[ pop. 191,180 ]
“Sal Tlay Ka Siti, the most perfect place on Earth,” Nabulungi satirically sings in The Book of Mormon, but with gay marriage, a stream of hip establishments, gay organizations (including a Pink Pistols chapter), and an ever-growing liberalism, Salt Lake City is quickly becoming a queer enclave in otherwise solidly red Utah. The gay community was once centralized in the Mountain West neighborhood, which is home to the Utah Pride Center (UtahPrideCenter.com). Now the community can also be found in, but isn’t limited to, the Sugar House and the Avenues neighborhoods. Salt Lake City has a gay monthly rag (GaySaltLake.com), the LGBT film festival Damn These Heels (UtahFilmCenter.org), and a queer thrift store (YourThriftAlternative.org). Nabulungi may have been on to something.
[ pop. 243,344 ]
Madison residents aren’t only cheesehead-wearing football fans. Lesbian comic Tig Notaro’s show, The Book of Mormon, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike are just some of the events happening at the Overture Center for the Arts (OvertureCenter.org). The large LGBT population, enjoying a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance and the benefits of marriage equality, also has a range of watering holes — from the uber-dancey Plan B (PlanBMadison.com) to the divey Shamrock (117 W. Main St.). Multiple organizations such as a chapter of Pink Pistols and a line-dancing group, Dairyland Cowboys and Cowgirls (DCandC.org), establish a stronger sense of community in this Midwestern capital.
[ pop. 113,972 ]
You can’t walk down the streets of Lansing without recognizing that this capital is a college town. And the well-educated, left-leaning city (denying Michigan’s own Mitt Romney of his White House goals in 2012) protects its LGBT citizens with a nondiscrimination ordinance. Each year, LGBT organizations from throughout Michigan, including the Pink Pistols gun club, convene at the capitol for Michigan Pride (MichiganPride.org) to celebrate the state’s achievements and unite for a better future.