Luna Ray, Founder Bloom Community · Aug 16, 2022 · 4 min read
Photo above: The Bloom team in SF Pride 2022. Bloom collaborated with SF Pride to host the first San Francisco Pride community calendar.
Bloom Community exists to create a safe digital space for edge-of-culture communities who share the values of consent, communication, and respect. Edge-of-culture communities are social movements that expand the boundary of culture, e.g., LGBTQ+, ethical non-monogamy, kink, and creative groups. Often, the things that are edge-of-culture today become the culture tomorrow.
I started Bloom Community during the loneliest time of the pandemic. I missed my community’s regular events: the collective creative expression of costume parties, the communal effort of potlucks, the emotional resonance I found through support groups. I missed meeting new people through those events — the spark of connection from an interesting conversation, the learning and growth that comes from people with fresh ideas, the excitement of a new crush. When I tried to meet people through dating apps, I couldn’t get the same level of connection through dating apps because they lacked the shared values and accountability that I found within my community. I was longing for connection; instead, I got unsolicited dick pics.
I had seen a better way to meet people through community events, as practiced in the queer, polyamorous, kink, and burner events I attended. At the same time, I knew my own communities struggled with the existing social media products. Big Tech long ago turned their backs on many of these groups, shadow banning and down-ranking their content, or blocking participation altogether. As a member of these shadow banned communities, I knew something was wrong. As a former tech insider leading User Acquisition for Instagram, I realized it was unlikely to change.
In consulting with my community organizer friends and partners, I realized something had to be done and I might able to do it. With my community’s support, I decided to build a new social platform that represents the values we care most about: consent, communication, and respect.
When done well, software has an unparalleled ability to amplify culture and to elevate and uplift hidden voices. Software is often a reflection of the values of the people building it, a representation of what they care most about. I care about creating a safer home on the internet for queer, ethically non-monogamous, and edge-of-culture communities that push culture forward. I care about building software that helps people authentically connect. I care about facilitating consent culture. I care about supporting community organizers who work to facilitate meaningful connections and personal growth every single day by hosting events, leading workshops, and offering peer-support spaces.
Bloom was designed to be the anti-Facebook. We welcome groups that are unwelcome on Facebook.* We build our product and our community based on our values. We were inspired by the consent, communication, and respect that our community organizers modeled and have centered our app around these values. We recognize that the best way to connect with community is in person, as opposed to hours of scrolling which is what many social apps optimize for.
The Bloom app is built by our community and for our community. Every member of the Bloom team came from the community we are serving. We elicit feedback from our members and use these requests to design our software development roadmap. Creating Bloom is a collaboration and I invite all Bloom members to co-create it. Here’s how to get involved:
Lets build Bloom Community together.
Bloom Community is on a mission to spread consent culture and help people find connection and community. We envision a world with more open conversations about consent, needs, and boundaries; a world that is more inclusive and accepting. If that resonates with you, please join us. You are welcome here.
Bloom Community is a safe digital space for queer, ethically non-monogamous, and edge-of-culture communities. In Bloom’s app, you can discover events, become Buds with people, and join community conversations. Bloom Community is a queer woman-led company known for its strong consent culture and inclusive approach. Join us to explore, learn, and grow with like-minded people and create a more liberated and open world. You are welcome here.
*As long as they are aligned with our community values