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.

Why Asheville?

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.