If you’re moving right before or during the school year, it’s fairly easy to determine if the school in the neighborhood you’re thinking about moving to is going to be accepting to children of a same-sex couple. You simply visit the school, talk to the teachers and staff, and maybe even sit in on a class or two. But what do you do during the summer? School isn’t in session, and sometimes, there aren’t even any staff or teachers there to talk to. If you’re making a move during the off-season, here are a few ways of learning more about schools.
Look at the Location
Even if you’re not moving into a predominantly gay neighborhood, you can still look at what schools serve that area. These schools are very likely to have at least a few students who have same-sex parents. While there’s no guarantee that these schools won’t have any bullying, there is a higher chance that the teachers and staff have worked with LGBTQ parents before.
The internet is a great resource for shopping around for products, and you can certainly do that for schools, too. Look for message boards or social media groups for the city or neighborhood you’re moving to, join them, and ask about the schools. You may even find a few teachers or other school staff on these sites who can answer any questions you might have. You can also search online for school report cards. These report cards are usually created by the state department of education and rate the schools on academic performance, which can be helpful in deciding where your children should go.
Visit the Local Gay and Lesbian Center
If the city has a LGBTQ community center, drop in and ask the staff about schools. They’re likely to have someone on staff who can provide you with some help. Even if they don’t, there may be someone else visiting the center who will offer to talk to you about your options. There’s a lot you can learn from visiting one of these community centers, so it’s a great idea to visit one if you’re moving to a new city and would like some insight into the LGBTQ community.
Don’t Blindly Pick a School
When it comes to your child’s education, you don’t want to simply pick a school or go with the school district you’ve moved into because it’s easy. This is especially true for those in the LGBTQ community. Do careful research, even during the summer, so your kids will have the success they deserve.
If you’re considering a move to Indianapolis, Illinois, you may wonder what kind of LGBTQ community you’ll find there. Fortunately, Illinois has been a proponent of equal rights for quite some time. They were the first state to remove sodomy laws and one of the earliest to allow civil unions, same-sex marriage, and same-sex adoption. The state also banned forcing minors into conversion therapy in 2016. While Chicago is known for hosting one of the largest pride parades in the Midwest, Indianapolis has its own number of festivals and activities. It also has its own gay neighborhood: Broad Ripple Village.
Broad Ripple’s Beginning
Broad Ripple Village is situated to the north of the city’s downtown area. It was actually founded in 1837 as its own city, but it merged with Indianapolis in 1922. The neighborhood gets its name from a poem written by James Whitcomb Riley called “Broad Ripple.” Even from the beginning, the area was known for being one of the most diverse parts of Indianapolis. It’s also known for its hospitality and for having businesses that are open quite late. These restaurants, bars, and other stores take the Broad Ripple motto of “we’re open if you are” very literally!
In addition to many different ethnic restaurants, you’ll also find a number of art galleries, specialty shops, and boutiques in Broad Ripple Village. The area is also known for its four microbreweries that offer unique beverages. For outdoor activities, you can’t go wrong with Broad Ripple Park. Situated on the shores of the White River, these 62 acres have everything from baseball and tennis to fitness paths and playgrounds.
The LGBTQ Neighborhood
Indianapolis, overall has a very high percentage of people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community—some 4.2 percent did so as of 2015, making the Indianapolis metro area 18th in the country for percentage of LGBTQ residents. The large amount of diversity in Broad Ripple has led to a number of LGBTQ people choosing the neighborhood as their home. Many perform in the numerous live music shows or theater performances held at various venues in Broad Ripple.
If all of this sounds great to you, it may be time to contact a gay or lesbian real estate agent and start looking for homes in the area. You’ll find houses that range from $175,000 to $400,000. A real estate agent will be able to help you find the perfect home for your needs and budget.
North Carolina may not be the most LGBTQ-friendly state in the union—in fact, neither sexual orientation nor gender identity are included in its hate crime statute—but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find a home here. Asheville is actually a very welcoming, liberal city in the state, and it’s home to many people who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. There’s not just a gay neighborhood or two here—the whole city is considered something of a gay haven.
Asheville is the center of the larger Asheville Metro Area, a large urban area that includes Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and several other counties and the cities/towns included in those counties. This means anything within this area is only a short drive away. Asheville is by far the largest city in the metro area and is the only one with over 50,000 residents. In addition to giving you a centralized location from which to enjoy everything in the metro, Asheville has also been listed as one of the 10 Most Beautiful Places in the country to live.
Asheville and the LGBTQ Community
But many places are beautiful, and many of those cities are located in more welcoming states. What does Asheville offer the LGBTQ community? First, many people are attracted to the very diverse population. Artists, lawyers, micro-brewers, and people from many other walks of life make their home here. This unique mixture creates a location full of diversity, and that creates a very welcoming and accepting atmosphere. This is one of the main reasons why the LGBTQ community in Asheville is so active.
LGBTQ Activities in the City and Metro Area
If you’re looking for specific LGBTQ-related activities, you’ll find a lot to do in Asheville. First, the downtown area does have several gay and lesbian bars and clubs. If you’re not into the nightlife, you may want to look into the programs hosted by the Blue Ridge Pride organization. They hold a number of events during the year for LGBTQ residents of Asheville and the surrounding area, including the annual pride event in October. If you’re a student moving to attend the University of North Carolina Asheville, you’ll be glad to know they have a very active LGBTQ student organization on campus.
Ready to start looking at homes in the Asheville area? Contact a local gay or lesbian real estate agent and start the hunt for your dream home today.