Provincetown – The Gayest City in America

Data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau declared Provincetown, Massachusetts, to be the Gayest City in America in 2011. Most people weren’t that surprised when the 2010 census data showed that more same-sex couples lived in P-Town than anywhere else in the U.S. Overall, the data showed that there were 163 same-sex couples for every 1,000 households in the city. Even though this information comes from the last major census in 2010, anyone who lives in or visits Provincetown can see that things haven’t really changed that much.

A Great Place to Live and Work

Provincetown – The Gayest City in AmericaProvincetown is only home to around 3,000 people, but its summer population can hit 20 times that. It’s a major tourist location thanks to its beaches, artist community, and LGBTQ-friendliness. With its location on the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown entices people from around the world to spend at least a few weeks here during the summer. It’s relaxed, even when all of the tourists are in town, making it a great place to escape to and recharge.

Of course, if you’re living here, you may feel like you’re being invaded in the summer. It can seem more crowded than you’d like, but as a local, you’ll know where to go to escape the tourists. You also have the advantage in being on your home turf!

The History of Provincetown and the LGBTQ Community

Provincetown really started to grow in the 1960s. It attracted a good number of hippies thanks to its rural charm, cheap property, and gorgeous waters. While it was already attracting some vacationers, it wasn’t a major tourist destination yet.

In the 1970s, the secret of Provincetown reached the LGBTQ community, and many started moving into the area to both visit and to look for homes. While there had been a higher than average gay and lesbian presence in the town for years, it wasn’t until the 1970s that it really became an LGBTQ tourist destination. In fact, the Provincetown Business Guild was actually created in order to bring in more LGBTQ tourism! Today, the guild has over 200 businesses.

Provincetown Today

If you’re thinking about moving to P-town, you’ll need to have a nice budget. Gay and lesbian real estate agents point out a cheap condo is still $350,000 or more, while a single-family home starts at half a million. If you want beachfront property, be ready to pay in the millions.

The LGBTQ Community and Adoption in 2018

Many LGBTQ individuals and couples plan on someday having a family. For a number of these couples, that means adoption. Even for two same-sex female couples who have a child through artificial insemination, the non-birth mother should still legally adopt the child to make certain her rights are not questioned at any point. This is usually done through what’s legally called a second parent adoption. This allows a co-parent to share legal rights with the other parent, regardless of their marital status. If you’re thinking about moving to another state, you need to understand the adoption laws in that state before you make your home there.

Challenges to LGBTQ Adoption

The LGBTQ Community and Adoption in 2018

The LGBTQ Community and Adoption in 2018

Unfortunately, LGBTQ adoption rights have been challenged in a number of states. There has yet to be a court case similar to Obergefell v. Hodges to establish a federal decision on same-sex couples and adoption. This means that each state can pass its own laws regarding adoption and LGBTQ couples. In some states, laws have been passed protecting the right of all people, regardless or orientation, to adopt. In other cases, states have refused to pass any sort of non-discrimination law or have even actively worked to take away the rights of LGBTQ couples to adopt.

Where Your Rights Are Protected

If you’re ready to start a family, here are the states that offer protections based on both orientation and gender identity:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • New Mexico
  • Iowa
  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut

There are a few states that have protections based or sexual orientation, but not gender identity. They include Montana, Arizona, Michigan, and Virginia. Virginia, however, has recently passed laws that allow adoption agencies to refuse to place children with same-sex couples, walking back those protections.

Challenges to Adoption

There are a number of states that have worked to prevent same-sex couples from adopting. Nebraska, for example, has often used what some have said is the state’s policy regarding two unrelated adults from adopting children to deny LGBTQ couples. Others have challenged this policy, saying that it has only been applied to same-sex couples. No firm decision has been made in this case as of 2018. Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and South Dakota have passed laws allowing adoption agencies to claim “religion exemptions” for allowing same-sex couples from adopting.

Recently, Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma legislatures have also considered bills that have been introduced as “child welfare” laws. Despite the name, these laws aren’t really aimed at improving child welfare. Instead, they focus on restricting same-sex couples from adopting. In Oklahoma, the bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Fallen on May 11, 2018.

