A couple of years ago in Boston, my date and I wandered into a sports bar. Our wait time at a nearby foodie restaurant was going to be 15-55 minutes and we wanted to grab a drink and watch the Sox while we waited. Fritz seemed like a typical sports bar, with all the requisite hooting and hollering for Big Papi, except all the men were close talking with each other. Like really close talking. All of a sudden I just knew it: I was in a gay sports bar. It had never occurred to me that gay sports bars even existed, but I was instantly elated about my discovery.
We all know the old saying about softball players, but the reality is that sports arenas and fan-bases haven’t always been the most welcoming place for queers. Fortunately, the last few years has seen a serious uptick in out LGBT athletes which hopefully both reflects and encourages increasingly open sports communities. Now we have Jason Collins, Liz Carmouche, Kye Allums, Lori Lindsey, Megan Rapinoe and Brittney Griner. I mean, guys. Brittney Griner.
But before all this, back when it was just me and my date and Fritz gay sports bar in Boston, I had to wonder, “Is this a thing everywhere or is Boston just some magical gay sports land?” What does gay sports inclusion even look like, and how do we rate a city’s performance? With that in mind Target 10, a gay marketing agency, breaks it all down in a colorful new infographic. Target 10 ranks cities by LGBT population, number of LGBT sports leagues, having gay sports bars and more.
Chicago and New York City top the list with 17 out of 22 possible points. Both cities have strong professional sports teams and seem to have capitalized on their citizen’s frequent “gay sports” googling. While I was pleased to see Boston on the list at all (in part due to Fritz), some notoriously gay-friendly cities like LA and Seattle ranked lower than I would have guessed. Hopefully we’ll see sports culture changing for the better with more and more out and vocal athletes and fans, and graphics like this will be obsolete with every city ranking in the 20s.
I love the Target10 infographic! And I’m setting it as my computer background until I learn all these stats.
My Madison (Wisconsin) ambassador cap is coming on – I know ours is not a big city, nor particularly diverse (boo), but I have to speak up for the relatively sizable sporty queer population and abundance of gay sports leagues here (softball, football, volleyball, bowling, roller derby, running, rugby, hockey). There’s a gay sports bar, too! :D
Sport all the queers, queer all the sports!
Another vote for Madison!! I’d be lost without my sports here :D
But was is this gay sports bar you speak of!?
Wait where’s the gay sports bar? Are you talking about Shamrock?
Well, *technically* Woof’s is a gay sports bar (more of a bear bar, though, let’sbereal) – and yeah, Shamrock counts itself as a sports bar, though certainly not exclusively so. I think that counts? :)
I’m not sure I like that they call it top “LGBT” sports cities when the criteria are heavily skewed towards the G and to a lesser extent the L of that acronym. For example, look at the “Google Trends” criterion—”One point for high rank in the following search terms: gay sports, gay football, gay soccer, gay basketball…” etc.
I think they used ‘gay’ for Google search terms because if it was replaced with words like “LGBT” or “Lesbian” it wouldn’t be statically relevant—meaning the sample wouldn’t be high enough for it to be stable.
gay sports bars?
*runs about collecting exploded pieces of head*
I *knew* you could come through on something.
You know, having been born and raised here, I was originally going to attempt a rebuttal, but… yeah. *sigh*
I LOVE living in Dallas and being from the metroplex; it just rarely makes any *good* lists!
+1 to all of this, I’m really pleasantly surprised we’re on there.
And tonight is “Pride Night” at Fenway. Jason Collins threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Now if only the Sox were winning tonight.
Just go to a Thorns game, there’s tons of sporty gays.
The other day my former boss was telling a story about a bar he used to manage. Apparently all the softball lesbians came to that bar after games and my boss was like, “It was literally my worst nightmare, because it was this room full of beautiful women and no one cared that I existed.” And I accidentally outed myself at work right then and there by saying, “WHERE IS THIS MAGICAL PLACE?” #Chicago
Can Chicago get an extra point, since we are the home of Ms. Fit Mag (www.msfitmag.com)? :-)
You have it all wrong! I know you focus on the US, but the sports capital of the WORLD is Melbourne, Australia.. Pinnacle world events in Tennis, Golf, Surfing, Motorsport (GP and MotoGP), Horseracing, Yatching.. you want me to go on??