Exploring the Top 5 LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities
Over the last 20 years, many cities in the US have worked hard to become more inclusive and more welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community.
Not only do these cities have laws in place to protect the LGBTQ+ community, but they also celebrate their diversity and provide a safe haven for those who identify as LGBTQ+.
While there are actually many more LGBTQ+-friendly cities in the US than you might think, here are 5 of the most welcoming cities in the US right now:
- San Francisco
Statistics on LGBTQ+ Acceptance in Cities
Research has shown that LGBTQ+ acceptance varies widely by region.
For example, the Public Religion Research Institute’s 2020 American Values Atlas found that the Northeast had the highest levels of support for LGBTQ+ rights, with 70% of respondents saying they strongly support same-sex marriage.
In contrast, the South had the lowest levels of support, with only 54% of respondents saying they strongly support same-sex marriage.
The Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index has also been tracking the progress of LGBTQ+ friendly cities across the country since 2012. The MEI rates cities on a scale of 0-100, with higher scores indicating higher levels of LGBTQ+ acceptance.
The Municipal Equity Index is based on a city’s non-discrimination laws, municipal services, law enforcement policies, and more.
Now, let’s take a look at our Top 5 LGBTQ+ friendly cities.
Orlando, Florida has been consistently ranked as one of the top LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the US. The city scored a perfect 100 on the MEI and is known for its vibrant LGBTQ+ community and nightlife.
Orlando has several LGBTQ+ friendly bars and clubs as well as an annual Pride parade and festival.
The city also has a number of excellent LGBTQ+ resources, such as the LGBTQ+ Community Center of Central Florida, which provides support and resources for the local LGBTQ+ community.
Additionally, Orlando has many supportive local organizations and events, including the Come Out With Pride Parade and the Come Out With Love rally.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is another great LGBTQ+ friendly city. The city scored 100 on the MEI and is home to a thriving LGBTQ+ community.
Pittsburgh has quite a few LGBTQ+-friendly businesses and organizations, including the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh and the Persad Center, which offers counseling and support services to LGBTQ+ individuals.
The city also hosts events throughout the year, such as the annual Pittsburgh Pride celebration and the Out & About Pittsburgh festival.
Additionally, the city has many LGBTQ+ friendly bars and clubs, such as the Blue Moon Bar and the 5801 Video Lounge & Café.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California is probably the most famous LGBTQ+ friendly city in the US. As you might expect, the city scored 100 on the MEI and is home to one of the oldest and most extensive LGBTQ+ communities in the country.
San Francisco is also home to many LGBTQ+-friendly businesses and organizations, such as the San Francisco LGBT Center, which provides support and resources for the local LGBTQ+ community.
The city also hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as the San Francisco Pride celebration and the Folsom Street Fair. Additionally, the city has endless LGBTQ+ friendly bars and clubs, such as the SF Eagle.
Seattle, Washington on the west coast is a haven for the LGBTQ+ community. The city scored 100 on the MEI. Seattle has many LGBTQ+-friendly businesses and organizations, such as the Gender Justice League and the Seattle Pride Parade.
The city also hosts tons of events throughout the year, such as the Seattle Pride Parade and the UW Queer Film Festival. There are also many LGBTQ+ friendly bars and clubs, inclduing the Wildrose and the Cuff Complex.
Though it’s in the South, Atlanta Georgia is actually more LGBTQ+-friendly than you might think.
In fact, this isn’t totally uncommon in the South— large cities will tend to be more LGBTQ+ friendly even when the state as a whole is seen as less welcoming.
The city actually scored a perfect 100 on the MEI and has worked hard to support its LGBTQ+ community. It’s home to many businesses and organizations that support LGBTQ+ people, like the Atlanta Pride Committee, which organizes the annual Atlanta Pride celebration.
You also won’t struggle to find LGBTQ+ centric events, like the Atlanta Pride Parade and the Out On Film LGBTQ+ Film Festival. You’ll also find plenty of LGBTQ+ friendly bars and clubs, such as the Atlanta Eagle and Blake’s on the Park.
There’s More Available Than You Might Think
While there is still a long way to go in terms of LGBTQ+ equity, it’s encouraging to see that there are many cities across the United States that are LGBTQ+ friendly.
The cities listed above are just a few examples of cities that are making LGBTQ+ acceptance a priority, but even cities that don’t score a perfect 100 on the MEI almost always have LGBTQ+ communities that are welcoming and protective when the city itself doesn’t do the best job.
If you’re a new homebuyer, you can find the nearest LGBTQ+ friendly community with a little research, including the one with real estate that fits your price range.
Even if this is your second home buying experience, you’ll find solid information in our “First Time Homebuyer Guide.” This 40+ page guide delivers a range of critical information from Understanding the Mortgage Process and Types of Loans to Avoiding Discrimination and which states have no LGBTDQ+ Housing Protections.
Find the Help You Need
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, a 501(c)6 organization, was launched in June 2020 by leading members of the real estate industry. The mission of the Alliance is to Advocate, Elevate, and Celebrate. The Alliance advocates for fair housing for all and promotes LGBTQ+ homeownership.