[ pop. 107,289 ]
Cambridge, primarily known as the location of Harvard University, has quickly become an epicenter of progressive cool. The city made headlines as the home of America’s first black, openly lesbian mayor, E. Denise Simmons, in 2008. It was also the first city to give a stipend to partnered public employees to offset the federal tax on health benefits for same-sex spouses. Not surprisingly, the city also prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity. LGBT-friendly and gay-owned businesses abound and are organized in a directory by Boston’s Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
[ pop. 214,237 ]
Boise has come a long way since the infamous Boise homosexuality scandal (a ripple of the widespread Lavender Scare). It now makes our list because of its theater scene that brings in big-name Broadway shows like The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, and Mamma Mia!, as well as its LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance that was passed in 2012. Boise is also home to the Idaho Gay Rodeo Association, a chapter of the International Gay Rodeo Association (IGRA.com), and the active Boise Pridefest, which recently sponsored a fund-raising concert tour across Idaho.