Is Atlanta becoming less gay? Or is it the same as it ever was?
On Wednesday, The Advocate released its annual list of the “Gayest Cities in America” and Atlanta, which had topped the list just three years ago, retained its 2012 ranking as the ninth gayest city in the country.
Tacoma, Wash., was named the gayest city in the nation, one of three cities in the top five from the Evergreen State.
Among the criteria listed factoring in the ranking included, “LGBT elected officials, HRC Corporate Equality Index 100s, Concerts by Scissor Sisters, Uh Huh Her, Girl in a Coma, and cast of Glee, Fabulous shopping, Transgender protections, Gay rugby, Bisexual resource groups, Roller Derby, and Marriage equality.”
From The Advocate:
Atlanta (pop. 432,437) This star of the South and former gayest city has clothes, clubs, cuties, concerts — and yes, some housewives too. Atlanta also has hot gayborhoods (Ansley Park, East Atlanta, Grant Park, Kirkwood, Midtown, and nearby Decatur for the ladies). It’s no wonder that half of the residents have moved to Hotlanta from somewhere else. Sure, there’s plenty of culture and high art, but don’t miss legendary clubs like My Sister’s Room (MySistersRoom.com) and Swinging Richards (SwingingRichards.com).
Here’s the complete list:
15. Saint Louis, Missouri
14. Salem, Oregon
13. Colorado Springs, Colorado
12. Providence, Rhode Island
11. Oakland, California
10. Twin Cities, Minnesota (St. Paul / Minneapolis)
9. Atlanta, Georgia
8. Madison, Wisconsin
7. Eugene, Oregon
6. Salt Lake City, Utah
5. Seattle, Washington
4. Washington, D.C.
3. Spokane, Washington
2. Springfield, Massachusetts
1. Tacoma, Washington
Meanwhile, more than 3,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates from across the country will converge in Atlanta on Jan. 23-27 for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change.
This marks the 25th Creating Change conference, which has grown into the country’s largest and most important convening of LGBT activists and allies in the country. They come together from every corner of the nation to strategize just following the presidential inauguration and to learn how to build political power back home.
The conference kicks off with pre-conference daylong institutes on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and Thursday, Jan. 24. This year, on the institute program for the first time there will be the Latino Institute, the Human Rights Institute, and Funding our Collective Liberation Institute. Other institutes will focus on racial justice, transgender rights, LGBT elders, faith, youth and more.
“At a decisive time in the struggle for LGBT rights, activists from all over the country will convene to continue to mobilize and strategize. The movement for equality is making great strides, as we saw with the sweeping marriage victories on Nov. 6, but there is much more left to do — from securing protections against discrimination, to fighting HIV/AIDS and anti-LGBT violence, to securing racial and economic justice for all,” Sue Hyde, Creating Change director, said in a news release. “We will continue to work harder than ever with local partners in communities across the country to secure full equality for all.”
On opening night, Thursday, Jan. 24, Center for Community Change Executive Director Deepak Bhargava will address the conference. On Jan. 25, Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey will deliver the annual "State of the Movement" address. On Jan. 26, José Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and openly gay immigration activist, headlines a plenary session on immigration issues where he engages a panel of LGBT DREAM Act organizers. Songbird Frenchie Davis, a Grammy-nominated artist who competed on American Idol and The Voice, will perform at the closing plenary on Jan. 27. All plenary sessions will be emceed by comic and social commentator Kate Clinton.
The National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change also features hundreds of skills-building workshops, more than 15 additional daylong institutes, receptions, caucuses, networking sessions, interfaith services and much more.
So, is Atlanta becoming less gay? Or is it the same as it ever was?