Knoxville reflects on 8th gayest city ranking

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Knoxville is the 8th gayest city in America.
That's according to The Advocate, a gay and lesbian magazine, in their latest tongue and cheek survey.

We talked to both sides about this distinction.

No matter what side of the fence you fall on, this is a surprising announcement, but one that's well received.

Knoxville is known for the gold Sunsphere that stands tall downtown.
Now it shines for something different.

Out of all the cities in America, Knoxville is the 8th gay friendliest.
Doug Spencer says, "It surprises me."

Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Minister Chris Buice says, "My first reaction was I was surprised."

Jess Johnson says, "That's kinda surprising actually."

After thinking about it for a minute, they changed their mind.
Spencer says, "It shows that we're growing in accepting of other viewpoints."

Buice says, "There's a lot of openness friendliness here."

Johnson says, "It's kind of been in the background the entire time, but you know it's there."

The Advocate sited Knoxville's softball teams and gay bookstores.

And mentioned the Spectrum Cafe at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

Buice says, "It's an inclusive place where teens and friends can come together and be honest about who I am."

Since Spectrum opened there are 15 gay straight alliances in schools throughout area.

Young people are leading the way.

Buice says, "Teens are bringing openness and a way to look differently and I think more and more adults are listening."

Johnson says, "I support homosexuality completely. I think it's if they want to get married or be together that's great."

It's not just the younger generation who is changing perception.

Spencer says, "I think homosexuality is a way of life that individuals have chosen. I also believe everyone's way of life should be accepted."

The ranking to most means we're a city accepting of our neighbors.


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