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Tha Advocate Prints Misleading “Gayest Cities in America, 2012” List – Salt Lake City, REALLY?

Many of you might not believe this.  But way back when The Advocate was first published it ws done so by the activist group PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) and was inspired by a police raid on Los Angeles gay bar the Black Cat Tavern. The first issue bore a cover date of September 1967 and by 1974 they were printing 40,000 copies for each issue until The Advocate transformed into a national news magazine covering events important to the GLBT community, including the gay rights movement, art and culture.

That is until  2010, when Here Media consolidated the distribution for The Advocate and Out magazines and it became the craptastic tabloid hot mess that it is today. (In 2010 there were press reports of freelance writers not being paid for their work.)

And in continuing its ever rocketing slide downhill this week The Advocate published it’s  3rd Annual “Gayest Cities in America, 2012.  A  list thats so mindbogglingly off point and misleading that people aren’t sure if its tounge in cheek or real and just insanely misguided.  .

According to Advocate writer Matthew Breen

There’s the official census with information on same-sex couples as a percentage of the population, then there’s our accounting of the gayest places in the USA — and we know the twain shan’t meet. But do we really need another article telling us that the homos gather in West Hollywood and Hell’s Kitchen? That Northampton, Mass., is still Lesbianville, USA? (Don’t get us wrong, we love those places.) Instead, in our third annual accounting of the gayest places in America — according to our totally accurate if decidedly subjective criteria — we look at the per capita queerness of some less expected locales.

It’s no secret that megalopolises New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles have robust LGBT life — and we’ve even heard tell of little queer hoods like the Castro and P-Town. This isn’t that list.

Well if “this isn’t that list” what the hell is the good is it except to spread misinformation and taking up space as filler?

The rankings based on a criteria, that sounds like it was written on a cocktail napkin during a drunk night at Revolver in WeHo icludes how many GLBT bookstores are in a city, how many nude yoga classes are offered, how many city softball teams compete in the Gay Softball World Series, even how many “Mr. Leather Competition” semifinalists hail from the area. Which is funny but then there are some more serious criteria, such as number of gay/lesbian/bi/transgender elected officials and the existence of laws prohibiting discrimination. 

So basically this is a list who’s criteria is so insane that Salt Lake City, UT ranks at Number 1.  Yes the state that hosts The Mormon Church who does everything it can to thwarth same sex marriage.  I mean thats SO GAY, isn’t it? And no offense LGBT SLCer’s even you know its not true.

The Advocates Top 15 includes: 1. Salt Lake City, Utah – 2. Orlando, Fla – 3. Cambridge, Mass. – 4. Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – 5. Seattle – 6. Ann Arbor, Mich. – 7. St. Paul and Minneapolis – 8. Knoxville, Tenn. –  9. Atlanta – 10. Grand Rapids, Mich. – 11. Little Rock, Ark. – 12. Portland, Ore. – 13. Austin, Texas -14. Long Beach, Calif. – 15. Denver, Co

Oh, for all you queers by the Bay.  San Francisco, CA was given an honorable mention.  But let me ask.  Whats it like to think that The Advocate thinks that Little Rock, Ark is gayer than you?

It would be one thing if this list were funny.  It would be another thing of this list was serious.  But as it is this list is nothing more than garbage made up by The Advocate to fill space and has no real “gay friendly” bearings on anything.

So please peole.  DO NOT show up in Little Rock. Ark or Knoxville. Tenn wearing a leather harness and waving a rainbow flag. You might not get the reception you were led to believe from The Advocate.

As for The Advocate and your stupid, misleading, and downright dangerous list.  If you are so in need of filler perhaps you should consider stop printing trash like this and  bring back theTrader Dick” classified advertising section at least that was a fun and interesting read.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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