Here’s a ranking that Austin can truly take pride in: Yelp places Austin among the most inclusive cities in the U.S.
Austin appears at No. 5 on the list, which the review site released in conjunction with Pride Month and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the New York City demonstrations that launched the modern LGBTQI rights movement in the U.S. No other Texas city made the 20-city list; a state could have no more than two cities in the ranking.
“Austin’s longtime status as a LGBT-friendly place is one of the many reasons why Austin is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” an official with the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce told Q Media in 2018.
San Francisco topped the Yelp list, followed by Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; Seattle; and Austin. At No. 5, Austin ranked higher than major LGBTQI hubs like New York and Miami.
How did Yelp compile the list? The review website graded the biggest metro areas in the U.S. by the popularity of gender-neutral restrooms and by “Open to All” attributes among local businesses reviewed on Yelp. The “Open to All” feature enables businesses to distinguish themselves as safe, welcoming places for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and other factors.
Austin is no stranger to rankings like the one created by Yelp. For example:
- Based on polling and research, Germany-based Nestpick, an online marketplace for furnished housing, in 2017 put Austin at No. 3 on its list of the most LGBTQI-friendly cities in the U.S.
- In 2018, TheStreet.com identified Austin as the U.S. metro area with the third highest percentage of queer residents. The website calls Austin an “oasis” in state known for being politically conservative.
- The Debt Free Guys website in 2017 crowned Austin the top “affordable” gay city in the country (compared with places like San Francisco and New York). “Austin has an amazing music scene and is becoming a mecca for comedy and improv theater,” the website says. “It’s also known for great food, yet is one of the fittest cities in Texas.”
- In 2017, U.S. News & World Report pegged Austin as one of the top 10 U.S. cities for LGBTQI retirees.