When Should LGBT Homeowners Move?

Posted on June 19, 2017 in Buying a Home

If you’re happy with the house you’re currently living in, why should you move? There are many different reasons people move, but there are a few that members of the LGBT community encounter more often than others. These reasons often have to do with their sexuality or their gender identity.

They Are Victims of Discrimination

Gay and lesbian real estate agents have a number of clients who are looking to move due to discrimination. These individuals or families have been made to feel unwelcome in their current neighborhood. Some may have had their homes or vehicles vandalized. It’s possible they were even directly attacked. Even if they weren’t physically assaulted or experienced property damage, they may have been verbally abused.

These people most likely don’t want to move, but they may have reached the point where they feel that they are no longer safe living where they are. They often want to move into a gay neighborhood or to a more welcoming city.

Their Children Have Been Bullied

Same-sex couples with children may feel that they have to move so that their children can have a safe and welcoming school environment. Even though they themselves may not have been discriminated against, their children may have been picked on by others. Some children have never encountered others who have same-sex parents. These kids often simply need to be talked to. Others, though, may actively antagonize children with two mothers or two fathers. The parents of these children may even encourage such behavior.

To keep their children safe, these LGBT couples may feel that they have no other choice but to move. In this case, they’re most likely looking for schools with a record of LGBT acceptance, a PFLAG chapter, and a gay-straight student alliance.

State Laws Restrict Their Freedoms

Unfortunately, the states trying to pass laws allowing discrimination against the LGBT community seem to be increasing rather than decreasing. Those who live in a very conservative city or state may be afraid that their rights will be taken away. These individuals or families may make the decision to move somewhere more liberal, at least until laws are passed that guarantee equal rights for all.

These people often look for cities that have LGBT representation in local government. They may want to look at towns or cities that have or have had LGBT mayors or city council representatives. They also look for cities or counties with laws protecting LGBT individuals.

The Gayest Cities in Washington

Posted on June 5, 2017 in Buying a Home

Moving to Washington state may seem like a great idea for anyone in the LGBT community. It was one of the earliest states to legalize same-sex marriage, after all, and it has always been one of the most fair and equal states. With huge pride celebrations, great places to work, and a welcoming population, what’s not to love? But Washington is a good-sized state, and even though you’ll find affordable housing just about everywhere, are there any specific areas that members of the LGBT community should look for? Here are some of the gayest cities in Washington that you might consider for your new home.

Vancouver

No, you don’t need to move to Canada to live in Vancouver. While the more well-known Canadian city is located not too far north of Washington, there’s another Vancouver in the state. It’s located on the southern site of Washington, and it’s considered a suburb of Portland, Oregon. This means you get everything Washington has to offer plus can quickly hop across the state line to enjoy all that Portland has to offer. Vancouver, WA, has been named one of the top 100 places to live in the U.S. by Money and as one of the top 40 places to raise a family by WalletHub.

It also has a thriving LGBT community, a great pride celebration, and is ranked #4 in Washington for cities with large LGBT populations.

Spokane

Spokane also offers a lot to those in the LGBT community. Queer Sounds, a local radio show, promotes gay and lesbian artists and helps raise awareness of the community in the city and beyond. Eastern Washington University offers LGBT students a safe environment to continue their education. For those who want to get involved, Spokane has a number of organizations such as the Inland Northwest LGBT Center and OutSpokane.

Olympia

The capital city of Washington is incredibly diverse. For those who like smaller cities, Olympia might be perfect. The city is home to just under 50,000 residents, so it’s small enough not to feel overcrowded, but large enough to have everything you need. Olympia has a number of well-known gay bars, some great LGBT-owned businesses, and much more. For those who are looking for a home away from home for college, Olympia has been ranked as one of the most academic cities in the state.

These three cities are just a few of the incredibly welcoming locations in Washington. Which one will be your new home?

