The 15 gayest cities in America (sort of)

Posted on 14 Jan 2010 at 12:15pm

Dallas gets snubbed in the latest unscientific ranking of America’s gayest cities, a top-15 list from The Advocate. Austin at No. 9 was the only city in Texas to make the list, which isn’t surprising given that cities lost points for not being in states that recognize same-sex relationships. Another factor that apparently cost Dallas points was not having any openly LGBT elected city officials (it doesn’t look like county officials counted). It’s unclear how Dallas fared when it came to “cruising spots per capita” and “gay dating and hookup profiles per single male population,” but if we made up any ground it wasn’t enough. That’s OK, though, the gayest city in the world, San Francisco, didn’t make the list, either, and neither did New York or L.A. Instead, Atlanta came out on top, and the list is packed with mid-majors like Iowa City, Iowa, and Asheville, N.C., which obviously is the whole point:

Long ago, gay people settled in our nation’s largest cities. There they spruced up all the property, created every art and fashion movement, and taught entire populations how to dance. They created gayborhoods like WeHo, Chelsea, South Beach—and pretty much queered all of San Francisco until even Laundromats had rainbow flag decals in their windows. About 10 years ago everyone else moved back into these nicely gentrified metropolises, and the lavender diaspora began. Now a slew of secondary cities are becoming gay epicenters.

This admittedly subjective search reveals spots that are much more pink than you might think. Determined by a completely unscientific but accurate statistical equation, these gayest cities may surprise you. Iowa City, Austin, and Asheville have more gays per capita than the biggies. These cities where everyday gays live—towns and boroughs with a mix of baby carriages, gay bars, and B&Bs—signal the continuing movement of gay people into mainstream American life, which in turn also signals an eventual end to lists like this. In 10 years or so every Main Street USA will probably be too gay to measure. Won’t that be nice?

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