MADELEINE BRAND, host:

It's been a topsy-turvy week for a number of assumptions. Massachusetts elected a Republican senator, and now San Francisco is not the gayest city in America. According to the Advocate that's a gay magazine - the gayest city is Atlanta, followed by Burlington, Vermont, Iowa City and Bloomington, Indiana.

Mike Albo wrote the article. He's here now. And all I can say is what?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr.�MIKE ALBO (Writer): I know, it's kind of crazy, right? Basically we were trying to be a little bit counterintuitive with this article, and we just dumped a bunch of numbers and statistics together and came up with this sort of wacky list of places that are actually more gay than you think.

BRAND: Yeah, a lot more gay than you think. So, what are the statistics that you dumped in?

Mr.�ALBO: We basically took probably the most official one that is actually kind of like the hard numbers, a table of the percentage of gay and lesbian households, coupled households in different areas. That's a census data because there isn't any statistical stuff about single people. And then we added a bunch of, sort of, other statistics like marriage laws.

We gave points to whether there were marriage laws or not, the number of gay politicians and then we added sort of some fun stuff like number of gay bars, number of cruising areas and also number of gay titles on the town's Netflix list.

BRAND: What are gay titles? Like, what, "Mommie Dearest?"

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr.�ALBO: I think that would probably be considered one. Yeah, you know, those and, you know, maybe "Brokeback Mountain," some other more gay and lesbian titles.

BRAND: Well, Bloomington and fabulousness just doesn't go hand in hand for me. But anyway, what are some of the other cities on your list?

Mr.�ALBO: Other cities: Portland, Maine; Seattle; Asheville, North Carolina; Austin, Texas, which is kind of not surprising. In a lot of ways, these are places that are kind of mimicking what New York and San Francisco were, you know, back in the '70s. They're becoming, kind of, magnet centers for people nearby to go to and maybe feel more comfortable about being out. They just happen to be in smaller towns now.

But I think it does interestingly point out how easy it is now to find how gay and lesbian are more identified these days, how they're sort of more vocal, they're more active in their towns and how it's easier to find numbers, whether they're, you know, Netflix lists or number of gay hook-up profiles online, there's ways to find data more than ever before.

BRAND: What's been the reaction to your article, maybe from people who live in New York, San Francisco, Provincetown?

Mr.�ALBO: Yeah, a lot of people have written in angry that their town isn't on the list. And you know, of course, you know, New York and Provincetown and San Francisco and L.A. are hugely gay places and incredibly fun to be to live there. I live in New York and I love it there. But I just think it's sort of fun that to see how per capita and statistically how some places may have more gay people than you think.

BRAND: So you're doing it per capita. It's not overall gayness.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr.�ALBO: No. Yeah, if you wanted to go there and read the gay aura of a town. I mean, you know, some people, I've noticed on the comment boards some of the people being, like, Bloomington, are you kidding me? It's so boring here. Or, like, Iowa City, there's only one gay bar here.

But then again, you know, what measures gayness? Like, maybe there's one gay bar, but there's a ton of gay couples and a really great cruising spot there, too. Who knows? Who knows what measures gayness, I guess.

BRAND: Mike Albo, his article "Gayest Cities in America" is in the February issue of the Advocate. Thanks, Mike.

Mr.�ALBO: Thank you so much.

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