Every year, the Advocate compiles a list of what they call “America’s Queerest Cities.” They consider cities that have more than 250,000 residents and rank them according to a number of different criteria. What makes this list so unique is that, unlike scores given out by groups like the HRC, the Advocate uses a list of criteria that’s both serious and fun. For example, a city can gain points by having lesbian bars, trans pride events, and LGBT centers, but they can also improve their rankings by having a gay rugby team, having a theater that showed the movie Moonlight, or being a stop on the Pwr Bttm tour. After adding up the points, there are the cities Advocate has found rank at the top.
Jersey City, New Jersey
It might come as a shock that Jersey City stole the number one spot on the list from cities such as San Francisco and New York, but it did. The second-largest city in New Jersey is located across the Hudson River from NYC, but it’s much more affordable. The HRC gave Jersey City a perfect 100 on its municipal equality index this year, plus there are many gay events, businesses, and activities in the city. It even hosts its own pride parade instead of piggybacking off of the New York City one.
Securing second place on the list is Orlando. The city has been in the LGBT news a lot in the past year following the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub. The shooting has shown that Orlando’s LGBT community is incredibly strong and came together for support following the event. Many performers live in Orlando and work at Disney and Universal.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Is Orlando too big for you? St. Petersburg may be more your speed, then. It sits on the west coast of Florida and is one of the highest rated LGBT cities in the state. You’ll find many different restaurants, clubs, and other businesses owned by LGBT people here, plus a great number of events and activities. St. Petersburg was also ranked very high on the HRC’s index, especially in the area of municipal protections for its LGBT citizens.
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo rounds out the top four. While it may be the complete opposite of Orlando and St. Petersburg when it comes to the weather, this colder city scored a 95 on the HRC index. You’ll find a lot of LGBT activities here, including literary events, community activities, and more.
Considering a move up north? If so, Delaware might be on your list of potential new homes. This small state is actually home to a good number of LGBT people. When Gallup did a poll in 2012, it revealed that 3.4% of the state’s population identified as a member of the LGBT community. The number of LGBT households increased 41% between 2000 and 2010, showing that Delaware has become quite popular. Any gay or lesbian real estate agent in the area can tell you that since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013, it’s become even more popular. If you’re considering a move to Delaware, here are some of the cities to consider.
The largest city in the state, Wilmington is also one of the most LGBT-friendly. It features many great historic homes and businesses, giving it a very charming atmosphere. It’s also home to Wilmington University, the Delaware College of Art and Design, Goldey-Beacom College, and the Widener University Law School. The younger generations who move to Wilmington to continue their education help make the city so open and welcoming. Many of these educational institutions also offer various programs and events related to the LGBT community, too.
New Castle is also considered a college town. The community here is very arts-oriented, so it’s great for those who are looking for a place full of creativity. New Castle hosts a gay pride event every year and is home to Delaware Pride, the largest LGBT rights center in the state. They organize a number of events throughout the year and campaign for equal rights across the state. New Castle is also ranked as one of Delaware’s safest states.
Newark is a major cultural area for the state, and its gay community reflects that. The vibrant artists and performers who live here have turned Newark into a great place to live. It’s also quite safe and very quiet, making it ideal for those raising a family. The ACLU has an office in the city that focuses specifically on LGBT rights and has worked for years to support the community.
Finally, Rehoboth Beach is a great home if you’re looking for a tourist town. Most of the year, the town is home to around 1,500 people. During the summer, though, the population jumps to around 50,000 people! There are many different LGBT owned businesses in Rehoboth Beach, too.
These four cities are just a few of the best places to live in Delaware.