Here’s the final top 10 for you Studs and Femmes! (and fellas that just LOVE to watch)
There’s no shortage of “best gay cities” lists, but it recently occurred to us that somebody really ought to make a list of America’s Most Lesbionic Cities.
So The Advocate gathered a bunch of data to put together in a list which undoubtedly every soul on the planet will agree with 100%. The Advocate’s criteria this year included things like Veronicas concerts and Nude Yoga classes and somehow Grand Rapids made the Top Ten. This might be slightly more accurate than that.
Hit the flip and check out the #1 box banging city in America…
10. Austin, TX
Keywords: South by Southwest, Austin Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Foodies, Lipstick 24, Rusty’s, ‘Bout Time, Softball Austin, Out Youth, Allgo, Gender & Sexuality Center, Book Woman
Texas’s government may treat gays abysmally, but Austin is a countercultural liberal breath of fresh air best known for its indie music scene, awesome BQQ and the annual South by Southwest music/film/interactive festival. I mean, there’s a special Yoga class for Genderqueers, The Texas Gay Rodeo Association, The Kings and Things Drag King Group, and an active “e-mail based social network” called Foodies that organizes regular lay-dee get togethers. The lesbian social scene is “lively” and residents find queer life uniquely blended in to the dominant Austin culture in a super-special way.
9. Washington DC
Keywords: The DC Center, OutWrite, Capital Trans Pride, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, GLSEN, Family Equality Council, National Equality March, Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, The Real World DC, The HRC, DC Radical Fairies, Tongues Afire, Rainbow Youth Alliance, BiNet USA, National Center for Lesbian Rights
I feel like there are about twenty different DCs and one of them is hella gay (though nobody says “hella” there). I mean, there’s the politics and the activism, and also American, The University That Birthed Two Autostraddle Writers, Katrina and Carmen, the latter of whom describes American as “dyke paradise.” Clearly it headquarters a lot of political activism groups and events, as well as a vibrant Gayborhood in Dupont Circle. The first-ever Dyke March happened here in 1993. [Sidenote: a 2007 DC Public School Survey of High School students found 13.2% of young women identifying as lesbian, bisexual or unsure, which is kinda a lot.]
8. Portland, OR
Keywords: Bitch Magazine, Vaseline Alley, Portlandia, Rose City Gay Freedom Band, Triangle Productions, Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Hawthorne Boulevard, Alberta, Q Center, The Milwaukee Tavern
Portland is super queer. It’s quirky, liberal, laid back, and home to a lot of trees and mountains and bodies of water and beaches and wineries and bookstores and farmers markets. Home to AS’s Tech Editor Taylor and the 8th-most Autostraddler-populated city in the country, The Rose City is more than just the name of that sweet Portland Queer anthology Gabby has a story in. In 2008, it was the first big metropolitan city to elect a homo to be their mayor!
7. Seattle, WA
Keywords: OutWest Bar, Lesbian Resource Center, Babeland, Dan Savage, RE-Bar, Capitol Hill, Neighbours, The Seattle Lesbian, The Stranger, Ingersoll Gender Center, The Dorian Society
Seattle! Where computer software, coffee and grunge music were born! A lot of people live in Seattle and a lot of those people are lesbians — 12.9% of the city’s residents identify as LGBT. Seattle’s dedicated lesbian bar is called Wildrose, its completely-devoted-to-LGBT-film cinema is called The Three Dollar Bill Cinema (it hosts both a Transgender and a Gay & Lesbian Film Festival annually) and its Roller Derby League is called Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls. The city’s also super trans-friendly — The Ingersoll Gender Center has been holding at least one peer-support meeting for trans, genderqueer and otherwise gender-variant folks per week since 1976.
6. Chicago, IL
Keywords: The Reeling Film Festival, Boystown, Andersonville, The Center on Halsted, The Deaf Lesbian Festival, Big Chicks, Watra Thursdays, Early 2 Bed, Towertown, Out in Chicago
Northwestern University is in nearby Evanston, and our LGBT College Guide Northwestern U Reviewer promises that “if you’re willing to sit through the first awkward five minutes of a Chicagostraddlers meetup, you will be rewarded with a wonderfully diverse queer posse who will accompany you to derby matches, lady arm wrestling, chicken and waffles, Pride, FKA at Big Chick’s, brunch at the Chicago Diner, and pretty much anything involving alternative lifestyle haircuts/flasks.”
