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June 22, 2007
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Which is Gayer: New York or San Francisco?

As you’re probably aware, June is Gay Pride Month. To show our gay pride, we’re having Gay Week over at Boinkology: from Monday to Friday, it’s all gay posts, all the gay time.

A friend recently returned to New York from San Francisco.

“I’d forgotten how gay San Francisco is,” he said to me.

“New York is just as gay!” I countered. “San Francisco is just louder about it.” You know, the way San Francisco is louder about a lot of things. I’m pretty convinced that San Francisco doesn’t have more gays — it just happens to have gays who are more out, more visible, and, well, louder.

So, being the nerd that I am, I decided to do some research and get to the bottom of this one. Who’s more gay: New York (home of Stonewall!) or San Francisco (home of the Castro!)?

NEW YORK

Gay Cred: Stonewall Riots, anyone? New York City is the birthplace of the modern gay pride movement (as well as more than a few gay rights organizations).

Percent Gay (Metro Area): 4.1% (but with 568,903 gays, NYC Metro Area has the largest number of gays in the country).

Gayborhood: Historically, the West Village, but also Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen… and don’t forget the lesbian enclave out in Park Slope!

Got Pride?: All June, baby. As the birthplace of Pride, New York City makes a nice showing when it comes to, uh, coming out in style.

SAN FRANCISCO

Gay Cred: Though New York City started the gay rights movement, San Francisco was quick to follow, becoming known as a gay mecca in (and throughout, and after) the 1970′s. After Harvey Milk was elected in 1977, San Francisco became the first major city to elect an openly gay person as a city official (though not the first city: that title goes to gay mecca Ann Arbor, MI.).

Percent Gay (Metro Area): 8.2%, though the city proper apparently gets up to 15.4% gay.

Gayborhood: The Castro, obviously (41% gay!), but really, the whole city is pretty gay.

Got Pride?: San Francisco doesn’t stop at June: though the bulk of events happen in the latter half of June, SF Pride continues to hold events year round. Also, much as it pains me to admit it, SF Pride has the vastly superior website.

WINNER: San Francisco, by a long shot. New York has the history, and a whole lotta gayness, but the sheer size of the city ultimately dilutes the gay presence. If anyone ever asks, though, I’m just going to say that New York has the largest number of gays, nationally, and leave it at that.

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