2014's Gayest Cities in America

The most LGBT-friendly places in America, according to our ever-rotating criteria, are some of what you expect, and a lot of what you don’t.

BY Matthew Breen

January 06 2014 5:00 AM ET

It’s not all piano bars, gender-specific music festivals, and giant disco houses (although we all love some of those things) that make these cities the gayest in America. You say you’re shocked Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City aren’t at the top of the list, this year and every year? What kind of fun would that be? (Spoiler alert: San Francisco comes in at No. 11.) This year’s criteria, designed to uncover the hidden factors that give a city its queer cred, include points for a city’s LGBT elected officials (and fractional points for the state’s elected officials), points for the percentage of the population comprised by lesbian-coupled households, a point for a gay rodeo association, points for bars listed in Out magazine’s 200 Best Bars list, a point per women’s college, and points for concert performances by Mariah Carey, Pink, Lady Gaga, or the Jonas Brothers. The raw score is divided by the population to provide a ranking based on a per capita LGBT quotient. (More details on scoring.)

Think your city should be on the list? We challenge you to make it so. Wouldn’t every city be better if it were just a bit gayer? Illustrations By Jason Luz and Justin Miller

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