Using population-based math equations to come up with insight into the lifestyles of a city's inhabitants is doomed to inadequacy. That said, Advocate.com's list of the "Gayest Cities in America" does provide some value, in that it quantifies several queer-friendly metropolitan draws like openly gay politicians, lesbian bars, Gay.com profiles, and even Tegan and Sara performances.
Topping the list is Minneapolis, and somehow Santa Fe, N.M., is #2.
Left off the list are Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.
But there, at #9--two spots gayer than San Francisco--is Seattle, where Dan Savage alone seems to have skewed the results from the slightly aflame to the completely en fuego.
Seattle has always had a creative, fun gay scene, making this cosmopolitan city the shining gay star of the Pacific Northwest. This is where the graceful and hip Ace Hotel chain got its start. It's where The Stranger hosts its yearly homemade porn film festival. It's the home of gay spokesman Dan Savage, founder of the It Gets Better Project, and the jaw-droppingly warped drag performer Dina Martina. Gay life here continues to be artsy, funky, lively and multifarious. And if you haven't been to Pony (PonySeattle.com), the coolest (and perhaps the smallest) gay bar in the country, then you are missing out.
Vancouver, Wash., as it turns out is even gayer than Seattle, says Advocate. It's #6.
One gets the sense that a lot of those groovy gay and lesbian Portlanders are mellowing out and coming here to settle down. Friendly, low-key, neighborhoody Vancouver is right across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore., and has bars such as the Northbank (106 W. Sixth St.) with affordable happy hours and uncrowded pool tables. The city of around 165,000 has six gay-friendly churches, and its Skyview High School has a student-led gay-straight alliance.
All in all, probably the weirdest of the gay city lists we've seen. But we'll take the change of pace.