Pasadena is the second gayest city in America…according to Advocate.com, at least. The website released its “2014’s Gayest Cities in America” list on Jan. 6, with Pasadena in the second position, only upped by Washington, D.C.
Take it with a grain of salt, though, as the criteria for the ranking is a bit unorthodox. The article reads: “This year’s criteria, designed to uncover the hidden factors that give a city its queer cred, include points for a city’s LGBT elected officials (and fractional points for the state’s elected officials), points for the percentage of the population comprised by lesbian-coupled households, a point for a gay rodeo association, points for bars listed on Out magazine’s 200 Best Bars list, a point per women’s college, a points for concert performances by Mariah Carey, Pink, Lady Gaga, or the Jonas Brothers. The raw score is divided by the population to provide a ranking based on a per capita LGBT quotient.”
Pasadena got up high on the list “primarily from having two gay elected city officials for its relatively small population, and a fractional boost from California’s many statewide elected LGBTs. Nevertheless, Pasadena’s got lots to offer: two gay bars, the Boulevard (3199 E. Foothill Blvd, 626-356-9304, with karaoke and pool, and Club Caution, right around the corner in Highland Park; a number of LGBT-welcoming churches; the thriving Pasadena Lesbian Book Club (Meetup.com/QueerBooks-67); and arguably the best flea market in the world – antiques! vintage! – monthly at the Rose Bowl.”
Pasadena’s Mayor Bill Bogaard told the Pasadena News that he was “delighted that Pasadena is perceived as being open to all points of view and all backgrounds including LGBT,” and that having that community as part of the whole of Pasadena “can only benefit” it.
Of course, there are those who criticize the capricious criteria by which the cities were ranked by Advocate.com. One quite vocal is Jay Barmann from Sfist.com who wrote: “And what? Pasadena? Pasadena is now gayer than San Francisco and Los Angeles? Just. No. Stop. Shut it down.”
Whatever the personal opinion, Pasadena is Advocate.com’s second Gayest City for this year, and as if to underline it, we saw the first same sex wedding float right in front of us during the Rose Parade on the first day of 2014.