The Advocate recently weighed in with their annual list of gayest cities in America. Miami may not have made the list, but two other Florida ranked in the top five.
The LBGT publication said it based its rankings on "totally accurate if decidedly subjective criteria." Cities were judged on the number of LGBT-elected officials, LBGT bookstores, and transgender protections as well as questionable stats like whether the city has a WNBA team or whether the city had a competitor in the Mr. Leather competition. Really, no Grindr stats?
Last year, when Miami came in at number 15, The Advocate cited the city's recent cultural transformation and the fact that there are "still hordes of hot tanned and toned guys cruising South Beach." Well, where did all those cruisers go in a mere 12 months?
Two other Florida cities did make the top five in 2012. Fort Lauderdale, which The Advocate called a "rising homo mecca," came in at number four. "The area is teeming with gay bars and restaurants, and a ton of guesthouses and spas that run the gamut from mild to spicy," reports The Advocate, who also gives a shout-out to nearby LGBT enclave Wilton Manors.
Ranking even higher is Orlando at number two. The Advocate calls out Disney World's Gay Days and the city's overwhelming amount of gay softball teams as evidence. Most convincingly, however, is that its residents just got domestic-partnership protections. Go O-Town.
For the rest of the city rankings and the number one gayest city in America, go read the The Advocate's article. Some hints: Number one was founded by Mormon Brigham Young and several of its early frontier leaders were imprisoned for polygamy.
Kareem Tabsch, HuffPost Blogger and former director of the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, talked with HuffPost Miami about The Advocate's list. "Admittedly, Miami has less gay bars or businesses with gay-only clientele. But [Miami's] LGBT population is weaved into the fiber of the city. Gay ghettos are cute and all, but do modern-thinking gays want to be part of a LGBT-only community?"
"I'm pleased never to be included in any list that includes Fort Lauderdale or Orlando as 'gay meccas'," Tabsch continued. "Fort Lauderdale is a town of Midwestern settlers who still find gay strip malls and gay-only businesses as revolutionary or subversive. It's like comparing Gotham to Mayberry."
Tabsch believes in "truly 'gay'" cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, "the LGBT community has staked its claim and carved its niche into society at large in a bold, unapologetic way. That's the list we should always want to be on.
"Also, my boyfriend Ernie Hsiung has a saying: 'Other cities may be more homosexual, but Miami is the most gay.'"