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Are the Twin Cities Not That Gay?

It's...complicated

It's...complicated

In 2012, national polling firm Gallup starting asking people if they identify as GLBT as part of its daily tracking polls. Yesterday it released the results of what one researcher called the "single largest data collection effort ever that includes a measure of sexual orientation and gender identity."

The Minneapolis-St. Paul region ranked 38th out of America's 50 largest metro areas, with 3.6 percent of residents identifying as GLBT. That puts our GLBT population in between Cleveland's and Oklahoma City's. Really?

See also: Not Fabulous: Twin Cities No Longer Among Advocate's Gayest Metros

Are the progressive, open-minded Twin Cities not as gay as we think?

Gary Gates, a UCLA professor and national expert in GLBT demographics, says the answer is pretty complicated.

"I think we should be careful to not overplay the differences across metro areas," he says. "It's important to remember these are relatively small differences across metro areas. The difference between the 3.6 percent in Minneapolis and 4.6 percent (which would place us in the top 10) is not huge and could be due to sampling issues."

Gates also noted the size of metro areas defined by Gallup can vary widely. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes 13 counties in its definition of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, including two in western Wisconsin.

That makes it pretty likely a lot more than 3.6 percent of Minneapolis or St. Paul identify as GLBT, considering that figure is getting weighed down by the likes of Anoka, Sherburne, and Wright County.

In the end, wherever we end up on the national gay rankings is just fine. We here at City Pages love each and every one of you all the same. Even the awful comment trolls.

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