Even though The Advocate is barely even a publication anymore, they have a website and some sort of shoestring budget and every January they update their idiosyncratic, totally arbitrary list of the gayest cities in the country. They don't use traditional criteria like, say, the actual number of gay people in a place, the visibility of those gay people, the number of bars and institutions owned by and geared toward gay people, or anything like that. Instead, they count openly gay politicians, number of gay rodeos, and concerts by Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey.
One year, their equation put Salt Lake City at the top of the list. In another, it was Minneapolis. (The Daily Show had some fun showing the ridiculousness of Minneapolis being "gayer" than S.F., the home of Mr. S Leather and Folsom Street Fair). Last year the prize went to Tacoma, Washington, for reasons we still don't understand, and S.F. got an honorable mention, in 17th place, below Oakland, which was in 11th place. This year, we're up to number 11, and the mag is quick to begin their blurb with, "Calm down, San Francisco. Everyone knows you’re still the gayest thing going." Goddamn right we are.
Anyway, D.C. took the top slot this year, and Oakland is still higher on the list, at 9th, largely because they used the number of women's colleges and the number of lesbian-coupled households as two of their criteria for overall gayness this year. And perhaps the fact that they pick different, equally arbitrary criteria every year in the making of this list, just so they can rearrange the ranking in new and arbitrary ways, should be another reason to call it stupid? Seattle is No. 3 this year, but where's big gay Tacoma, which was No. 1 for 2013?? And what? Pasadena? Pasadena in now gayer than San Francisco and Los Angeles? Just. No. Stop. Shut it down.
We hereby declare that The Advocate is officially the least gay magazine in America. US Weekly and Details are in the number one and two spots, and The Advocate doesn't even get an honorable mention. You know why? Because they think Pasadena is a queer mecca. The death of this annual list can not come soon enough.