In the past, a number of cities have claimed to be the “Gay Capital of the World”, for instance Amsterdam for a few decades (only 14% of gays and 7% of straights feel that this is still the case), and more recently Berlin, Barcelona and others.
What makes a city “Gay Capital”, or in general “gay friendly”?
I gave 20 possible considerations, and ranked these in descending order by adding the Important an Very Important columns as answered by LGBT. I also asked the straight population to answer this question, and remarkably (?) their answers are quite different from those of the gays.
Not surprisingly, tolerance and acceptance of LGBT ranked highest (94% and 93%, compared to 95% and 95% in the hetero group), followed by safety (93% - 93%) and LGBT equality (88% - 90%).
So far, the ratings are very comparable between the two groups. However, in most of the other categories there is quite a gap, for instance gay friendly hotels (85% - 77%), reliable police (84% - 76%), gay nightlife (82% - 73%), and gay neighborhoods (68% - 50%). On the other hand, straights gave higher rankings in ‘very important” to good theaters (22% - 13%) and circuit parties (26% - 10%, while 41% of gays rank this as ‘not important’, compared to only 6% of straights).
Conclusion: as could be expected, the existence of tolerance, acceptance safety and equality are perceived as the most important factors to make a city gay friendly. A reliable police force, the choice of gay friendly hotels and restaurants and a buzzing nightlife are also high on the list. Interestingly a perceived friendliness, like “smiling faces” is also highly rated.