The past 15 months have been rough on forward-thinking Americans. Journalists at Thrillist recently published a report that, despite the current state of affairs, hints at a silver lining: progress is not at a complete standstill. Even in the deep-red south, there are a number of cities that stand as a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ community. Towns including Birmingham, Alabama, and Eureka Springs, Arkansas aren’t just welcoming places for the queer community. They are proactively inclusive, even celebratory in many cases.
The trend isn’t confined to South, either. Cities in Alaska, Iowa, Arizona, and other conservative states have moved past old discriminatory policies and are opening their arms to residents and visitors of every stripe. Take a look at this list of the most gay-friendly cities in each red state.