What’s America’s Gayest City?

By: Jackson Lourd

Anyone who thinks New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco is the queerest place in the U.S. should brace himself for a shock. The Advocate’s research team “took a number of signifiers of gay-friendliness”—including elected openly gay officials, gay-friendly religious congregations, and, ahem, number of Gay.com profiles — for each city, assigned points for each signifier, added them, and divided the scores by the city’s population to arrive at the per capita homosexuality. 

The Advocate calls this method a “completely unscientific — but still strangely accurate — statistical equation.”  The publication says its list “demonstrates that the homosexual agenda is spreading across the 50 states — from Washington, D.C., to Vancouver, Wash. — and especially, it seems, in the heartland. Like it or not, America, LGBT is more a part of the USA than ever before.”

 Is your city on the list?

Img_2832 15. Miami

The Florida metropolis “has finally graduated from party town to something more sophisticated.” But adds, “Thankfully, there are still hordes of hot tanned and toned guys cruising South Beach.”

14. Oakland, Calif.

Since “San Francisco’s too pricy for most of the middle class—including artists and the funky gays—Oakland has become the Brooklyn of the West Coast.” 

13. Denver 

With its new Gay and Lesbian Center, its gay state senator, Pat Steadman, and its newly appointed gay supreme court justice, Monica Marquez,” the “Mile High city” exemplifies that equality is inevitable—and hard fought. 

12. Cleveland

As host of the 2014 Gay Games, the Ohio city “is about to become a major gay destination. 

11. San Francisco

Dubbed “the gay daddy of American cities” with “the gay-friendliest straight mayor in history, Gavin Newsom.”

10. St. Louis

The “Gateway City” is the “open-minded heart of the Midwest,” and while “Anheuser-Busch just made a cash donation to the gay and lesbian centric Gateway Business Guild”  it’s “last October’s First Annual Trans Family Picnic, put on by local advocacy group TransHaven …that most signals how St. Louis has become a welcoming city for queer folk.” 

Seattle-gay-lesbian-transgendered-pride-parade 9. Seattle

The birthplace of grunge music “has always had a creative, fun gay scene,” plus this is where “the graceful and hip Ace Hotel chain got its start. It’s where The Stranger hosts its yearly homemade porn film festival. It’s the home of gay spokesman Dan Savage, founder of the It Gets Better Project.”

8. Washington, D.C.

The U.S. capital’s “large thumpy dance clubs like Town, which periodically hosts variety shows by LGBT troupe Crack and monthly nights have cropped up all over the city, such as Taint” and also notes “the gay center of the city has migrated east from Dupont Circle to Logan Circle.”

7. Atlanta

The Georgia capital ”is awash in burgeoning gayborhoods, from business district Candler Park and eclectic East Atlantic Village to the tree-lined Virginia Highland area, where residents elected the lesbian Councilmember, Anne Fauver.”

6. Vancouver, Wash.

“A lot of those groovy gay and lesbian Portlanders are mellowing out and coming here to settle down. The city of around 165,000 has six gay-friendly churches, and its Skyview High School has a student-led gay-straight alliance.”

5. Pittsburgh

The Pennsylvania city is “the historic home of daddy Andy Warhol, mommy Gertrude Stein, and cool lezzie aunt Willa Cather.” Also note that gay and lesbian people “are taking advantage of the bargain housing prices in this beautiful, cleaned-up urban landscape.” 

Vegas01 4. Orlando, Fla.

The Advocate writes that the home of Disney World “is coming out as a hotspot for gay and lesbian life and a hotbed of progressive attitudes. Last November, when Orange County leaders voted 6-1 to add sexual orientation protections to its private-sector anti-discrimination law, not a single resident or religious organization opposed it.” 

3. Las Vegas

Besides “dozens of flashy shows every night,” being the “home of Siegfried and Roy,” and “the setting of the campiest film ever made (Showgirls),” Sin City is “the top destination for American lesbians, as well as the number two destination for American gay men and gay seniors (after New York City).”

2. Santa Fe, N.M.

“This is where seasoned gays come to center themselves, but not in a boring way: LGBT retirement community RainbowVision has raucous drag shows at the Silver Starlight Lounge. Not only is Santa Fe home to plenty of body workers, reiki practitioners, and shaman-type hippie gays, it also has the most restaurants per capita of any city in the country and boasts the third largest art market.”

And the winner is...

Pride_Getty1 1. Minneapolis

Simply put, “Minneapolis has become the gay magnet city of the Midwest. …People here are no-nonsense, practical, and don’t deal well with hypocrites. This is where the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America took a historic leap forward and voted to accept gay and lesbian pastors, including the Rev. Mary Albing, the denomination’s first openly lesbian pastor. And Minnesota senator Al Franken introduced the Student Non-Discrimination Act to protect LGBT youth from school bullies.”