Los Angeles and the LGBT Community

Posted on May 22, 2017 in Buying a Home

Many people move to the Los Angeles area to make it big in the movie or television industry. Even those who don’t may be connected to this industry in some way. But LA has more to offer the LGBT community than just a chance to become a star. Any gay or lesbian real estate agent will be able to tell you that the area has played an important role in the LGBT struggle for civil rights. The city is still one of the most welcoming areas in the country, and while San Francisco may hold the title of the gayest U.S. city, LA is not far behind.

LA and LGBT History

During the 1960s, the Counterculture Movement hit Los Angeles. It was during this time that the city’s LGBT culture gained visibility. Many gay and lesbian people were involved in the Sunset Strip Curfew Riots. Some of the protests were among some of the first LGBT protests in the U.S. to be highly publicized. The Advocate, the oldest LGBT news outlet in the country, was created at the same time as a way of responding to these riots and for further organizing LGBT activism.

Population

If you look at the census, you’ll see that almost four percent of all of the adults in the Los Angeles County identify themselves as a member of the LGBT community. It’s important to note, though, that this number may actually be too small. A number of people in Hollywood, especially men, tend to remain in the closet for fear that coming out will hurt their careers.

Where Should You Live?

If you’re considering a move to Los Angeles, you can really live anywhere you want without fear of being discriminated against. There are a couple of neighborhoods, though, that are known for being gay areas. West Hollywood, for example, is often called the Gay Camelot. As much as 40% of its population identifies as LGBT. While it’s technically its own city and not a part of Los Angeles, it’s a part of the LA metro area.

Silver Lake and Venice are two other Los Angeles neighborhoods with many LGBT residents. If you want to technically live in another city, Santa Monica is near LA but is independent. If you’re wanting to get out of Los Angeles completely, but still be close enough to get to everything it has to offer, there’s Riverside or Newport Beach.

The Top LGBT Cities in the U.S. in 2017

Posted on May 8, 2017 in Buying a Home

Every year, the Advocate compiles a list of what they call “America’s Queerest Cities.” They consider cities that have more than 250,000 residents and rank them according to a number of different criteria. What makes this list so unique is that, unlike scores given out by groups like the HRC, the Advocate uses a list of criteria that’s both serious and fun. For example, a city can gain points by having lesbian bars, trans pride events, and LGBT centers, but they can also improve their rankings by having a gay rugby team, having a theater that showed the movie Moonlight, or being a stop on the Pwr Bttm tour. After adding up the points, there are the cities Advocate has found rank at the top.

Jersey City, New Jersey

The Top LGBT Cities in the U.S. in 2017It might come as a shock that Jersey City stole the number one spot on the list from cities such as San Francisco and New York, but it did. The second-largest city in New Jersey is located across the Hudson River from NYC, but it’s much more affordable. The HRC gave Jersey City a perfect 100 on its municipal equality index this year, plus there are many gay events, businesses, and activities in the city. It even hosts its own pride parade instead of piggybacking off of the New York City one.

Orlando, Florida

Securing second place on the list is Orlando. The city has been in the LGBT news a lot in the past year following the tragic shooting at the Pulse nightclub. The shooting has shown that Orlando’s LGBT community is incredibly strong and came together for support following the event. Many performers live in Orlando and work at Disney and Universal.

St. Petersburg, Florida

Is Orlando too big for you? St. Petersburg may be more your speed, then. It sits on the west coast of Florida and is one of the highest rated LGBT cities in the state. You’ll find many different restaurants, clubs, and other businesses owned by LGBT people here, plus a great number of events and activities. St. Petersburg was also ranked very high on the HRC’s index, especially in the area of municipal protections for its LGBT citizens.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo rounds out the top four. While it may be the complete opposite of Orlando and St. Petersburg when it comes to the weather, this colder city scored a 95 on the HRC index. You’ll find a lot of LGBT activities here, including literary events, community activities, and more.

