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Meanwhile, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation provides housing, food, care services and support groups for those living with HIV/AIDS."We keep getting lumped in with the red mass," Baker says, "but we're a town full of loving and beautiful people."Honorable mentions: Phoenix, Tempe, and Bisbee, which has the highest ratio of gay couples anywhere in the Southwest Population: 2,091Bona fides: Nearby Fayetteville was the first town in the state to pass an LGBTQIA -focused anti-discrimination civil rights ordinance (later nullified by state lawmakers), but Eureka, in 2015, wasn't far behind.(One simple metric that recurred: Where would a same-sex couple be most comfortable holding hands in public?) The hope is, in these cities, a visitor or newcomer could enjoy the best overall experience.City councils are simply faster and more nimble than state legislatures. Cities in the likes of Wyoming and Kentucky and Arkansas are the best chance for leading their deep-red states toward overdue changes.It's easy to sniff at the slow progress in Mississippi -- but who in America is fighting the good fight like Jesse Pandolfo, who runs the gay bar in Jackson?
Johnson, former state director for Human Rights Campaign Arkansas (and current executive director of Equality North Carolina).
Nationwide, the Human Rights Campaign counts 31 states that don't have comprehensive laws to protect LGBTQIA people from discrimination in housing, in employment, and in receiving services. That's the discouraging news, if you're living in any of those states, or if you care about equal rights. In every one, cities are ahead of the curve in making life more welcoming -- and more safe -- for diverse peoples.
"Cities are the most immediate iteration of democracy that we have," says Xavier Persad, legislative counsel for the HRC in Washington, DC.
The community is home to the Stonewall National Museum, and holds a Stonewall parade and festival each year.
Meanwhile, Sun Serve -- based in Wilton Manors -- is a social service agency serving the South Florida metro area LGBTQIA community with women and trans services, mental health support, youth and senior groups, and a slew of other social services across age, socio-economic need and physical ability.