While the laws are always in flux, currently these are states that LGBTQ couples may wish to avoid if they’re considering adopting. You can always ask your gay or lesbian real estate agent to point you towards resources regarding adoption in the state you’re planning on moving to.

Posted on June 11, 2018 in Fair Housing Laws, Gay and Lesbian, Gay Marriage

Building Your LGBTQ Road Trip Bucket List

There are a number of places around the U.S. that played a key part in getting the LGBTQ community to where it is today. Some people like to visit these historic sites to learn more about what part they played in LGBTQ history, while others enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and openness. You might even love one of these areas so much that you want to move there! While some are fairly well-known, others may not immediately come to mind when you think about places to visit with LGBTQ history. Here are a few places that need to be on your road trip bucket list.

San Francisco

Building Your LGBTQ Road Trip Bucket ListOf course the number one spot on just about every LGBTQ road trip list is San Francisco. Widely regarded as the Mecca for members of the community, people come from around the world to visit the Castro district and experience San Francisco’s annual pride festival. It’s definitely a place to visit at least once. If you’re thinking about moving to the Bay Area, consider the suburbs. Buying in San Francisco itself will cost you a good amount, but the areas surrounding the city itself are much more affordable. The BART rail system can get you just about anywhere, so commuting isn’t a problem.

Boystown

The Chicago neighborhood of Boystown is notable for being the first gayborhood in the country. This relaxed area may not seem that important to the LGBTQ movement at first glance, but many of the homes and businesses here have been owned by or catered to the LGBTQ community for decades.

Greenwich Village

All of New York City could be on your LGBTQ road trip bucket list, of course, but the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village definitely needs to be on the itinerary. It’s the home of the Stonewall Inn, the location of the famous Stonewall riots that took place in June of 1969. This event was one of—if not the most—important event that started the modern LGBTQ movement for equal rights. Visitors can learn more about the riots at the Stonewall National Monument.

Go to a Large Pride Festival

Most large cities around the country hold annual pride events. If you’ve never been to one before, it’s time to change that! These festivals are a great place to meet new friends, experience unique events, and have a lot of fun. Just being in a place where you know you’re accepted by everyone around you can be a life-changing, or at least life-affirming, event.

Should You Move to a Gayborhood?

Many larger cities have a gayborhood, an area that has traditionally been home to many LGBTQ residents. If you’re looking to purchase a new home or move to a new city, should you consider looking in one of these areas? There are a number of reasons why a gay neighborhood might be for you, but there are also reasons why you may want to look at other areas, too.

You Won’t Have to Worry About Your Neighbors Accepting You

Should You Move to a GayborhoodOne of the biggest reasons why people ask gay and lesbian real estate agents to find them a home in the gayborhood is because they know their orientation or gender identity won’t be an issue. You won’t have to worry about neighbors harassing you for being in a same-sex relationship. Of course, your neighbors may harass you for something else—there’s no guarantee everyone will live in peace and harmony, even in the gayborhood!

You’ll Be Near LGBTQ Businesses

In most cities, LGBTQ business owners open their stores near the areas where LGBTQ residents live. You’ll find a number of restaurants, bars, clubs, and other businesses catering to the LGBTQ community near gay neighborhoods. Services such as an LGBT community center may also be located in this area of the city.

Another nice benefit for those with children is that the school district that serves the neighborhood is usually very accepting. There will be a number of children from LGBTQ families there, which will help decrease the chance of your child being bullied for having same-sex parents.

Always Consider Other Factors

If living in the gayborhood means you have a much longer commute or have to pay significantly more for your home, you may want to consider looking elsewhere. While it can be great to live in one of these neighborhoods, you shouldn’t take out a mortgage that’s more than you can handle. Gay neighborhoods often experience gentrification, and the housing prices increase dramatically as homeowners put more work into their properties.

Another thing to consider is that many people who live in these areas have done so for years, if not decades. They’re not looking to sell, so be aware that homes that fit your needs and your budget can be difficult to come by. You may have to look outside of the gay neighborhood to find a property that works for you. Weigh all of the factors before deciding that the gayborhood is the best home for you.

