SLC stays on Advocate’s Gayest Cities list

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While last year, The Advocate declared Salt Lake City the gayest city in America, sending shock-waves around the state, the magazine has now chosen  Tacoma, Wash., dropping the city of salt to number six in this year’s rankings.

While last year’s criteria helped launch us to number one, in part because we do have an International Mr. Leather competition semi-finalist and a nude yoga instructor, this year’s criteria wasn’t so SLC-friendly.

Salt Lake won two points for LGBT elected officials, one point for a Scissor Sisters concert, three points for having Whole Foods, West Elm and Pottery Barn, and four points for roller derby teams.

Our city lost points for having no companies in the HRC Corporate Equality Index, transgender protections, gay rugby, bisexual resource groups or marriage equality.

Yes, the criteria selected each year is a bit cheeky, but it does make for good discussion in the winning cities.

“Although we shake up the criteria each year—a mix of more predictable, well-reasoned, and off-the-wall—we never know which cities will make the list until we start tallying the points,” says Matthew Breen, editor in chief of The Advocate. “So it’s a nice surprise to us as well when an unexpected place delivers more gay cred than we expected. But the dialogue this list sparks is the ultimate goal.”

The lineup:

15. St. Louis
14. Salem, Ore.
13. Colorado Springs, Colo.
12. Providence, R.I.
11. Oakland
10. Twin Cities, Minn.
9. Atlanta
8. Madison, Wisc.
7. Eugene, Ore.
6. Salt Lake City
5. Seattle
4. Washington, D.C.
3. Spokane, Wash.
2. Springfield, Mass.
1. Tacoma, Wash.

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  1. We're #6! We're #6! I thought for sure we would drop off the Advocate's Gayest Cities list with their new criteria.

  2. Can we be honest about this though. This article exists solely to create controversy. The criteria is laughable since it doesn't count nightlife, gay owned businesses or Gay social and political organizations at all (a much better measure than the existence of a roller derby team – WTF). That Colorado Springs made this list just proves how absurd the list is. I've been there. This is not a Gay friendly city. They then justify it's inclusion by listing the very nightlife and sex outlets they claim had no bearing on consideration. This list has no credibility. I know it makes all you guys in Salt Lake feel a little better about having to put up with all the BS in Utah, but it is a PR stunt to drive traffic to the Advocate website so they can increase their advertising rates.

  3. I know articles like this make you San Franciscans crazy–what was that bit on the "Daily Show" where some city like Columbus, OH beats SF as the gayest city and people interviewed in SF can hardly contain themselves? But to me SLC beats out a lot of cities I know of of that are about that same size, in terms of generalized comfort level, and I've bounced around a lot. I'd take it over Denver; Manchester, NH; Austin, TX (yes), Phoenix; St. Louis, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Las Vagas… Okay, it's no SF, LA, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, NYC, but those are Huge cities…

  4. Gets tiresome to hear constant barrage against Salt Lake City… It's an amazing city for its size… There are more kind and caring people here than in many places and its clean which is more than you can say about San Francisco…

  5. SLC is actually a pretty good city for gay life – the community is just about the best organized and welcoming I've ever associated with due to the percieved hostility of "The Church" (TM). It's def. better than Albuquerque or Las Vegas. I did have great experiences when I lived in Phoenix, Portland, and the greater Los Angeles area. If I could afford S. Cal. I'd go back in a heartbeat!

  6. Dan Humphrey the Daily show called people in advance and asked them to be outraged. Nobody here is outraged. I've been in talks with them about these features on the show before. Everyone is in on the joke.

  7. want to get really into it? I looked at three areas of their critieria: Out office holders/elected officials, Bisexual resources and Roller Derby. Salt Lake accoriding to the survey accumulated 10 points. San Francisco would score 31 points for the out elected officials category only. With the four specifically Bisexual resource groups I found and the one Roller Derby league SF would score 36 points on those three criteria alone.

  8. Look it's no slam to SLC, I never said that Salt Lake is a pit of despair and anyone living there is stupid, but this is an article that does pit these experiences against each other with a pretense of some kind of legit criteria. However, the criteria they use is absurd and woefully incomplete and Salt Lakers should be honest about it. If they counted say, the number of Gay social and political organizations, the number of people logged onto Manhunt, Grndr or Scruff, the traffic on Gay news sites and blogs, the number of not only out Gay politicians, but a comparative analysis of the number of politicians elected on pro-Gay campaigns, and the number of pro-Gay and Anti-Gay bills that were proposed as well as passed, the number of legislators who are even nominally considered allies vs the number who could reasonably be seen as hostile. There are dozens of criteria that would be more reflective of actual quality of life and "gayness" and pretending that Colorado Springs or SLC are somehow some paradise or Meccas of Gay happiness in comparison to the richness of the Gay experience in San Francisco, LA, NY or Chicago is just stupid. The Advocate knows it, and this article is a PR stunt.

  9. Salt Lake got 4 of it's 10 points on Roller Derby Leagues. So 40% of what makes Salt Lake in the top ten Gayest places is the presence of 4 Roller Derby Leagues. I would like my Salt Lake friends to regale me with their thrilling tales of the hours they spend each week affirming their gayness at Roller Derby.

  10. I work for a company with the highest ranking possible by the HRC CEI, Wells Fargo, here, in Utah. In fact, they've ranked one of the highest for many, many years and have been listed by the HRC since 1987. Surely A. Scott Anderson of Zions has work to do. Wells Fargo may not be based here, but they offer a large number of jobs in this state, and I don't just mean working at a store (branch), I mean all sorts of positions in service, technology, operations, insurance and investments. I never feel like a second-class citizen at work, in fact, I feel valued every day. Wells Fargo employs more people than the 2700 Zions Bankcorporation employs in Utah, and supports the communities it serves. If they don't consider this an HRC index Utah employer, then I don't know what is.

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