Ok, here's the thing.
Cincinnati gets a bad rep. Mostly from people who live here.
The secret to enjoying life in Cincinnati is meeting and knowing the right people. Cincinnati has a LOT going on in the arts, cultures, etc...but you'll never hear about it on the news or read about it in the papers. You'll find out by networking, following the right things/people on Facebook, and going out to try different events. I learn 90% of what I know about what's going on in town by having followed/subscribed/liked the right things on Facebook. It's been revelatory after years of trying to follow CityBeat and other traditional sources that are mostly out of touch.
For example, the last sort of cultural thing I did was an art walk at a local artists studio complex. I'd been there before, just to tour, but never to an event. I had such a good time and met lots of people.
Living in Cincinnati is cheap and convenient. If you live in one of the nicer city neighborhoods - downtown, Mt Adams, Clifton gaslight, Walnut Hills, Hyde Park, Oakley, Columbia Tusculum, Eden Park - you are close to lots of stuff. You can find cheap apartments old and new construction. You can find condos. Homes, etc. Almost every neighborhood has a coffee shop or two. I live 10 minutes from where I work. I'm 10 minutes from downtown. 20 miles from the airport. You COULD live without a car if you're willing to ride the bus, although that is more difficult after 8pm, as they severely cut back routes late night.
We have great restaurants. I always surprise out of towners with recommendations and suggestions. Our 2 big museums are awesome - CAC and CAM - and I usually see exhibits at them at least 2-4 times a year. I hit the Aronof once or twice a year, usually for modern dance performances.
As far as the gay scene...well, it's odd. Lots of closeted people here. Lots of married men creeping. But plenty of out young professionals in their 20s. (It's the 30something crowd that is slighter than most, as the city is teeming with 40something gays.) HRC and Equality Cincinnati are quite active, although HRC is something of a clique in many ways. Still, it performs its local function within national directive of the organization. We have our first out gay city council member. (We've had a few closeted ones.) We have probably too many bars and clubs. My friend and I were counting them up on Saturday and we have over 12! They multiplied after Ohio passed a smoking ban. We even have a very active skeezy leather/back room bar! LOL The gay community, if you can call it that, is rather...segregated. By race and class. Typical of the midwest. I'd actually suggest class is a bigger divider than race here, even if it doesn't seem that way at first glance.
Cincinnati is a great city for runners. Great city for food. Lots of young chefs here, especially as Cincinnati State's culinary school has really ramped up its program over the past 5 years. Lots of cool new places like La Poste, Mayberry, etc.
It's overall conservative, but that is more the influence of the suburbs, which are loaded with white Republican conservatives who fled the city in the 80s and 90s. The city itself is actually majority African American, although as a recent transplant pointed out to me, "You wouldn't know that from looking around!" But then he'd never ventured beyond his largely white neighborhood on the east side and the complex where he worked, which was also in a largely white Catholic neighborhood.
Anyway, just some poorly organized thoughts about the city in which I've lived for 12 years.