Cities with the Best Pride Festivals

While an amazing pride festival may not be on your list of needs or wants for a new home, it is a nice perk. Being able to celebrate who you are with others in the LGBTQ community is a lot of fun. A big pride event is also usually a good sign that the community and the city are supportive of the LGBTQ community throughout the year. Here are a few of the cities that offer the most amazing pride events around.

San Francisco

Cities with the Best Pride FestivalsOf course it should come as no surprise that San Francisco has a great pride festival. There are more than 1.5 million people who come to the SF Pride event every year. With a couple dozen stages spread across the area, there are many different things to see and do. Of course, as any gay or lesbian real estate agent will tell you, San Francisco isn’t the most affordable real estate market. This is especially true if you’re looking at the Castro gay neighborhood.

Chicago

Chicago is home to another amazing pride festival and a great number of LGBTQ events throughout the year. June, however, features Chicago Pride and many other events. Things kick off Memorial Day weekend, continue through Pride Fest in the middle of the month, and close out with the parade the last weekend of June. Those considering a move to Chicago may want to look at homes in Boystown, the oldest gayborhood in the country.

Austin

If you’re from the south or considering a move there, Austin is one of the most welcoming cities in Texas. It’s also home to a major Pride parade. The festivities include dances, a fashion event, and much more. Many of the local bars participate, providing plenty of locations to hang out with other LGBTQ people and allies. Real estate in Austin is pretty affordable, too.

Boston

Up in the New England area, there are a number of great pride festivals. Boston, unsurprisingly, takes the cake with its Pride Week. With great food, live entertainment, and a parade that brings in people from around the state, Boston’s pride is definitely worth attending. Even if you decide Boston real estate isn’t for you, the suburbs and nearby towns may have just what you’re looking for.

Of course, there are many more amazing pride events held throughout the U.S. While some may be smaller than others, they all have one thing in common: bringing together the LGBTQ community to celebrate.

Up and Coming Gay Neighborhoods

Despite some reports, the death of the gay neighborhood is far from true. These areas may not be as prevalent today since more and more people are welcoming LGBTQ individuals and families into their neighborhoods, but they still exist. In fact, there are a number of new “gay ghettos” that have burst onto the scene, giving people options other than New York City, San Francisco, or Boystown in Chicago. Here are a few of these up and coming gay neighborhoods you could as your gay or lesbian real estate agent about.

New Orleans – the Bywater District

Up and Coming Gay NeighborhoodsNew Orleans has always been a very welcoming place for LGBTQ people, though it hasn’t achieved the fame some other cities have. It’s home to the oldest continuously open gay bar in the country, and many people come to celebrate Mardi Gras every year. While the French Quarter has served as something of a gay neighborhood over the years, the Bywater District has become more and more popular lately. This area contains many unique boutiques, artist stands, and more.

Denver – River North

Denver, Colorado, is another city with a long LGBTQ history. The city held one of the first pride events in the country and is home to organizations such as the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association. In 1990, the city even passed laws banning discrimination based on orientation, something few other cities were doing at the time. Today, River North is one of the up and coming gay neighborhoods. It’s an art district, which shouldn’t be a surprise—many LGBTQ people express themselves through art.

New condos have recently gone up in the area, but there are still a number of older homes here that are quite affordable. You’ll find new art galleries and boutiques next to older factories and historic areas, creating an interesting mix of old and new.

Salt Lake City – The Marmalade

Salt Lake City is often a surprise to LGBTQ people. They think of the city as home to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion that hasn’t exactly been welcoming to LGBTQ individuals. But Salt Lake City is actually fairly liberal and welcoming. The city has actually had an openly gay mayor and hosts a major pride celebration every year. The Marmalade district is the city’s biggest gay neighborhood, although it is a fairly new part of the city. Despite that, it’s growing quickly and has become home to many young professionals who have moved to Salt Lake City.

These are just three of the newest gay neighborhoods. If you’re looking at moving to a different area, do a little research—chances are, there’s a gay district there!

