If you’re looking for gay-friendly living, consider ditching the coasts. That’s according to the Advocate’s April 8, 2008 issue (article not available online). The magazine tapped Gary Gates, a senior research fellow at UCLA’s Williams Institute, to crunch the Census numbers and home in on where same-sex couples are settling. With Gates, the Advocate came up with these five unlikely emerging gay meccas where culture, creativity, family-friendly communities, and business are thriving:
Fort Worth, Texas: affordable upscale real estate, good schools, and big corporations that offer domestic-partner benefits
Fort Wayne, Indiana: diversity, decent cost of living, good jobs, access to nearby big cities like Chicago and Detroit, and a well-read population (“in terms of its libraries’ usage and books owned”)
Tulsa, Oklahoma: diversity, lots of museums and theaters, tasty foodie scene, and a low cost of living with “big-city benefits,” says one resident
Anchorage, Alaska: parks, recreation, wildlife, museums, a thriving restaurant scene, a hip Pacific Northwest vibe, and a diverse, educated population
Jacksonville, Florida: 80,000 acres of urban park, diversity, beaches, museums, and good business opportunities
Meanwhile, over at Out, a handy little map in the March issue (not available online) highlights several southern towns that should be gay meccas, if names were any indication. My favorites: Daddy Hole Lake, Florida; Bear Town, Mississippi; Lake Cock, Louisiana; Big Bottom Township, Arkansas; and the simple but effective Gay, North Carolina.
Not on either list is our nation’s venerable capital. That may come as no surprise, given the homophobic cronies currently holding court on Capitol Hill. But, Richard Florida—the cultural pulse taker and author of The Rise of the Creative Class and most recently Who’s Your City?—tells the Advocate (April 22 issue) that the Beltway is the best pick for a twenty-something gay grad looking to commit to a career: “I’d have to say Washington, D.C., if I were gay.”
What do you consider the gay-friendliest towns? Let us know in the Politics Salon.