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Chicago's LGBT scorecard as ranked by media outlets

  • Zack V. (left), Cesar D. and Jason C. (right) at Market Days in Boystown on Sunday, August 10, 2008. Chuan D. Vo photos for Metromix.
Zack V. (left), Cesar D. and Jason C. (right) at Market Days in Boystown on…
January 29, 2014|By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz | RedEye

Gay media can’t seem to make up their minds about Chicago recently. Here, RedEye breaks down four recent rankings.

The ranking: OutTraveler.com, Incomparable Gay Neighborhood

Chicago’s spot: No. 1, Boystown

The methodology: Editors selected their favorite spots, which included The Mission in San Francisco and West Hollywood, and readers voted their No. 1 pick.

Reaction: “Chicago was definitely the reader favorite,” said OutTraveler.com editor-in-chief Neal Broverman, who originally nominated Chicago after being impressed by the city during a recent visit. Seven hundred-plus votes were cast, and Chicago nabbed more than 40 percent of the vote. The Mission came in second with 22 percent, Broverman said.

The ranking: The Advocate, Gayest Cities in America

Chicago’s spot: Nowhere

The methodology: Points were given for number of LGBTQ elected officials, lesbian-coupled households, gay rodeos, gay bars on Out.com’s 200 best bars list, women’s colleges and concerts by Mariah Carey, Pink, Lady Gaga and the Jonas Brothers

Reaction: Matt Breen, Advocate editor-in-chief, said the categories are meant to be tongue-in-cheek and the point of the ranking is to highlight gay-friendly cities beyond New York and Chicago. Still, readers protested. “As soon as we posted [the list], a ton of people said, ‘Where's Chicago? Where's Chicago? Where's Chicago?’” Breen said. “People thought that was missing.”

The ranking: CampusPride.org Top 25 LGBT-Friendly Colleges and Universities

Chicago’s spot: UIC made the list, which is not broken down numerically

The methodology: College administrators fill out about 50 questions on gay-friendly policies and programs. Points are given to positive answers. The 25 colleges with the most points make the list.

Reaction: The ranking “relates to policies, programs and practices. It's not about the perception. It's about what policies do [colleges] have in place,” Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer said. “I think Chicago colleges that we've worked with are doing really, really good work.”

The ranking: Out.com’s 200 of the Greatest Gay Bars in the World

Chicago’s spot: Seven bars, tying the city with Paris. Second only to New York for most bars on the list.

The methodology: Editors made their choices based on nominations, suggestions and their own research.

Reaction: There were more than 80 Facebook comments on out.com about the rankings. No comments mentioned Chicago. In its intro to the list, Out.com wrote: “As with any list, it's impossible to be definitive … We've also tried to arrive at a list that satisfies everyone from a pierced and leather-clad cub to a skinny, go-go boy wannabe. But we're sure that this will only stoke the fires of debate.”

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