Reason to be proud

Austin can take pride in being best city in Texas for LGBTQ+ folks

Austin can take pride in being best city in Texas for LGBTQ+ folks

Austin Pride Parade
Austin can take pride in this ranking. Photo by James Cano

Unlike Dallas and Houston, Austin lacks a “gayborhood” — an established enclave for LGBTQ+ residents to live and play. Nonetheless, Realtor.com just named Austin one of the top 10 U.S. cities for LGBTQ+ people to set down roots.

Austin ranked 10th on Realtor.com’s list. It was the only Texas city to make the cut.

“There’s no central gay neighborhood here — instead, the state capital of Texas is one big, gay-friendly mecca. What else would you expect from a funky college town whose motto is ‘Keep Austin Weird’?” Realtor.com wrote.

For its ranking, Realtor.com looked at cities with more than 50,000 households where at least 0.5 percent were headed by same-sex partners. Realtor.com then weighed each city’s score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, which measures how inclusive a city’s laws and services are for the LGBTQ+ community. The website also factored in the number of gay bars and Meetup groups per 10,000 households, and excluded any city without an annual pride parade or festival.

Realtor.com noted that people in Austin need not pay quite so much to enjoy queer culture and need not live in just one neighborhood. In highlighting Austin’s credentials, the website cited the presence of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the Austin International Drag Festival, and pride festivities such as QueerBomb.

“In Austin, diversity and inclusivity stretch from big corporations to small businesses, from houses of worship to housing options, from entertainment to education,” Tina Grider-Cannon, executive director of the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, tells CultureMap. “For decades, Austin has been a place that welcomes people from all walks of life, including our LGBT brothers and sisters. Austin stands out as an excellent example of how inclusivity and prosperity go hand in hand.”

The city that grabbed the No. 1 spot on the Realtor.com list hardly comes as a surprise — San Francisco. However, gay-friendly hubs like New York City and Los Angeles failed to break into the top 10.

Here’s Realtor.com’s ranking of the top 10 U.S. cities for LGBTQ+ people to live:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Atlanta
  3. St. Petersburg, Florida
  4. Denver
  5. Seattle
  6. Portland, Oregon
  7. Minneapolis
  8. St. Louis
  9. Providence, Rhode Island
  10. Austin
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