5. Cambridge/Boston/Somerville, MA
Keywords: Machine/Dyke Night, The Bay Windows, Edge Boston, Boston LGBT Film Festival, Bisexual Resource Center, Keshet for the Jewish LGBT community, Queer Women of Color, Queer Asian Pacific-Islander Alliance, LGBT Youth Alliance, Fenway Health Center
In the 19th century, people used the term “Boston Marriages” to describe the middle-to-upper-class educated ladies who lived together as couples in the city after graduating from one of the city’s many Universities. Nowadays, ladies who wanna marry ladies can just do so and they can use the term “marriage.” This area has the largest lesbian community nationwide and is one place where gay ladies outnumber men. Cambridge is home to 41 LGBT-owned businesses, and the bounty of LGBT-friendly schools in the area are a huge draw: Simmons (all-girls), Brandeis, Harvard, Emerson and MIT.
4. San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley, CA
Keywords: Harvey Milk, The Lex, Michelle Tea, The Castro, Dinah in Color, Original Plumbing, Good Vibrations, The Frameline Festival, The Advocate, Curve Magazine, The Mission, Valencia, The Lusty Lady, The Crib, Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project
Everybody knows that San Francisco is Queer Utopia (and especially trans-friendly) but you probably knew that even before you saw Milk. The Bay Area is notoriously liberal and stocked with political activists, innovative writers and gender outlaws — in fact, LGBTQ culture is practically the dominant culture here, regardless of the fact that so many heterosexuals share the space. Seriously – so much queer isht to do.
3. Los Angeles/West Hollywood, CA
Keywords: LA Gay & Lesbian Center, The L Word, The Abbey, The Real L Word, Truck Stop, Gimme Sugar, Ellen DeGeneres, Gay in LA, Silver Lake, Urth Cafe, Booby Trap, Girlbar, Ellen, Fusion: LGBT People of Color Film Festival, Hamburger Mary’s, Dyke Day LA
There are lesbians that loathe the fuck out of this city and there are those that love every inch of it’s burning hot hub of lezzer lezdom and those in the latter group seem to have a pretty good time here. It never snows, there are girl parties nearly every night, and the place is teeming with creative women looking to collaborate with other strange geniuses. The city that birthed The L Word has been birthing power lesbians and stylish young dykes for generations. As the hub of the uber-liberal entertainment industry, Outfest and The LGBT People of Color Film Festival, The GLAAD Awards, The Power UP! Awards are all held here.
2. New York, NY
Keywords: Ginger’s, Nation, Choice Cunts, Stonewall, GO! Magazine, Autostraddle, Eileen Myles, Dyke Slope, Cattyshack, Cubbyhole, Newfest, Logo, Women’s Herstory Archives, Rodeo Disco, Ali Forney Center, The Center, Henrietta Hudson
Autostraddle got born in New York and it got born in New York for a reason — ’cause the city is chock-full of dykes. New York City’s got more gays & lesbians up inside it than any other city in the country and the diversity of the LGBTQ scene and the anonymity afforded by NYC’s masses make it a prime location for one to spread one’s newly-queer wings. Conversely, newly legalized same-sex marriage makes it a nice place to settle down. NYU, The New School, Barnard and Columbia are chock-full of lesbians, as is nearby Sarah Lawrence. There are resources/activity groups for everyone of every sexual proclivity, gender identity, political passion and yoga style preference.
1. Northampton/Amherst, MA
Keywords: Smithies, Out for Reel Film Festival, Pioneer Valley Roller Derby League, Lesbianville, New England Trans United Pride March, Allison Bechdel, Rachel Maddow, Pride & Joy, Sid Vintage, Iron Horse
Northampton’s got more lesbians per capita than any town or city in the entire country, and that’s not even counting the transient students from Lez-Heaven Smith College or Mount Holyoke in nearby South Hadley. There are 40.31 same-sex couples per 1,000 households here. The birthplace of Rachel Maddow’s career, this cozy politically progressive college town is home to its own lesbian dance club (Diva’s), LGBT bookstore, LGBT newspaper and a sweet LGBT film series, Out For Reel. Amherst ensconces U-Mass, Lezzified Hippie Festival of Education Hampshire College and, obviously, Amherst. Vegan restaurants abound. Plus, it’s Massachusetts which means same-sex marriage is legal.