The Advocate Ranks Erie, PA, 7th Queerest City in America

Presque Isle Lighthouse |

Presque Isle Lighthouse |

The Advocate has put together a roundup of 15 of America’s queerest cities, and it rather surprisingly includes Erie, Pennsylvania.

Before your mouth drops too far to the floor, the purpose of the list was to point out least-expected enclaves throughout the country that champion LGBT rights in their own, sometimes groundbreaking ways.

Erie gets major points for its array of LGBT-friendly establishments, but its trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance put it over the top:

This old manufacturing city in northeastern Pennsylvania has an LGBT edge thanks to its trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance, LGBT-friendly restaurants and bars, and strong sense of acceptance. The community stays in-the-know with Erie Gay News, where since 1992 residents and visitors have been able to find events throughout the month, such as the Lake Erie Gala sponsored by the Erie Sisters Transgender Support Group. During the day, locals explore the surrounding nature, and at night they can be found enjoying local establishments like Lone Shark Seafoodor The Zone Dance Club.

If you’re not on top of your Pennsylvania geography, Erie is nearly all the way across the state, sitting on the coast of Lake Erie. If you want to take a trip, you and your gays can load up and get there by car in about 6.5 hours, or a $255 flight that’ll get you there in an hour and a half. Could be a fun weekend trip when the trees start blooming again. Natural beauty, hikes and lots of splashy time in the lake are sure to abound.

To check out the rest of The Advocate‘s list, which includes every place from Boulder, Colorado to Washington D.C. and Tacoma, Washington, start here.