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Southern cities among best for gay dating scene — but not in North Carolina, study says

Durham community gathers to celebrate LGBTQ pride at night

Hear what community members had to say about celebrating LGBTQ pride in downtown Durham Saturday night at the NC Pride at Night festival. The 33rd annual NC Pride event gave allies and members of the LGBTQ community an opportunity to support each
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Hear what community members had to say about celebrating LGBTQ pride in downtown Durham Saturday night at the NC Pride at Night festival. The 33rd annual NC Pride event gave allies and members of the LGBTQ community an opportunity to support each

Two North Carolina cities are among the worst of the country’s largest urban areas when it comes to their gay dating scenes, but other Southern cities are among the best, a study says.

Out of the top five cities, Southern cities accounted for four of the best, including New Orleans, Louisiana; Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida and Orlando, Florida, according to the study.

But not all Southern cities fared so well.

They also accounted for all of the bottom five cities — with Raleigh falling second to last, above only Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the study said.

Also included in the bottom were Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee and Virginia Beach, Virginia.

And Charlotte didn’t rank much better, falling in the bottom 10 at number 42.

The study was done by Bespoke Surgical, a “surgical practice for modern males” founded by Dr. Evan Goldstein who has “extensive experience educating and shedding light on health care issues relating to the gay community,” according to Bespoke Surgical’s website.

The study analyzed the 49 largest cities in the United States using several factors: percentage of married people, percentage of men who have had sex with a man, percentage of women who have had sex with a woman, LGBT population, the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, cost of an alcoholic drink and the number of bars per 100,000 people, the study said.

The data were collected from sources such as the U.S. Census, Gallup polling, Yelp and the Human Rights Campaign, among others.

The Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index “examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies, and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work there,” the campaign’s website says.

Researchers then scored the cities on these factors using a five-point scale. Each factor was weighted based on its significance and the sum of these weights was 10, creating a total possible score of 50, the study said.

Raleigh had a score of 13.7 while Charlotte had a score of 20.2.

Raleigh’s highest scoring factor was the number of women who have had sex with a woman, while its lowest score was for percentage of married people.

Charlotte’s highest scoring factor was the cost of a drink, while the lowest scoring factor was bars per 100,000 people.

“The top-ranking cities showed significant single and LGBTQ+ populations, relatively low drink costs, and a large number of bars for the population size,” the study said.

The worst cities usually fell short in one of the areas that mattered most: the municipal equality index and the LGBT population, the study said.

Raleigh scored a 1 and a 0.8 in these factors, respectively, while Charlotte scored a 2 and a 1.7.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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