Dallas sucks. Apparently I was not aware of this.

A friend forwarded an article recently from Clever Real Estate about the most and least friendly cities for the LGBTQ+ community. The friendliest selections weren’t too surprising. San Francisco. Las Vegas. Denver. New Orleans. Hartford Connecticut was the only one where I had to do a double take. Having been to the others, I can see them coming in with a high ranking.

However, what caught me off guard was seeing both Dallas and Houston in the least category. Houston was at number 2, and Dallas landed at number 6.

Beg pardon? While I’m not a fan of Houston for the traffic and lack of coherent zoning alone, I was hard pressed to understand how anyone could have reached the conclusion that either was a “least-friendly” city. I will applaud that they gave kudos to Houston for having Pearl Bar, one of the two lesbian bars remaining in Texas.

But did anyone look at Florida? Have they not been watching the news? Although three Florida cities were in the bottom rung, I would have expected Clever could have filled the ten least slots with basically anywhere in Florida. (Save for maybe Key West, but I am biased there just a bit.) Even Miami made the list.

Incredibly, Clever provided their methodology instead of just leaving everyone scratching their heads. I’m accustomed to seeing surveys where you have no idea who they surveyed, who conducted the survey, or if the survey was done to get a specific answer. Four out of five dentists? Trident expects us to believe that?

As fate would have it, Dallas and Houston got screwed by our state equality score. Texas has an unfortunate minus one. Not as bad as Tennessee’s -11.5, but perhaps a little less anti-queer and anti-Black legislation would help. Governor Abbott. State legislators. I’m looking at you.

If you’re from Dallas (or even Houston), you know the truth about your city. You see what’s happening in your gayborhoods and know how friendly or unfriendly they are. In the 26 years we’ve lived here, I’ve never felt unsafe going out on Cedar Springs, and I’ve never felt unsafe going to any store. We aren’t even the only gay couple in our neighborhood.

Which is what probably irritated me so much about seeing this list. You can quantify anything – and people will tell you numbers don’t lie – but until you’ve lived it, you really don’t know. All of Texas can’t speak for a few areas. Just as much as one gay can’t speak for all gays. (Even though we try.) And for a real estate company to put out a list for homeowners who might be relocating is a real disservice to those of us who yes, live in a shitty state, but feel safe calling our friendly city home.