Big cities have long been the go-to places to live for members of the LGBTQ community looking for an enjoyable and inclusive place to call home. Times are changing, and now those seeking the more relaxed pace of life found in smaller cities and towns have a variety of options to choose from. In other words, if you're looking for tolerance, culture and diversity, you're no longer limited to major metropolises. And some of the small cities that are emerging as LGBTQ centers might come as a big surprise.
We scoped out five small cities across the country that are earning a reputation for being LGBTQ-friendly with their growing queer populations and wide range of inclusive events, businesses and social environments. If you're looking to escape the big city, these awesome (and unexpected) places are ready to welcome you.