Life in Boystown

If you’re looking for a gay neighborhood in Chicago, most LGBTQ real estate professionals would point you to Boystown. It’s the most famous gayborhood in the city, and it has a long history of acceptance. Boystown is a part of the larger neighborhood of Lakeview East. It runs from Belmont to Addison and from Halsted to Broadway. But why is Boystown so popular?

The Beginning of Boystown

Life in BoystownChicago has always been a haven for LGBTQ people, even back in the 40s and 50s. During these times, many people in the community lived in Tower Town or River North. However, they were slowly pushed out of these neighborhoods as rent went up. Eventually, many of them moved towards Boystown, especially during the 1960s.

Illinois actually repealed its sodomy law in 1961, allowing gay men to have more freedom in coming out of the closet. By 1970, there were enough LGBTQ people living in the area to organize the very first pride parade. It wasn’t long after that event that the area became unofficially called Boys Town. Later, the name became the more official Boystown.

That first pride event had less than 200 people participate in it. Today, the pride parade draws in over one million attendees, making it one of the largest pride festivals not only in the U.S. but in the world.

Boystown Today

Over the years, Boystown continued to grow and gain more prominence. As one of the first, if not the first, gay neighborhood, it has always been a popular home for members of the LGBTQ community. While real estate prices have gone up, they are still more reasonable than some popular gay and lesbian neighborhoods, including those in San Francisco.

In 1997, Chicago devoted $3.2 million dollars to Boystown to improve the area. This facelift not only made the area more colorful and visually appealing, it also helped to improve the safety of some streets. One of the biggest additions was the 23-foot-high pillars. Eleven of these pillars were added in 1998 and are painted in the colors of the rainbow.

Is Boystown Right for You?

History and importance to the LGBTQ community aside, is Boystown the right place for you? Home prices may not be near what they are in California or New York, but they’re still fairly high for the area. However, the greater Lakeview East neighborhood has a lot to offer. Many new businesses have moved into the area in the past few decades. Even if you don’t live in Boystown proper, there are a number of great (and more affordable) homes in the vicinity.

Where Do LGBTQ Homebuyers Stand in 2018?

LGBTQ rights have come a long way in the past ten years. While the fight for equality isn’t over, things have gotten better in some areas. Thanks to Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. Being able to marry your partner provides you with many more legal protections and options.

This is especially true when it comes to buying a home. Some couples aren’t aware of these changes or where exactly same-sex couples stand when they’re buying a home. Things are different now, and you need to know about these differences before you begin your home search.

Marriage Makes It Easier

Where Do LGBTQ Homebuyers Stand in 2018If you’re married to your partner, buying a house is an easier process. You don’t have to worry about setting up joint tenancy documents or whether it’s better to be tenants in common. Unless you file as married filing separately, you also don’t have to decide if one person should claim the entire mortgage tax deduction or if it needs to be split. There’s no question that the two of you own the property as a married couple with all the rights and privileges that brings.

You’re also protected from discrimination from lenders. In September of 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which is a federal agency, determined that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act’s protections on sex discrimination extended to orientation and gender identity. Banks, mortgage companies, and other lenders cannot deny your application just because you’re in a same-sex relationship or marriage.

More Protections Exist

Many states and cities have passed ordinances or other legal protections that prevent discrimination based on orientation or gender identity. According to Trulia, 55.2% of housing options (homes, apartments, etc.) are protected by laws. Twenty-two states and Washington, D.C. have passed protections that cover housing, employment, and public accommodations. Unfortunately, if you plan on buying in an area that doesn’t have these protections, you may find yourself facing discrimination.

Discrimination Is Still Lurking

LGBTQ discrimination is still widespread in some areas. Even if the seller isn’t upfront about it, if they want to deny your bid based on the fact that you’re a same-sex couple, they will find some way of doing so. Some real estate agents will also discriminate, showing you only a few houses or obviously not dedicating much time to your needs. That’s why many look for a gay or lesbian real estate agent. In addition to being a better fit for your needs, they also understand the legalities around housing discrimination.