The Best Cities in Delaware for LGBT People

Posted on May 3, 2017 in Buying a Home

Considering a move up north? If so, Delaware might be on your list of potential new homes. This small state is actually home to a good number of LGBT people. When Gallup did a poll in 2012, it revealed that 3.4% of the state’s population identified as a member of the LGBT community. The number of LGBT households increased 41% between 2000 and 2010, showing that Delaware has become quite popular. Any gay or lesbian real estate agent in the area can tell you that since same-sex marriage was legalized in 2013, it’s become even more popular. If you’re considering a move to Delaware, here are some of the cities to consider.

Wilmington

The Best Cities in Delaware for LGBT PeopleThe largest city in the state, Wilmington is also one of the most LGBT-friendly. It features many great historic homes and businesses, giving it a very charming atmosphere. It’s also home to Wilmington University, the Delaware College of Art and Design, Goldey-Beacom College, and the Widener University Law School. The younger generations who move to Wilmington to continue their education help make the city so open and welcoming. Many of these educational institutions also offer various programs and events related to the LGBT community, too.

New Castle

New Castle is also considered a college town. The community here is very arts-oriented, so it’s great for those who are looking for a place full of creativity. New Castle hosts a gay pride event every year and is home to Delaware Pride, the largest LGBT rights center in the state. They organize a number of events throughout the year and campaign for equal rights across the state. New Castle is also ranked as one of Delaware’s safest states.

Newark

Newark is a major cultural area for the state, and its gay community reflects that. The vibrant artists and performers who live here have turned Newark into a great place to live. It’s also quite safe and very quiet, making it ideal for those raising a family. The ACLU has an office in the city that focuses specifically on LGBT rights and has worked for years to support the community.

Rehoboth Beach

Finally, Rehoboth Beach is a great home if you’re looking for a tourist town. Most of the year, the town is home to around 1,500 people. During the summer, though, the population jumps to around 50,000 people! There are many different LGBT owned businesses in Rehoboth Beach, too.

These four cities are just a few of the best places to live in Delaware.

Has Nashville Overtaken San Francisco as the Gay Mecca?

Posted on April 17, 2017 in Buying a Home

Have you always admired the open, carefree life members of the LGBT community seem to live in San Francisco? If you live in the south, it may seem like an amazing gay Mecca. However, according to the U.S. News & World Report, you may not need to move quite that far to find your own little slice of gay heaven. That’s because the publication has named Nashville, Tennessee, the 13th best place to live in the U.S. That might not seem like a shining recommendation—the city didn’t even break into the top ten—but there’s more to the story than that.

Nashville and the LGBT Community

Has Nashville Overtaken San Francisco as the Gay MeccaMany people see Tennessee as a very conservative state. In fact, a number of laws have been passed or introduced that would have greatly hurt the LGBT community. With that in mind, many gays and lesbians may think twice before wanting to move to the state. When it comes to Nashville, though, the city is a small hub of welcoming progressives. Many LGBT individuals and families actually move to Nashville every year because of the various job opportunities and the city’s increasing reputation as an open, welcoming place to live.

The Culture

What some people are surprised about is the amount of culture in Nashville. The city is known as the capital of the country music world, but there’s so much more than the Grand Ole Opry. The city includes a growing art scene. It’s been described as a melting pot of art, music, and night life. Nashville has much more than most people think, and even those who have visited the city may be surprised at what they discover weeks and months after living there.

The Activities

Many lifelong residents still aren’t bored of Nashville. The city has a number of different festivals, celebrations, and other events that take place annually. There’s always something to do in Nashville. There are even a number of Pride events and other LGBT-related activities.

The People

Many of Nashville’s LGBT residents have also pointed out how friendly and welcoming the people are. Some believe this has to do with the number of musical celebrities who call Nashville home or their second home. Much like Hollywood, these celebrities are often very comfortable with their LGBT fans, and some even identify as LGBT themselves. Others find that Nashville’s diverse culture brings with it a welcoming atmosphere that has a place for everyone.

What Cities in Arizona Are LGBT Friendly?

