The New York-based media company Vocativ has released its first annual “Queer Index” of the thirty-five best cities for LGBT people to live, work, and socialize.
According to Vocativ, the top queer-friendly spaces in the US were determined by using “32 data sets to measure 16 different factors, from livability indicators like same-sex marriage laws and the rate of hate crimes, to lifestyle metrics like the concentration of out singles and the availability of hookup opportunities.” The data sets included not only official records at the city and state level, but information from media like Facebook, Craigslist, and GayCities.
Vocativ even noted, “While we tried to be fully inclusive, we were limited by available numbers on bisexual and trans folks for some of our categories.”
The result is a page where you can search by city or by category to get information even Google might not have available. Every location listed has a blurb about the city, then gives a by-the-numbers breakdown of data such as openly LGBT politicians, Gayborhood-approved businesses, and number of same-sex couples in the state.
Because everyone has different ideas of what makes a city great, there are a variety of Queer Index Category Leaders to look through, including Highest Number Of Queer Singles, Largest Number Of LGBT-Friendly Businesses, Most LGBT Bars & Clubs, Most Culture, Sportiest, and even Hottest For Hookups.
Many of the city rankings given are predictable, but some may also be surprising. For example, San Francisco ranked not number one overall, but number three—losing to both New York City (#2) and Los Angeles (#1). Meanwhile, Chattanooga, Tennessee was ranked #1 for number of openly LGBT politicians per million residents.
The best place for an LGBT employee was determined to be Atlanta, Georgia—its description notes, “The city is tops for queer-friendly businesses (ATL has the highest number of Gayborhood-certified businesses with 685—almost three and a half times more than Chicago). It also gets high numbers for media engagement, a substantial singles scene, pride events, culture and lots of folks looking to make connections.”
The full Queer Index can be seen here.