by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Each year, The Advocate puts out their list of the Gayest cities in America. And each year, we are not at number one.
I say that's a good thing. I mean, let's be honest, Seattle isn't everybody's rain-soaked cup of tea. But for those of us who live and love here, we think it's great! And while I suppose it is always good to be number one on one list or another, the truth is we are who we are up here in the Northwest.
'It's no secret that megalopolises New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles have robust LGBT life - and we've even heard tell of little Queer hoods like the Castro and P-Town,' said Advocate writer Matthew Breen. 'This isn't that list.'
'There's the official census with information on same-sex couples as a percentage of the population, then there's our accounting of the Gayest places in the USA - and we know the twain shan't meet,' said Breen. 'But do we really need another article telling us that the homos gather in West Hollywood and Hell's Kitchen? That Northampton, Massachusetts, is still Lesbianville, USA? (Don't get us wrong, we love those places.) Instead, in our third annual accounting of the Gayest places in America - according to our totally accurate if decidedly subjective criteria - we look at the per capita Queerness of some less expected locales.'
The Advocate ranked cities according to its own criteria, including the number of Gay and Lesbian bookstores, elected officials who are LGBT, Imperial Court chapters, nude yoga (yes, seriously), and even the number of International Mr. Leather competition semifinalists.
Here is The Advocate's write-up on Seattle: 'When Forbes named Seattle the most miserable sports city in the nation, many of us felt a twinge of empathy. No matter; there's heaps of other stuff to keep us busy, including tons of locavore and cosmopolitan cuisine, funky bars in a robust LGBT scene, Dan Savage, and hookups - or at least the search for them. TheStir.com noted that Seattle ranks among the top cities for residents who list 'casual sex' as the type of relationship they're seeking.'
Well, there it is. Raise your heads high, LGBT Seattle! Apparently, we are a promiscuous lot.
So who did top the list this year as the Gayest City in America? You might be surprised but, according to The Advocate, Salt Lake City, Utah, doesn't mean Mormon - it means 'more men!'
Here's what they had to say about Salt Lake City: 'While those unfamiliar with the Beehive State are likely to conjure images of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, far-less-oppressive-than-it-used-to-be Salt Lake City has earned its Queer cred. There are more than a half-dozen hot spots for men and women, including the eco-friendly nightclub Jam (JamSLC.com), though the sustainable bamboo flooring is perhaps less of a draw than the packed dance floor. The Coffee Garden (878 S. 900 E.) is a gathering spot for those looking for a caffeine fix, the Sundance Film Festival brings LGBT film buffs to screenings downtown, and Lesbian-owned Meditrina (MeditrinaSLC.com) is a true wine bar - yes, you can get a drink in this town.'
Other cities that made the cut include Orlando, Florida (2); Cambridge, Massachusetts (3); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (4); Ann Arbor, Michigan (6); St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota (7); Knoxville, Tennessee (8); Atlanta, Georgia (9); Grand Rapids, Michigan (10); Little Rock, Arkansas (11); Portland, Oregon (12); Austin, Texas (13); Long Beach, California (14); and Denver, Colorado (15).
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