Posted on April 6, 2017 in Buying a Home

Thinking about moving to Arizona? The state is known for its deserts and its dry heat, which makes it ideal for those who hate the cold. Many people retire to Arizona because the climate is better for their arthritis. The state does have a number of cities that are very welcoming to the LGBT community, too. Gay and lesbian real estate agents are available in much of the state to help you find the perfect home for you and your family. Here are a few of the cities and towns you might want to start your housing search with.

Tempe

What Cities in Arizona Are LGBT FriendlyTempe is a college town, which means its demographics tend to skew younger than many of the other cities that are home to more retirees. Students attending Arizona State University do make up a good amount of the town’s population, but there are also plenty of individuals and families who aren’t associated with the university, too. The residents here are very open-minded and welcoming. The only downside to Tempe is that homes here tend to be priced higher than average.

Phoenix

Phoenix is definitely a change from Tempe. This large city is at the center of the Phoenix Metro Area and is home to thousands of people. There are many LGBT bars, clubs, and other establishments in the city, so you have plenty of places to check out. You might be surprised at the cost of living in Phoenix, especially in the downtown area. It’s actually less than the state average, and you can get around most of the city via the light rail system.

Tucson

Tucson is a hub for Arizona’s artistic and musical communities, but it also has a good sized LGBT population. According to the last Census, there are a little more than 10 LGBT residents per every 1,000. Just like Phoenix, the cost of living here is lower than average, especially when it comes to real estate.

Prescott

While Prescott has a lower LGBT percentage than other cities, it’s still a very welcoming and open place to live. The city is quite comfortable and laid back, yet it’s close enough to Phoenix and Sedona that you can take a day trip to these larger cities. Many of the houses in Prescott are owned instead of rented, so many of the homes are kept up very well.

These are just four of the most welcoming cities you’ll find in Arizona. If you’re interested in moving to the state, you’ll find great places to live.

Great Cities for the LGBT Community in Florida

Posted on March 28, 2017 in Buying a Home

Florida is well-known as both a vacation destination and a great place to retire to. But did you know the state also has a strong LGBT population? There are many places in Florida that are very welcoming to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Even if you aren’t near retirement age, moving to this state can be a great move. You don’t even have to settle in the larger cities such as Orlando, either. In fact, a lot of people prefer to avoid those large metro areas simply because they do have huge populations. If you’re considering a move to Florida, here are a few of the cities you might want to consider.

St. Petersburg

Great Cities for the LGBT Community in FloridaSt. Petersburg is one of the best cities in Florida for the LGBT community. It’s also one of the warmest and sunniest. If you hate the cold, St. Petersburg is a great place for you! The city has appeared on a number of top LGBT-friendly places to live in the U.S., and the Human Rights Campaign has given the city a perfect 100 several times on its annual Municipal Equality Index.

Lake Worth

You may have never heard of Lake Worth before, but it’s home to a huge LGBT community. The city’s percentage of same-sex couples is the highest in the state, and a number of businesses are owned by those who identify as LGBT. Of course, like many cities in the state, Lake Worth also features gorgeous beaches and a warm, sunny climate.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville is one of the larger cities on this list, but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as welcoming. You’ll feel right at home in the city. The River City Pride Festival is held here every year and features a block party, parade, and more. The city also has its own Lesbian and Gay Community Center. If you’re looking for a new home with a strong nightlife, check out Jacksonville.

Ybor City

Ybor City may not get a lot of attention nationwide, but it should. The GaYBOR District Coalition, a nonprofit, has fought for LGBT rights since 2007. The organization is more than just a group for LGBT people—they welcome those of any orientation. This group aims to help bring all of the citizens of Ybor City and Florida together in harmony. Many businesses from the Tampa Bay area and even some from out of state have joined the coalition and are actively working to bring equal rights to everyone in Florida.

The Top Cities in Arkansas for LGBT Individuals

Posted on March 13, 2017 in Buying a Home

While Arkansas may not be one of the states leading the charge for LGBT rights, there are definitely some welcoming cities here. Don’t let the fact that Arkansas is located in the Bible Belt deter you from moving to the state. There are definitely some great places to live here. If you’re considering Arkansas for your future home, you’ll want to talk to gay or lesbian real estate agents about moving to one of the following cities.

