As jubilant pride celebrations take place across the nation, major cities are rolling out the welcome mat with rainbow flags flying proudly from streetlights. This is the big one: the 50th anniversary of the gay rights movement. But just because the largest metros may be the most visibly gay-friendly, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best places for members of the community to put down roots.
In fact, New York City, the very birthplace of the gay movement, didn’t even crack realtor.com®’s ranking of the top 10 cities for LGBTQ folks. (Extra inclusive version: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, allied.) Instead, some smaller, sometimes overlooked cities topped our list of the best places for the gay community to live and party in. Surprise!