When looking to book a stay in a new city or country, many people turn to popular vacation rental platforms, but for some members of the LGBTQ+ community, those sites can’t always ensure that they’ll feel safe and welcome when traveling. 

Such was the case for Matthieu Jost. In 2014, Jost and his partner were traveling in Spain and booked a short-term rental in Barcelona. When they arrived, they quickly learned that their host was not comfortable with a gay couple staying there, and they were even asked if they’d be sharing a bed.

The French entrepreneur realized that others were likely facing the same sort of homophobia, which sparked the idea to create a rental service specifically for LGBTQ+ people. That same year, he launched the global travel platform misterb&b. Today, it boasts 310,000 hosts in over 135 countries and has more than 1 million users. 

“We want people to be able to connect within the community and have safe experiences,” Jost told Fast Company. And the service encompasses more than just booking stays. Through its offshoot Weere, members can meet and connect with other travelers and participate in group social activities. 

“About 65% of our users are solo travelers — we’re really in the business of fighting loneliness,” said Jost. “We’re building community. It can be isolating to be LGBTQ+.”


Named by Out Magazine as one of the 100 most influential LGBTQ+ leaders, Jost has been vocal about fighting the loneliness epidemic as it pertains to members of the population. In April, he penned an op-ed for the outlet, sounding the alarm that if more isn’t done to combat the problem, there will be “clear negative reverberations for generations to come.”

“To feel alive again, we need to look at creating and maintaining genuine relationships, real friends, and real connections,” he wrote. “This also means making a small effort to log off and find things that interest us; hobbies or sports, activities, outings, and traveling to gorgeous spots.”

Speaking out is just one of the ways Jost advocates for his community. Misterb&b donates to organizations working to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people around the globe. Those include Urgence Homophobie, a French group that has assisted persecuted activists in leaving Afghanistan, and True Colors United, founded by pop star Cyndi Lauper and focused on implementing solutions for youth homelessness in the U.S. 

Aside from its positive social impact, the booking service also offers handy features that add to its general user experience. Travelers can find stays within cities’ gay districts, earn about gay events being thrown around the world, and customize their rental searches. 


“We have a filter for moods. If you’re talkative, you can find a talkative host. If you prefer not to chat, you can find a more introverted host,” Jost told Fast Company. “There’s also a filter for sharing interests with the hosts.”

Interested in becoming a host on misterb&b? Click here to learn how