For the third year running, the editors at The Advocate have put out a list of the “Gayest Cities in America,” an alternative to traditional roundups that focus on popular locations like New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles in favor of subjective criteria that awards 1 point for each of the following: LGBT elected city officials; WNBA teams; International Mr. Leather competition semifinalists; Imperial Court chapters; softball teams that competed in the Gay Softball World Series; LGBT bookstores; nude yoga; transgender protections; and concerts by Gossip, the Cliks, and the Veronicas. Click through see which cities made The Advocate’s top 15, and head over to their website for more on the reasoning behind all of their picks.
15. Denver (“its attitude is exceptionally laid-back and gay-friendly”) 14. Long Beach, Calif. (“its pride celebration is one of the country’s biggest”) 13. Austin (“Bands, barhopping, and barbecue feature prominently here, for queers and others.” 12. Portland, Ore. (“hipster, hyper-locavore, hyper-literate, boycott-ready, feminist, fleece-clad denizens”) 11. Little Rock, Ark. (“nine of the city’s churches advertise as LGBT-friendly”) 10. Grand Rapids, Mich. (“the city boasts one of the Midwest’s best LGBT country line-dancing scenes”) 9. Atlanta (“Lesbian businesses thrive in East Atlanta, and gay clubs go off in Mechanicsville.”) 8. Knoxville, Tenn. (“Knoxville has defiantly produced a robust gay scene”) 7. St. Paul and Minneapolis (“It’s technically two cities, but oh, what fun there is to be had here.”) 6. Ann Arbor, Mich. (“Stiletto’s draws in every lesbian in Detroit.”) 5. Seattle (“tons of locavore and cosmopolitan cuisine, funky bars in a robust LGBT scene, Dan Savage, and hookups”) 4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (“a rising homo mecca in South Florida”) 3. Cambridge, Mass. (“The town’s Paradise bar is billed as New England’s only gay club with hot male dancers six nights a week”) 2. Orlando, Fla. (“Orlando has more gay softball teams than you can shake a Louisville Slugger at”) 1. Salt Lake City (“far-less-oppressive-than-it-used-to-be Salt Lake City has earned its queer cred”)