Atlanta isn’t ‘America’s Queerest City,’ but close

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The annual romp through Weird Science over at the Advocate got a facelift this year. The list went from “Gayest City in America” to “Queerest,” but didn’t change its inaccurate listings or pick-and-choose criteria.

We easily made the 15 Queerest Cities in America again for 2015. It’s little wonder that Atlanta makes the list every single year. As others come and go, we’re tops (so to speak) on any list that ranks any measure of L, G, B or T. This year, we climb to No. 2 after years of slow free-fall from the head of the pack.

Alongside a photo from the Center for Civil in Human Rights (above), here’s what the Advocate has to say about us this year.

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.

Forget the glaring omissions and odd mentions for why we’re among the “Queerest.” As in years past, we’ll take it. And as it was then, the Advocate’s methodology is beyond questionable and bordering on laughable. This year’s criteria include points for a city’s transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances; pro-equality Mosques; LGBT-friendly synagogues; Pink Pistol chapters; gay retirement communities; and tours of “ Wicked,” “The Book of Mormon,” and “Kinky Boots.”

Yeah, it’s always a mess. In fact, some years are worse. Last year’s top spot, Washington, D.C., barely made the cut. Advocate editors try to justify it by saying they make it crazy on purpose to help you find new gay hotspots. That must be why Dayton, Ohio, took the top spot. You read that right: Dayton. Ohio. “Queerest City in America.”

Below are the rest of this year’s honorees. When you finish wrapping your head around it, check out 2014, 20132012, 2011, and the year we topped the list despite poor methodology in 2010. Then go see the much more realistic ranking on which Atlanta also ranks high.

15. Carlsbad, CA

14. Washington, DC

13. Cambridge, MA

12. Boise, ID

11. Spokane, WA

10. Boulder, CO

9. Davenport, IA

8. Tacoma, WA

7. Erie, PA

6. Salt Lake City, UT

5. Madison, WI

4. Lansing, MI

3. West Palm Beach, FL

2. Atlanta, GA

1. Dayton, Ohio


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