Columbia captures a coveted demographic 

COLUMBIA, Mo 01/29/15 (Beat Byte) -- Economists and civic planners consider the gay community to be among the nation's most coveted demographics, and Columbia, Missouri is among the top 25 most gay-friendly -- i.e. 'queerest' -- cities nationwide. 

The 2015 ranking appears in The Advocate, a leading voice of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.   

Gay couples and other members of the LGBT community rank higher than average across of host of important economic and social indicators:  education, income, and the social conscience to get things done.  They are famous for revitalizing moribund neighborhoods; establishing beachheads for the arts; and promoting non-discrimination and other fair-dealing practices at the local business and government level. 

Columbia comes in at #17 on The Advocate's list, which looked at standard measures -- e.g. non-discrimination laws, organizations that provide partner benefits, gay activism -- and some non-standard measures such as LGBT-friendly synagogues and mosques; and local chapters of the Pink Pistols, a group that promotes gay and gun rights with slogans like "Armed gays don't get bashed."      

Restricted to cities of 100,000 or more population, the Queerest City list took another non-standard track, ignoring well-known centers of gay life such as New York and San Francisco in favor of lesser-known places. 

"You don’t need us to tell you that West Hollywood and New York are LGBT-friendly," the Advocate's editors explain.  "This list is all about the queerness of some less-expected locales." 
Coming in at #1 is the unexpected Dayton, Ohio, with a thriving cultural scene; a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance; and a supportive community. 

"The people of Dayton come together, as in the case of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who recently committed suicide in the nearby town of Kings Mills," the editors explain. 

The Advocate's Top 25 Queerest Cities in America for 2015