The Best Cities in Hawaii for LGBTQ Individuals

Thinking about moving to Hawaii? The island state is gorgeous, and even better, it’s very welcoming to LGBTQ individuals and families. Hawaii is a diverse place where just about everyone will fit in. Of course, housing costs here are fairly high, especially if you’re living on or near the beach. For those who can afford it, though, Hawaii is a beautiful place to live. Here are a few of the best towns and cities for LGBTQ people who are thinking about making the move to Hawaii.

Honolulu

The Best Cities in Hawaii for LGBTQ IndividualsThe capital of the state and its largest city, Honolulu has a thriving LGBTQ population. The city is home to an annual pride festival along with a number of other events. Many are hosted by the Hawai’I LGBT Legacy Foundation. Honolulu has become a popular destination for LGBTQ couples planning a destination wedding.

Waikiki

Known for its gorgeous beaches, Waikiki is also a nice city for families. There are many things for children of all ages here, including the zoo and aquarium. You won’t find many single-family homes in Waikiki—most houses here are condos. If you’re looking for a place with very little maintenance, that might be perfect for you. You can exchange your yard work for a day at the beach! There are many gay and lesbian real estate professionals who can help you find the perfect condo here.

Lahaina

Lahaina, which is on the island of Maui, is a popular vacation destination for LGBTQ individuals. That doesn’t mean it can’t also be your ideal home. “Convenience” is the name of the game on Lahaina—you’ll find just about everything you need within walking distance. The city is fairly compact and dense, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. For those who are fine with this, Lahaina offers a lot of LGBTQ-friendly venues and activities.

Hilo

Hilo is the go-to destination for many LGBTQ people looking to get away from their daily grind for a bit. Some love it so much they retire here. Crime rates are low, and most everything is within walking distance. There are many different activities to do on the weekends for families, too. Hilo is nice for those who want everyone a large city has to offer, but would prefer some place that’s not as densely populated as Lahaina or Honolulu.

Manoa

One of Hawaii’s college towns, Manoa is a very diverse town. The University of Hawaii brings in many young people and offers a number of activities throughout the year. It’s also a fun town that’s fairly relaxed and offers very affordable housing.

Are there LGBTQ Friendly Towns in Kansas?

Kansas isn’t known for being at the forefront of the battle for LGBTQ rights. Because of this, some people wonder if moving to the state is a good idea. If you reach out to a gay or lesbian real estate agent, though, you might be surprised at the number of places they will tell you are very welcoming and diverse. Kansas does have a lot to offer the LGBTQ community. If you’re uncertain where to make your new home, here are a few cities where you can start your search.

Kansas City

Are there LGBTQ Friendly Towns in KansasYou might start your search for a great LGBTQ community in Kansas City, the largest city in the state. It’s very diverse and welcoming. This large city has everything you’d expect from a major metro area, including a thriving downtown area, an arts district, and more. The city has been called one of the most underrated LGBTQ-friendly destinations in the U.S. In addition to a number of gay bars in the city, you’ll also find the LIKEME Lighthouse, a LGBTQ community center.

Topeka

The capital of the state, Topeka also features a few gay bars. In fact, these bars bring in people from all around the area. The Kansas Equality Wedding Expo was held here in 2015 and brought together many wedding vendors who support the LGBTQ community. Topeka Pride, held every year, is a week of fun events and activities.

Wichita

Wichita is another underrated city that is quite welcoming to LGBTQ individuals and families. The city is home to The Center, a LGBTQ community center and safe space for those in need. It’s found in the downtown district and is located next to Equality Kansas, a group that works for LGBTQ equality throughout the state. Wichita is a great city for those who want to live somewhere with many amenities and comforts yet still want to feel like they’re in a small community. Living in the suburbs gives you both.

Lawrence

The University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, making it something of a college town. This university is known for having the largest LGBTQ student population in the state, and that’s reflected in how welcoming the city is. The university has built a LGBTQ resource center that anyone in the community can make use of. Many of the local bars transform into gay bars on Wednesday, too.

Ready to move to Kansas? These are just a few of the welcoming places to live in the state.