Adam Lambert
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Queerest Cities in America 2015

QCities PALMBEACHX633 0
3. West Palm Beach, Fla. Above: Mounts Botanical Garden
[ pop. 102,436 ]
A new injection of cool trendsetters (including Jonathan Adler and his partner, Simon Doonan) into Palm Beach has spilled over to neighboring West Palm Beach. The five-minute drive across the bridge makes a big difference to LGBT people; West Palm Beach has a trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Residents and visitors take advantage of the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, home of the Miami City Ballet, the Palm Beach Opera, and touring Broadway shows like The Book of Mormon. Denizens come together at trendy restaurants, such as the gay-couple-owned Table 26 and sing karaoke on Sundays at neighborhood spot Rooster’s.

Palm Beach Rating 0

QCities ATLANTAX633 0
2. Atlanta, Ga. Above: The Center for Civil and Human Rights
[ pop. 447,841 ]
Five gay Jewish organizations, a Muslims for Progressive Values Unity Mosque, a Black and White Men Together group, a massive support system for people living with HIV/AIDS, a Gay Fathers of Atlanta club and recreational groups like two LGBT choirs and a gay gun club help form a diverse and vibrant queer community in Atlanta. While enjoying strong nondiscrimination laws that protect against sexuality and gender identity, queer residents can attend world-class theater like Wicked and take on the night in energetic LGBT-friendly enclaves like Ansley Mall, Cheshire Bridge Road, and West Midtown.

Atlanta Rating 0

Dayton Mainx633 0
1. Dayton, Ohio Above: Deeds Carillon in Carillon Historical Park; Inset from top: Schuster Performing Arts Center, Montana McDaniels at Club Masque, Club Masque “Boys in Bubbles” party [ pop. 143,355 ]
Dayton’s thriving cultural scene includes blockbuster theater productions like The Book of Mormon and Wicked and a world-renowned orchestra and ballet (DaytonPerformingArts.org) — not to mention the quainter appeal of the Dayton Playhouse (TheDaytonPlayhouse.com). A transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance and a surprisingly exciting LGBT nightlife scene — multilevel Club Masque (ClubMasque.com) is a highlight — also help shine queer life into this Rust Belt city. Gays and lesbians are drawn to the little-big-city feel and the natural attractions of the Miami River Valley, guided by the LGBT outdoor recreation group Out and About Dayton. With its rich history (the Wright brothers lived here!), Dayton is high on our radar.

And in times of crisis, the people of Dayton come together, as in the case of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who recently committed suicide in the nearby town of Kings Mills. A vigil in her memory is being held January 17 at the Eternal Joy Metropolitan Community Church.

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Honorable Mentions
 
16 Costa Mesa, Calif.
 
17 Columbia, Mo.
 
18 Peoria, Ill.
 
19 Springfield, Ill.
 
20 Ann Arbor, Mich. 
 
21 Allentown, Pa.
 
22 Gainesville, Fla.
 
23 Orlando, Fla.
 
24 Cedar Rapids, Iowa
 
25 Buffalo, N.Y.

 

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