Gramps will tell you about how they parade in masses through downtown Palm Springs. Make all the stereotypical jokes about San Francisco you want, but here's the fact of the matter: Seattle is second only to San Francisco in the percentage of residents identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, a new study reports. So start naming Seattle in your jokes, slurs or pride, depending on your alternative lifestyles stance

The study reports that 12.9 percent of Seattlites -- nearly 58,000 people, or the total population of Renton -- identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.

An important note The Seattle Times makes is that "the findings may have more to do with people becoming more comfortable about disclosing their sexual orientation in government surveys." The study's findings are drawn from newly released U.S. census data. This must be the explanation for another conclusion from the study: The reported number of gay-couple increased by 50 percent in Washington state between 2000 and 2005.

You might be surprised by these numbers. I'm not. Everyone knows Capitol Hill is an alternative lifestyle Mecca, but those of us who've been north to Bellingham (where an alternative lifestyle is working 9 to 5) or down to Olympia (where gay bars outnumber their counterparts) know that the Pacific Northwest is substantially gay and growing. And so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Emerald City has a significant population of men who like to wear emeralds.