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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our fourth time ranking the gayest cities in America.
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When the Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of same-sex marriages, America generally, and the gay community specifically, celebrated. Same-sex marriages, and the gay and lesbian movement is more mainstream than ever.
While the national discussion has been brought to the forefront, at the state level, conversations continue.
Our goal with this post is to use data and science to determine the gayest cities in America.
After analyzing 72 of the largest cities in America, we’ve determined these cities have the largest gay population as a percentage.
Households: 359,673.0 Gay Households: 5,299 % Gay Households: 2.33% More on San Francisco:Photos | Data
It’s probably no surprise that San Francisco ranks as the gayest city in America. Here, 0.02% of residents are gay, and about 1 and a half percent of the total population is in same-sex marriages. San Francisco is a non-descrimination haven. Equality and fairness rule the day here. San Francisco first became a major gay destination during WWII when the Navy discharged gay sailors who were being expelled from the service at Treasure Island. Many decided to stay.
Of course, we mentioned the Castro District earlier. This area of downtown San Francisco is a safe place for anyone – the entire neighborhood has hotels, bars and restaurants that cater to the gay lifestyle. The Castro is a symbol of liberation for the whole world, where the gay community is not only welcomed, but justified.
A lot of this entire region boasts a large gay population. Across the bay, Oakland, Berkeley, and Hayward all also have a large gay community. Hence, a lot of people refer to it as the Gay Area. San Francisco proper isn’t just the gay capital of the US, it’s the gay capital of the world.
Households: 323,446.0 Gay Households: 3,169 % Gay Households: 1.23% More on Seattle:Photos | Data
Seattle Washington is unsurprisingly one of the gayest cities in the nation. Here, the gay population is 0.01% and also growing. Seattle passed San Francisco for the most households composed of gay or lesbian couples at 2.6% – and is the only U.S. city with more than 1% of households being lesbian couples.
Seattle has two annual Pride festivals. The city is also home to the two largest LGBTQ choruses in the world, the Seattle Men’s Chorus and Seattle Women’s Chorus. The city of Seattle has protected gay and lesbian workers since the passage of the Fair Employment Practice Ordinance in 1973. Seattle’s hospitals have been recognized for their dedication to equality for LGBT patients as well.
Seattle is definitely an expensive city and one that you need a good job to live in adequately. The school system was good according to my friends who were parents. The biggest problem is the lack of affordable housing. The city does have a vibrant liberal culture that makes it stand apart from the Trumpian hellscape to the East in flyover country.
My favorite place in Seattle is Club Sapphire. This is a s*x-positive club with membership dues for individuals and couples to “play” in a private setting. Sapphire’s membership dues kept out some of the scammers and other disreputable types that sometimes infiltrate the scene. This s*x club really does stand out compared to other major metropolitan s*x clubs such as NYC’s. Sapphire managed to imbibe the city’s liberal atmosphere and apply it to sexuality making it a distinctive Seattle experience that was far more memorable than the Space Needle.
Households: 294,358.0 Gay Households: 2,667 % Gay Households: 1.23% More on Denver:Photos | Data
Denver Colorado ranks as the 6th gayest city in America, where an estimated 0.01% of the population identifies as LGBT. Of course, since, like forever ago, Colorado was a very red leaning state, but over the last two decades, it has become much more liberal. The most liberal of of Colorado’s cities is Denver, which also hosts the third largest gay pride parade in the nation.
You’d expect that America’s acceptance of LGBTQ individuals would be growing, and up until recently, that was the case. However, a new alarming study by the LGBTQ Advocacy Group GLAAD has raised some worrisome eyebrows. In 2016, 63% of youth were comfortable interacting with the gay population. A year later, that number was 53% and now, it’s less than half. The only age group that has a growing acceptance of the gay community are the elderly.
In that same vein, it does appear that Americans are more politically correct when it comes to gender acceptance, though, at least publicly. For example, a cafe recently began promoting their Gender neutral gingerbread people. Fox News made a joke of it. No surprise.
Denver is the s**t. I came out here to visit in 2014. I thought it was going to be just alright, and ended up falling in love with the city. The people are friendly, the sky is blue, there are beautiful mountians, and so much good weed. I ended up leaving the NYC area and moved out here in 2016. Best decision ever!
Great food everywhere! A lot of resturants provide local and sustainable meats and produce.
I used to love to visit Minneapolis/St. Paul. The city was clean and well-lit, the people were friendly and willing to help, and I did not feel uneasy while walking about the city.
Recently, an influx of Somalian ‘refugees’ flooded into the city/metroplex. These ‘refugees’ have destroyed many areas of the once beautiful city; turning them into slums and crime ridden areas. These people also cause civil disturbance and make visitors feel uncomfortable and add a sense of danger while visiting.
Households: 264,428.0 Gay Households: 2,857 % Gay Households: 1.06% More on Portland:Photos | Data
Of course, Portland ranks really high in the nation, that’s no surprise. More than 1 in 20 people in Portland is gay. For a long time, the city of Roses’ slogan was Keep Portland Weird. Now, more and more, you’re seeing Keep Portland Queer around town.
Portland elected its first gay mayor in 2008. An out bisexual Portlander is Oregon’s governor; an out Portland lesbian is the state’s Speaker of the House. Rainbow flags fly everywhere. But back in 1964, the city of Portland attempted to shut down local gay bars in an attempt to crush the gay scene.
It didn’t work.
Today, the Portland Pride Festival and parade draws people from all over the country. Now unlike Seattle, which has a gay district called Capital Hill, or San Francisco’s Castro district, Portland no longer has a gayborhood. Why? Dating apps have made hooking up at gay clubs less necessary for one. And, as one Portlander put it – why do we need a Gayborhood – here in Portland everyone’s kinda gay.
Overall, Oregon is one of the gayest states in the nation. Wyoming is the least gay state.
Every time I visit Portland I am reminded of how much I love it. The atmosphere ia always vibrant and the people are so nice! There are so many things to do that you will never be bored.
Breweries on every corner. I love to go from brewery to brewery and taste all the different beers. Portland is the epitomy of melting pot. There are so many diverse groups and fron that comes a large market of ethnic foods. You can find any ethnic food you can think of.
I moved to Long Beach to attend Cal State University Long Beach. Honestly, it changed my life. I grew up in a different suburb in California, but Long Beach is so different. I wouldn’t necessarily live here for my whole life, but it was definitely worth coming here for college. I like coming back and visiting here to see my friends.
My favorite thing about Long Beach is that there are honestly always places to go to, and it’s not too far to go to other fun cities like LA. It’s not too quiet but never too loud either unless you live somewhere that is filled with college students. The weather is great, too. And of course, we’re near a few beaches, so that’s great.