Asheville has been recognized as one of the top cities for the LGBTQ+ community by national and location organizations and news outlets, including the Human Rights Campaign, Advocate.com, Huffington Post, OutTraveler, USA Today, and the Denver Post.
And there’s a lot to be said for why. While we don’t have any gayborhoods like you might find in larger metros, we do have a thriving community that values diversity in virtually every sector of life.
While there are a thousand reasons why Asheville is gay friendly town, I wanted to highlight what other’s are saying about Asheville.
Here’s what these outlets had to say about gay life in Asheville.
Human Rights Campaign: Perfect Score on Municipal Equality Index
The Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index (MEI) is a comprehensive measure of municipal policies, laws, and services that support the LGBTQ+ community. Asheville received a perfect score on the 2020 MEI, signifying the city’s dedication to ensuring equal rights and protections for all of its residents. This recognition highlights Asheville’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community, making it an ideal destination for those seeking an inclusive and accepting community.
Advocate.com: Asheville Named “Gayest City in America” in 2012
In 2012, Advocate.com, a leading online publication dedicated to LGBTQ+ news and culture, named Asheville as one of the “Gayest Cities in America.” This recognition was based on factors such as the number of LGBTQ+ residents, the presence of LGBTQ+ organizations and events, and the city’s overall culture of inclusivity.
Huffington Post: Asheville Named a Top “Gay-Friendly City” in 2015
The Huffington Post ranked Asheville as one of the top “Gay-Friendly Cities You Should Visit” in 2015. The publication highlighted Asheville’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community, its progressive values, and its welcoming atmosphere. This recognition is a testament to the city’s efforts to promote inclusivity and equality for all residents and visitors.
OutTraveler: Asheville Named “Best Small City for Gay Travelers” in 2015
OutTraveler, a travel-focused publication catering to LGBTQ+ travelers, named Asheville as one of the “Best Small Cities for Gay Travelers” in 2015. The publication noted Asheville’s thriving LGBTQ+ community, diverse cultural offerings, and scenic beauty as reasons why the city is a must-visit destination for gay travelers.
USA Today: Asheville Named a Top Small Town for LGBT Travelers in 2018
In 2018, USA Today named Asheville as one of the “10 Best Small Towns for LGBT Travelers.” The publication praised Asheville’s charming downtown area, vibrant arts scene, and welcoming attitude toward the LGBTQ+ community. This recognition confirms Asheville’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive destination for all.
Blogs Naming Asheville as a Top Spot for LGBT Relocation
The previous examples are all high profile publications, so I thought I’d provide a few more sources from lesser known authors and media outlets for your reference.
These blog posts and articles highlight Asheville’s welcoming community, inclusive policies, thriving LGBTQ+ scene, and natural beauty as reasons why it is a top city for LGBT relocation and living.
- “Why Asheville is a Top City for LGBT Retirement” by David A. Porter, Forbes (https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2019/06/24/why-asheville-is-a-top-city-for-lgbt-retirement/?sh=3bda8c1667c3)
- “Asheville: One of America’s Best Places to Live for LGBTQ Folks” by Kevin Fuller, AVL Today (https://avltoday.6amcity.com/asheville-best-places-lgbtq-folks/)
- “Why Asheville Is a Great Place to Live for LGBTQ People” by Thomas Calder, Connect (https://connect-thomas-calder.com/why-asheville-is-a-great-place-to-live-for-lgbtq-people-4f6e5784aefe)
- “LGBT-Friendly Asheville is a Vacation Destination with Purpose” by Crystal Holliday, Travel Pulse (https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/lgbt-friendly-asheville-is-a-vacation-destination-with-purpose.html)
- “Asheville: A ‘San Francisco of the East’ for the LGBT Community” by Bob Geary, WUNC (https://www.wunc.org/post/asheville-san-francisco-east-lgbt-community)
- “Asheville Among the Best Small Cities for Gay Retirement” by Jason Blevins, The Denver Post (https://www.denverpost.com/2013/06/11/asheville-among-the-best-small-cities-for-gay-retirement/)
- “Asheville: A New Queer Mecca” by Rachel Rabbit White, Out Magazine (https://www.out.com/travel/2019/5/15/asheville-new-queer-mecca)
- “Why Asheville is the Perfect Place for LGBT Weddings” by Olivia Hall, Aisle Society (https://www.aislesociety.com/post/why-asheville-is-the-perfect-place-for-lgbt-weddings)
- “24 Queer Friendly Bars and Breweries in Asheville” by Dylan Lennon, dlasheville.com (24 Queer Friendly Bars and Breweries in Asheville)
These rankings and recognitions show that Asheville is a welcoming and inclusive place for the LGBTQ+ community.