to find a large and supportive queer community when went off to college.
Something he did not find as much of when he tried gay dating apps.
“Public comments about masculinity or race are all too common, and they shouldn’t be tolerated. The only way to moderate it is by giving users more power to create their ideal queer community,” he said.
After graduating from Harvard last year, Cervini’s spent about $10,000 to develop the app. To help cover costs and develop new features, he turned to Kickstarter, where a $25 donation gets a Q membership. Membership also includes access to the Q Forums to review and suggest new features.
So far the Kickstarter campaign has received $15,891 toward its $25,000 goal, with a deadline coming up on Wednesday, June 3.
“The Kickstarter has been an absolute whirlwind, somewhat terrifying, and unbelievably rewarding... Crowdfunding is an emotional roller coaster,” Cervini said “ but anytime someone reaches out or suggests a new idea, it makes me that much more confident about the importance of this project.”
Cervini hopes to launch a beta version of Q for Android and iPhone by the end of June, in time for New York Pride. He plans for a web-based desktop version of Q in the fall.
GENDERS LISTED ON Q
Click here to visit the Kickstarter Campaign.