by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
For over 30 years, if you came across a survey of the nation's "Gayest" cities, you would naturally see San Francisco, California at the top. Well, not anymore. According to The Advocate's newly released "Gayest Cities in America" list, not only does San Francisco not make the top slot, it isn't even on the list to begin with. Fear not, Seattleites, the Emerald City rests at number 10 of 15 as one of the "Gayest Cities in America." But then again, we already knew Seattle is one of America's Gayest cities, didn't we?
The author of the self-declared "arbitrary" survey, Mike Albo, set out to deliberately identify cities that are becoming Gay epicenters (as opposed to San Francisco and New York City, which proved themselves in that regard some time ago).
"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," writes Albo. "About 10 years ago, everyone else moved back into these nicely gentrified metropolises, and the lavender diaspora began."
In order to compile his list, Albo used a point system to measure same-sex couple households per capita, statewide marriage equality, Gay elected officials, Gay dating and hookup profiles per single male population, Gay bars per capita, cruising spots per capita, and Gay films in Netflix favorites. Again, Albo admits his list is "completely unscientific," but says it is an "accurate statistical equation."
The list of cities is surprising and entertaining all at once. Although you can find an L or a G and some BTQs anywhere, I never would have guessed that some of these cities could make any list - let alone one of the "Gayest Cities in America." But they did. So, here they are, Seattle, the 15 top new places to look for prime Gayborhood real-estate, according to The Advocate:
1) Atlanta, Georgia
2) Burlington, Vermont
3) Iowa City, Iowa
4) Bloomington, Indiana
5) Madison, Wisconsin
6) New Orleans, Louisiana
7) Fort Lauderdale, Florida
8) Portland, Maine
9) Austin, Texas
10) Seattle, Washington
11) Gainesville, Florida
12) Asheville, North Carolina
13) Springfield, Massachusetts
14) San Diego, California
15) Albuquerque, New Mexico
Here's what Albo had to say about his number-one pick: Atlanta, Georgia.
"Georgia isn't the most Gay-friendly state, but Atlanta is undoubtedly our Gayest city - with 29 Gay bars here, there's a reason it's dubbed Hotlanta. Atlanta's several Queer events include one of the nation's largest Prides in October (returning to Piedmont Park this year), and MondoHomo, a May event celebrating art, drag, burlesque, film, and BBQ. The Gay epicenter is Midtown, anchored by Outwrite Books, a giant Gay bookstore bucking the national trend - by staying in business! Atlanta guys are hunky, the ladies are gracious, the Gay sports leagues are seriously well-organized, and its housewives (and their Gay BFFs, complete with handbags and heels) are now camp icons. And who doesn't love the sweet lilt of a Georgia accent on a knockout guy or gal?"
OK, so we didn't make number one, but Albo included Seattle on this list, and rightly so. Here's what the writer had to say about his number 10, the Pacific Northwest's Gayest city:
"The birthplace of grunge and upscale coffee, and home to numerous cute bois and dykes with piercings, Seattle has a Gay scene that's so comfortably inescapable as the Space Needle. Even as luxury condos and pricey wine bars sprout up, alternative venues like the newly renovated Pony in Cap Hill are keeping it real."
Albo prefaces his list by pointing out the reality that Gays are moving into mainstream America. "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," he said. "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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