News & Politics

Washington Makes List of USA’s “Gayest” Cities

The Advocate released its list of America’s 25 gayest cities—and the results are surprising, to say the least.

The High Heel Drag Race is a popular annual event in Washington. Photograph by Dakota Fine.

Washington has been named the 16th “gayest” city in America by the Advocate, in a list that is remarkable because of what other cities did and didn’t make the cut. For example, on the list of 25 cities, New York is not mentioned, nor is Los Angeles. The “gayest city in America,” according to the list, is Salt Lake City, the nation’s Mormon capital. Should someone tell Mitt Romney?

The Advocate’s editors say they used a special formula to determine which places qualify as the “gayest.” Some of the criteria include the number of LGBT elected city officials, WNBA teams, International Mr. Leather competition semifinalists, LGBT bookstores, nude yoga, transgender protections, and “concerts by Gossip, the Cliks, and the Veronicas.” They call it their look at “per capita queernees.”

The list does not break down how Washington scored in those categories, because it is among the “honorable mentions.”

Here are the top 20 ranked cities:

20) Salem, OR

19) Pittsburgh, PA

18) San Francisco, CA

17) New Orleans, LA

16) Washington, DC

15) Denver, CO

14) Long Beach, CA

13) Austin, TX

12) Portland, OR

11) Little Rock, AR

10) Grand Rapids, MI

9) Atlanta, GA

8) Knoxville, TN

7) St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN

6) Ann Arbor, MI

5) Seattle, WA

4) Fort Lauderdale, FL

3) Cambridge, MA

2) Orlando, FL

1) Salt Lake City, UT