D.C.: The Gayest City in America
In the 2014 gayest city rankings—which is really a list of the most LGBT-friendly cities—D.C. topped Pasadena and Seattle, which snatched the number two and three spots, respectively.
What makes D.C. so gay and gay-friendly?
The Advocate's rankings took into account the number of LGBT elected city officials, number of gay coupled households, if the city has a gay rodeo association, the number of bars listed in Out magazine’s 200 Best Bars list, if the city has a women’s college, and, most importantly, if the city hosted concerts by Mariah Carey, Pink, Lady Gaga, or the Jonas Brothers.
"This city has a whopping 17 gay elected officials, perhaps a result of its unique status as a federal district, free from the grip of a state government," the Advocate wrote about D.C. "Gay-friendly neighborhoods include P Street and 17th Street in the Dupont Circle area, and Logan Circle to the east. The capital’s nightlife includes the Duplex Diner and its hot bartenders, and show tunes, top 40, and retro pop at perennial fave JR’s Bar."
The magazine also gave a shout out to national politicians who participate in stereotypical "gay customs" in the District.
"Though they’re ostensibly right-leaning, we think hunky young pols Rep. Paul Ryan and Rep. Aaron Schock are subtly demonstrating their LGBT friendliness by indulging in well-known gay customs: Ryan lifts weights and exaggerates his stats (how fast was that run, Paul?), and Schock likes his shirtless photo shoots and pink fashion accessories. And we cannot overlook House Speaker John Boehner; bring extra Kleenex if you invite him over for a Nora Ephron flick on movie night." (Though the list doesn't mention it, Schock was outed over the weekend.)
Arlington, which has a gay rodeo association and the Arlington Gay & Lesbian Alliance, ranked tenth on this year's list.
In 2013, D.C. was ranked the fourth-gayest city. Tacoma, Wash., took top honors followed by Springfield, Mass., and Spokane, Wash.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery