The 15 Best Cities For Gay Dating Are Mainly Located In A Surprising Part Of The Country

While it may be more "socially acceptable" to be out as queer now than say, 20 years ago, dating can still be pretty damn hard as an LGBTQIA+ person. You might not feel confident in your queerness or the label/lack thereof you're running with. You might be scratching your head on how to flirt with people of the same gender. Or, how to make it crystal clear that this is not two homies hanging out: This is a date! A look at the best cities for gay dating can be ultra helpful — especially if you're a queer person planning out the great adventure that is post-grad life, or just scoping out your next vacay hookup.

Looking at the 50 largest metropolitan cities in the U.S., sexual healthcare and LGBTQIA+ advocacy group Bespoke Surgical ran the numbers and ranked them by how great they'd be for queer dating. So, how do you quantify "Is this a lit dating scene or not?"

They factored in seven criteria: the percentage of married folks, the percentage of women who've had sex with women, the percentage of men who've had sex with men, the LGBTQIA+ population, the Human Rights Campaign's city equality index, the average cost of a drink, and lastly, the number of bars per 100,000 people. Because you know, you'll need a place to catch a queer hottie's eye, or maybe even get to know each other over a few cocktails before heading back to their place.

Zachary Drucker / The Gender Spectrum Collection

Data on women who've had sex with women, men who've had sex with men, LGBTQIA+ population, and the HRC's equality index are weighted a bit heavier than the number of married folks, cost of drinks, and the number of bars. So, according to the numbers, the top 15 cities for gay dating are:

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Tampa, Florida
  4. Orlando, Florida
  5. Providence, Rhode Island
  6. Denver, Colorado
  7. Portland, Oregon
  8. Cleveland, Ohio
  9. Detroit, Michigan
  10. Atlanta, Georgia
  11. Hartford, Connecticut
  12. Los Angeles, California
  13. St. Louis, Missouri
  14. San Antonio, Texas
  15. San Francisco, California

Some of the cities who made the top 15 cut aren't shockers at all: the sparklingly liberal Los Angeles' the West Coast gay capital, San Francisco; and the South's gay capital, Hotlanta. Others, such as NOLA, Tampa, St. Louis, and San Antonio, may be a little surprising. For one, those cities located in the South. Specifically, they're nestled in regions of the South that, historically, have been a smidge conservative and not super welcoming to LGBTQIA+ folks. But hey, you learn something new every single day! And studies like these offer hope that yes, times are a-changing.

If you and/or your queer friends are looking for gay safe dating haven, for a rowdy swipe-filled weekend or indefinitely? You're in luck. And even if you're living in a lower-ranked city for gay dating such as Las Vegas, Boston, Philly, Miami, or the Big Apple — and are simply over pricy craft beers or running out of queer folks to swipe onBespoke Surgical's dating rankings can steer you in a more fruitful direction. Here's to more gay meet-cutes, more fully poppin' queer love lives, and more LGBTQIA+ visibility and comfort all-around.