If you’re a part of the LGBT community and are considering a move to North Carolina, there are a few cities that top the list of the most inclusive and welcoming. Ten different cities in the state were recently included in the Human Rights Campaign study of how inclusive a number of the largest cities in the U.S. are. Out of the 506 cities in this survey, Greensboro and Charlotte were the top two.
The Overall Scores
Overall, North Carolina’s cities were mostly above-average, which some may find as surprising. While no city scored a perfect 100, Greensboro did come in with an 80, while Charlotte received a score of 73. Four more cities scored above the national average of 55: Durham (69), Chapel Hill (68), Raleigh (59), and Carrboro (57).
The remaining four cities scored below average. Winston-Salem came in at 44, Fayetteville scored a 23, Wilmington was slightly lower with a 21, and Cary was at the bottom of the list with an 18. Overall, the state average was a 51.
Charlotte and Transgender Rights
While Charlotte is noted as having a number of protections for its LGBT citizens, the city was also at the center of the controversial House Bill 2. This bill passed the North Carolina General Assembly earlier in the year and preventing a non-discrimination law passed by the Charlotte city council from going into effect. This law would have protected transgender individuals from using the bathroom that corresponded to their gender identity. The Bill negated all non-discrimination policies passed by city officials.
Despite the city’s policy being nullified, Charlotte city officials do remain committed to making the city welcoming to everyone. Community leaders do plan on working on other protections that will shield the city’s LGBT residents from discrimination.
While the HRC does use a number of factors to determine which cities are included in their annual survey, it does sometimes miss cities that others rank as very LGBT-friendly. Asheville, for example, is known as one of the best places in North Carolina for LGBT individuals. It’s home to a large pride festival and parade, plus it has a large number of LGBT residents. The ratio of those who identify as LGBT to the rest of the city’s population is one of the highest in the state.
While the HRC list is certainly helpful, don’t always assume that cities not on the list aren’t LGBT-friendly. Some of the best aren’t included.