The Advocate's Mike Albo makes a pretty enterprising piece of journalism out of what is definitely one of the great pro-forma genres: the Top Cities ranking. In this case, Albo has come up with the 25 Gayest Cities in America through both conventional measures (number of same-sex households per capita) and unconventional (gay films in NetFlix favorites).
The top 5:
5. Madison, Wisconsin
4. Bloomington, Indiana
3. Iowa City, Iowa
2. Burlington, Vermont
1. Atlanta, Georgia
Is there a law that Madison has to appear in the top 10 of every Top Cities list? Albo's case for Hotlanta:
Atlanta's several queer events include one of the nation's largest Prides in October (returning to Piedmont Park this year), and MondoHomo, a May event celebrating art, drag, burlesque, film, and BBQ. The gay epicenter is Midtown, anchored by Outwrite Books, a giant gay bookstore bucking the national trend—by staying in business! Atlanta guys are hunky, the ladies are gracious, the gay sports leagues are seriously well organized, and its housewives (and their gay BFFs, complete with handbags and heels) are now camp icons. And who doesn't love the sweet lilt of a Georgia accent on a knockout guy or gal?
I hate to second guess here, but I lived for many years in New York and San Francisco and spend a lot of time in West Hollywood, and I gotta tell you: The gayest city in America is Washington, DC. It just doesn't show up on these lists because pleasureless, closeted self-hatred is still a done thing in the nation's capital, where even straight romance comes infused with shame, anxiety and paranoia—and not in a good way. That's why Advise and Consent, even though it was written in the 1950s before homosexuality was even invented, will always be the great DC novel.