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But don’t be discouraged: The arc of American history is long, and it's rainbow-colored.Back in those naive, hopeful days of 2016, the Republican candidate for president won 30 states, making them, for the next four years, "red states." Thirty is a lot of states, all with varying levels of protections for their LGBTQIA citizens, but we can safely generalize on this: As a group, these states are lagging."Basically your hippie colony tucked into the woods that's been ahead of the curve for social tolerance issues."Honorable mentions: Fayetteville, Little Rock, Conway Population: 12,797Bona fides: In November, 2018, the city voted in the city’s first all-LGBTQIA city commission.Wilton Manors is so LGBTQIA friendly that the locals call it “straight friendly” (though they won’t be holding a Pride for their heteros this year).Likewise you might fault Iowa for flipping back to red in 2016 -- but almost no one is pushing harder for broad civil equality than the people of Iowa City.The trench work for equality is happening in cities most blue-staters couldn't find on a map.
Even in the year of our lord, 2019, the US is still a sea of red (trigger warning: the 2016 presidential electoral map is bleak).
Adding to that, the police have trained business owners to be able to handle all kinds of issues, especially situations that may threaten trans people.
It all makes for a surprisingly well-protected and inviting city; even the US Veterans Administration hosts regular clinic hours for trans servicemembers.
"It's a little oasis of all things tolerant in Arkansas," says Kendra R.
Johnson, former state director for Human Rights Campaign Arkansas (and current executive director of Equality North Carolina).