NSW may have us beat on beaches, weather and recognisable landmarks, but Melbourne has just dethroned Sydney as Australia's most LGBTQIA+-friendly city. In the study, which was conducted by Big 7 Travel, Melbourne came in fourth place with Sydney not even cracking the top ten, trailing behind at 11th place.
Five criteria were considered in the ranking: the Gay Index Rating, Equality Index Rating, whether or not the country is a member of the United Nations LGBTI Core Group, the city's Pride readiness and whether or not that city has a gay village or community. According to the report, Australia is one of the most LGBTQIA+-friendly countries in the world, but Victoria comes in far above the national average with a score of 98 on the Equality Index.
So who came out ahead of us? San Francisco, which is home to one of America's first gay neighbourhoods, took third place; Berlin, which was pivotal in the German gay rights liberation movement, took second place; and Toronto came out on top, with a score of 100 on the Equality Index to boot. We're certainly in good company!
Keen to explore the welcoming Queer scene that helped propel us to fourth place? You can find Melbourne's alternative Queer community up north around Fitzroy and Collingwood, and a plethora of gay bars and clubs, LGBTQ+ bookshops and gay-owned restaurants down in South Yarra and Prahran.