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World’s 100 best LGBTI cities: 200,000 polled as Beijing, Belgrade scrape into list

A study ranking the world’s ‘100 best LGBT cities’ has been released, featuring many familiar names – and a few curveballs.

The top 10 is comprised of notable blockbuster gay destinations. At number one is Madrid, the capital of Spain.

1 Madrid, Spain

At number two is Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands was of course the first country to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2001. Spain followed suit in 2005.

2 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Third was Toronto, fourth was Tel Aviv, fifth was London. These were followed by Berlin at six, Brighton at seven, Barcelona at eight and New York City at nine. Finally, at 10, was San Francisco.

Five factors were used to score each city: dating, LGBT nightlife, openness, safety, and also LGBT rights. This gave each destination a maximum, overall score of 25.

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Madrid scored 23.56 while the city at number 100, Beijing, China, scored 9.14. It got just 1.84 out of 5 for LGBT rights. Hong Kong and Shanghai also scored badly, coming in at 83 and 89 respectively.

However, the latter to cities scored decently for safety and LGBT nightlife.

3 Toronto, Canada

Furnished housing aggregator, Nestpick conducted the study. They claim ‘thousands’ of cities were considered for inclusion in the developmental stage.

This was shortlisted to 100. Surveys were carried out with LGBTIs out in 80 of the countries in question. At least 2500 people participated in each city, meaning at least 200,000 people took part. Each participant ranked their city on dating, LGBT nightlife and openness. The study’s researchers then scored the cities for safety and LGBTI rights.

4 Tel Aviv, Israel

It will come as a surprise to some to see in the top 100 cities such as Warsaw in Poland, Belgrade in Serbia, and other cities in countries not typically known for being queer hotspots or in some cases, even LGBTI-friendly.

But a representative for Nestpick told Gay Star News: ‘It’s important to note that we purposefully included smaller cities in smaller countries in order to educate and recognise those locations which aren’t always included in lists of this manner.

5 London, England

‘An important message behind the study is to celebrate gay positive cities around the world, and not to focus entirely on countries where cities were in no doubt to succeed in this ranking.

‘All of the cities included in the ranking had to have some form of Pride festival to be included, thus Medellin [in Columbia] was omitted but Bogota added.

6 Berlin, Germany

‘We kept to a maximum of 10 cities in countries where positivity regarding the gay community is common – these countries more often than not had a legal rights score of 5.’

According to the Nestpick website, researchers assessed safety by using ‘public data provided by police departments of each of the 100 cities on the official number of hate crimes reported in 2016 per capita. The city with the lowest number of crimes reported was awarded a maximum safety score of five, and the city with the highest number of crimes reported was awarded a minimum score of one.’

7 Brighton, England

The website furthermore adds: ‘Finally, we added a fifth category that considered the LGBT rights of citizens in each of the 40 countries included in the ranking. We conducted an in-depth review of regional and national legislation (as of May 2017) affecting members of the LGBT community in each of the respective countries.

A maximum score of 5 was awarded to countries that allow same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex couples, LGBT citizens to serve in the military, for anyone to change their gender identity, and ban all anti-LGBT discrimination.’

8 Barcelona, Spain

What’s more, the study found that New York City scored the best for dating and Berlin for LGBT nightlife.

Cities in 14 countries scored maximum points for LGBTI rights. They were Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden and the also UK.

9 New York City, USA

Ömer Kücükdere, Managing Director of Nestpick told Gay Star News: ‘Apart from these 100 cities who should be celebrated for making the list this year, there are countless others who have made great strides in improving the lives of LGBT+ citizens in the past decades.

‘As Pride celebrations take place across the world, it is also important to remember the millions globally who do not have the opportunity to stand tall. We hope the cities in this list, both large and small, continue to inspire equal opportunity regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.’

10 San Francisco, USA

He furthermore commented: ‘It’s no coincidence that the world’s most exciting cities have a strong LGBT community, contributing much to the dynamism, openness and prosperity which defines locations such as Madrid, Amsterdam and Berlin.’

Here’s the top 100:

11 Paris

12 Montreal

13 Manchester

14 Melbourne

15 Lisbon

16 Vienna

17 Vancouver

18 Sitges

19 Copenhagen

20 Bristol

21 Cologne

22 Ibiza Town

23 Maspalomas

24 Austin

25 Munich

26 Dublin

27 Miami

28 Mykonos

29 Edinburgh

30 Stockholm

31 Helsinki

32 Sydney

33 Valencia

34 Glasgow

35 Sao Paulo

36 Portland

37 Puerto Vallarta

38 Reykjavik

39 Leeds

40 Los Angeles

41 Rio de Janeiro

42 Lyon

43 Buenos Aires

44 Dusseldorf

45 Chicago

46 Auckland

47 Frankfurt

48 Hamburg

49 Prague

50 Calgary

51 Liverpool

52 Boston

53 Birmingham

54 Brussels

55 Seattle

56 Cork

57 Nuremberg

58 Las Vegas

59 Bordeaux

60 Oslo

61 Bangkok

62 Mexico City

63 Rotterdam

64 Cardiff

65 Brisbane

66 Lille

67 Adelaide

68 Bogota

69 Leipzig

70 Tokyo

71 Tallinn

72 Gothenburg

73 Antwerp

74 San Juan

75 Bergen

76 Montpellier

77 Utretcht

78 Zurich

79 Split

80 Perth

81 Stuttgart

82 Thessaloniki

83 Hong Kong

84 Rome

85 Budapest

86 Marseille

87 Milan

88 Santiago

89 Shanghai

90 Cape Town

91 Durban

92 Athens

93 Warsaw

94 Johannesburg

95 Dresden

96 Zagreb

97 Sofia

98 Bratislava

99 Belgrade

100 Beijing