The 30 Most Gay-Friendly Cities in the U.S.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love,” is a gay-friendly city: about 4% of its population identifies as LGBT. Philadelphia has a very high Municipal Equality Index (MEI) score, one of the highest in the U.S.

The center of LGBT life is in an area nicknamed “The Gayborhood.” This area is decorated with many rainbow flags. There are several LGBT support organizations including the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, the Bread and Roses Community Fund, and several LGBT youth groups.  In 1965, Philadelphia hosted the first documented gay rights sit in. The city is also home to Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookstore in the country.

Marco Rubino / Shutterstock.com

Marco Rubino / Shutterstock.com

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Known in the past for its mining and manufacturing of metals, today’s Pittsburgh is a much more interesting place, with new dominant sectors including computer software development, health and medical research, and education. Much of the renaissance of Pittsburgh is due to its many cultural attractions. The 1800s buildings are well preserved and fans of architecture will enjoy these historic buildings.

There is no single central hub of gay life in Pittsburgh, but there are several neighborhoods that are known for their large LGBT populations: these include East Liberty, Lawrenceville, North Side, Oakland, Polish Hill, Shadyville, and South Side. The annual Gay Pride is sponsored by some of the biggest corporations in the city.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Portland, Oregon

Portland is an exciting place to live or visit for the LGBT community. Located in the Pacific Northwest, Portland counts about 5.4% of its population as identifying with an orientation under the LGBT umbrella.

There are several gay institutions in Portland such as the Equity Foundation which helps in the funding of equality programs for the LGBT community; the Q Center, which is a nonprofit organization that supports diversity; and the famous Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. The Portland Pride Festival is a parade that is held at the Waterfront Park every June, and the city also hosts the annual Portland Queer Film Festival.

TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

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