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25 Gayest Cities in the World

In this piece, we will take a look at the 25 Gayest Cities in the World. For more cities, head on over to 10 Gayest Cities in the World.

The rising trend of diversity and inclusion and acceptance for different sexual orientations is impacting the global economy positively. Several research papers have attempted to explain this phenomenon. For instance, one paper from Rutgers University and the University of  Massachusetts aims to establish a link between LGB (Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual) inclusion and the gross domestic product (GDP). It uses regression and economic data from 132 countries for almost five decades to determine if more rights to gays lead to higher GDP output. The rights are determined through the Global Index on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Orientation (GILRHO), and the researchers found out that a 12.5% increase (one point increase on an eight point index) on the index led to $2,000 gains in GDP per capita. GDP per capita is the total economic output of a country divided by its population, and using the United States as an example, a $2,000 per capita gain leads to a whopping $663 billion addition to the GDP (assuming that the net addition is for the entire population and not just the gay people). This explanation is quite intuitive as well, since if gay people are accepted within society, they are more likely to land stable jobs and perform well in them - boosting their output and the broader economy as a result.

Another paper investigating the economic impacts of LGBT inclusion comes from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This study, done in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), expands the focus to include people that are minorities in terms of both gender and sexual orientation. It also takes a look at how freedom to live for these people end up impacting the broader economy. The study shows that economically speaking, LGBT people are harmed through state suppression, police detention and extortion, workplace discrimination, mental health issues, and discrimination in learning institutions - all of which add up to impact their productivity and output. The research also uses GILRHO and adds to it the Transgender Rights Index (TRI) to measure the legal rights of LGBT folks, and initially concludes that a single point increase in rights leads to a $1,400 growth in GDP per capita.

The conclusions reached by these studies become rather self evident if we take a look at patterns and trends of homelessness in America. Despite being the wealthiest and most technologically advanced nation in the world, America's laser focus on capitalism and failure to solve some of the fundamental issues of the society has led to devastating problems that see large chunks of its population unable to afford a roof over their head or find adequate employment. Data from the National Alliance to End Homelessness shows that as of 2020, there were 580,466 documented cases of homeless people in the U.S. Within this group, more than 40% of youth identify as LGBT or queer, a fourfold increase when compared to trends in the general population according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). Building on this, the WEF also highlights that gay and lesbian young people are also four times as likely to either contemplate or attempt suicide, showing the true human impacts that potential discrimination can have on people who otherwise deserve an equal shot at life.

Moving away from the U.S. to one of the largest economies in the world, India, a report from the University of Massachusetts sheds more light on the costs of exclusion. Despite the fact that India is legally a secular state, the study starts by outlining that 41% of Indians would not want a gay neighbor, and 64% are unaccepting of homosexuality. Narrowing its focus on MSM (men who have sex with men) people, it points out high levels of poverty, with two thirds of MSM men in Chennai living on less than $1.50 per day in 2008.

One of the best examples of the true potential of homosexuals when allowed to stretch their wings is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)'s chief executive officer (CEO) Mr. Tim Cook. Mr. Cook is one of the most highly paid executives in the world, having raked in a cool $99 million in 2022. His tenure at Apple has seen the firm rise to become the largest technology company in the world. The CEO came out as gay in an opinion piece in Bloomberg in 2014, where he shared:

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple. T

he world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

With these details in mind, it's time to take a look at some of the gayest cities in the world.

Gayest Cities in the World
Gayest Cities in the World

Timothy Hodgkinson/

Our Methodology

To compile our list, we consulted a variety of different sources (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) to see which cities are gay friendly and have large gay populations. Each time a city appeared on a list, it was awarded a single point, and in case there were multiple cities with a single point, those with the highest population were picked out. If you're interested in more facts about gay cities and countries, check out Top 13 Countries with Biggest Gay Populations and 20 Most Gay Friendly Cities in the U.S.

25 Gayest Cities in the World

25. Vancouver, Canada

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Vancouver is one of Canada's most prosperous cities and has several gay friendly communities and attractions.

24. Brighton, England

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Brighton and Hove is a city in West Sussex, England. It has a high number of gay bars and clubs and also has a long history of being home to gay couples.

23. Oslo, Norway

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Oslo is the capital city of Norway. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and was founded during the Viking Age.

22. Brussels, Belgium

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium, and one of the most prosperous and densely populated regions in the country.

21. Guadalajara, Mexico

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Guadalajara is one of the largest cities in North America and hosts one of the biggest pride parades in the world.

20. Montreal, Canada

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Montreal is Canada's second largest city in terms of population and an economic hub.

19. Auckland, New Zealand

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Auckland is one of New Zealand's large cities and the first in Oceania to legalize same-sex marriage.

18. Paris, France

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Paris is the capital of France and is one of the first in the world to elect a gay mayor.

17. Johannesburg, South Africa

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Johannesburg is South Africa's most populous city known for its pride events and gay film festivals.

16. Los Angeles, United States

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Los Angeles is an economic hub in America and is known for its gay bars, clubs, and other attractions.

15. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Buenos Aires is Argentina's capital and holds a pride event each year.

14. Bangkok, Thailand

Insider Monkey's Score: 1

Bangkok is Thailand's capital and is quite friendly to gay people especially due to Thai culture.

13. Dublin, Ireland

Insider Monkey's Score: 2

Dublin is the capital of Ireland and it has several gay clubs and bars.

12. Melbourne, Australia

Insider Monkey's Score: 2

Melbourne is one of Australia's largest cities and has gay film festivals, hotels, bars, and clubs.

11. Sao Paulo, Brazil

Insider Monkey's Score: 2

Sao Paulo is Brazil's biggest city and one that holds the biggest pride celebration on the planet.


Click to continue reading and see 10 Gayest Cities in the World.


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Disclosure: None. 25 Gayest Cities in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.