Little Rock

The Top Cities in Arkansas for LGBT IndividualsLet’s start with the capital of the state. Little Rock has been on Advocate.com’s list of the Gayest Cities in America, reaching as high as number 11. That’s pretty impressive. The city is quite liberal, and you’ll find a number of LGBT-friendly organizations, businesses, and churches. Living in one of the largest cities in Arkansas also puts you near many different event centers, shopping malls, and other amenities.

Eureka Springs

People considered Eureka Springs to be the Arkansas’s gayest city. You’ll see plenty of rainbow flags flying as you walk down the streets. Eureka Springs is a major tourist destination, and it’s full of cute bed and breakfasts, novelty stores, and theaters. The city’s position as one of the top LGBT areas in the south hasn’t had any noticeable effect on tourism. There are still plenty of people visiting Eureka Springs even after it became the first Arkansas city to support same-sex marriage and enact a domestic partner registry. Eureka Springs doesn’t have just one pride festival—it has four! You’ll have nothing to fear moving to this Arkansas city.

Fayetteville

Fayetteville is something of a college town since it’s the location of the University of Arkansas. With a younger demographic than other towns, it’s no surprise that Fayetteville is quite welcoming. In fact, the city has been called “Gay-etteville” by many of its residents because of how supportive its citizens are. The Ozark Land Holders Association, one of the oldest lesbian communes in the U.S., can be found in Fayetteville. You’ll also find a number of different drag shows, gay bars, and other LGBT-owned businesses.

Hot Springs

Hot Springs has a good sized LGBT population and is another tourist town like Eureka Springs. This town has a number of LGBT groups and events. It is classified as a national state park, which means that the area is one of the most beautiful in Arkansas. The city does have a number of anti-discrimination legislation on the books, too.

If you’re thinking about making the move to Arkansas and have the freedom to decide where you’re going to live, these four cities are great options.

The Pros and Cons of Living in a Gay Ghetto

Posted on February 28, 2017 in Buying a Home

Are you thinking about living in a gay ghetto? That’s the slang term for a neighborhood that’s mostly populated with members of the LGBT community. Often, the businesses in or around these areas are also owned by LGBT individuals. There are a number of reasons you might want to live in one of these areas, but there are a few reasons why you may not as well. Here are some of these pros and cons.

You’re Among Other LGBT Individuals and Allies

The Pros and Cons of Living in a Gay GhettoSome people simply feel more comfortable living among other LGBT individuals and families. You won’t have to worry about hiding who you are from your neighbors. You can proudly fly a rainbow flag from your home and display your Human Rights Campaign bumper sticker on your car without fear of being vandalized. You may find that you have a lot in common with your neighbors, too.

Your Children Won’t Be Bullied

Chances are, your children will be in school with at least a few other kids who have LGBT parents. This means that there’s less of a likelihood of your child being singled out and bullied. Many of these schools even have at least one LGBT person working there as a teacher or in the administration. Most also have a gay-straight alliance and a PFLAG chapter.

You May Pay More

Many LGBT neighborhoods are undergoing gentrification. That means property values are likely to increase, meaning you’ll pay more to buy a house in these neighborhoods. While that does mean that everything in the neighborhood is likely to have been remodeled and renovated, the bottom line is that some of these areas are simply no longer affordable for middle-class families.

You May Not like the Location

Some cities only have one small gay and lesbian community, and it may be located in an area of the city you don’t want to live in. For example, you may have to choose between moving into a gay ghetto or a much shorter commute to work. You’ll then have to decide if living in a gay neighborhood is more important to you than the commute or other things.

Finding the Perfect Gay Neighborhood

Some cities simply don’t have an LGBT neighborhood. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any gay or lesbian people in the city. It simply means they live throughout the area. Even in cities with a neighborhood with a high concentration of LGBT homeowners doesn’t mean you have to live there. Find the house that’s perfect for you.