The LGBTQ Community and Fear of Housing Discrimination

LGBTQ people face discrimination in a number of ways every day, including in the housing industry. Those who are looking to purchase a home may be very reluctant due to stories they’ve heard about real estate agents, sellers, and lenders discriminating against them. Studies done by Freddie Mac show that almost half (46%) of the 85,000 LGBTQ renters they surveyed are concerned that they will be discriminated against in their hunt for a house. The same study showed that 13% of those who did buy a house feel like they faced discrimination in some form.

Fear as a Barrier to Homeownership

The LGBTQ Community and Fear of Housing DiscriminationThe impact of this fear of discrimination is easy to see. Nationwide, 65% of people own their own home. However, in the LGBTQ community, this rate is only 49%. The fear of being discriminated against, even in areas that are quite liberal, leads to LGBTQ individuals and couples to abandon their dreams of owning a home before they even start.

For some, the fear isn’t even about the home buying process. They aren’t afraid of being discriminated against by real estate experts, lenders, or even sellers. However, they are concerned about their neighbors. Some 40% were afraid of how their neighborhoods would treat them if they started a family. This is one reason why looking for homes in the gay district is helpful—in most cases, you don’t have to worry about your neighbors, at least as far as accepting your relationship or decision to start a family goes.

Do You Have Anything to Truly Worry About?

Yes, sadly, discrimination against the LGBTQ community still happens. While it’s not always obvious in the real estate industry, it is present. Fortunately, it’s not always prevalent, especially in certain areas of the country. Plus, if you choose to work with a gay or lesbian real estate agent, you can at least know you’re working with someone who will not discriminate against you. They will be able to help you through the process of buying a home while also alleviating any worry that you may have about your agent.

Should You Change Real Estate Agents?

Being a member of the LGBTQ community may make you hesitant about simply hiring any real estate agent. You want to make certain the person you’re working with is going to be able to help you find the home that fits all of your needs, while also respecting who you are. In some cases, you may find that the agent you’ve hired doesn’t seem to be on the right track. Should you look for someone new? Here are a few times when you certainly should change real estate agents.

You Feel Discriminated Against

Should You Change Real Estate AgentsAs a member of the LGBTQ community, you may have witnessed or even been the target of discrimination at some point in your life. You do not have to accept it or continue to subject yourself to any type of discrimination. If you believe your real estate agent has an issue with your orientation or gender, even if it seems more like a subconscious discrimination rather than intentional, it’s time to seek out someone else. You’ll find many gay or lesbian real estate agents across the country who will be happy to help you find a home.

They Don’t Understand Your Needs

If your agent isn’t a member of the LGBTQ community, they may not really understand your needs. They may assume that you’re looking for something in your home that fits the stereotypical image of a gay or lesbian couple. You may not be interested in this at all. These agents may not even think that you have any interest in having children or living in a particular school zone. If your agent doesn’t understand your needs because they can’t look past your orientation, don’t hesitate to find another agent.

You Make Them Uncomfortable

As surprising as it is in today’s day and age, it’s still possible to meet people who have never dealt with anyone in the LGBTQ community before. In cases like this, your agent may not be discriminating against you in any way, but they may be very uncertain in how to approach you. This nervousness may truly come from a place of ignorance—they simply don’t know how to act or are afraid of saying the wrong thing.

The best thing to do in such a situation is to actively bring it up. Talk to them about why they’re nervous. You may find that doing so actually gives you the chance to teach them about the LGBTQ community. You may make a new ally out of them. In other cases, though, they may admit that they simply don’t know if they’re the right agent for you. In that case, they may suggest you work with someone else before you bring it up.

No matter why you decide to change real estate agents, remember that it’s your right to. If you don’t believe your agent is able to help you find your next home, look for one who can, such as one of the amazing agents that are part of the GayRealEstate.com network.

U Street, a Home to the LGBTQ Community in DC

Situated in the Northwestern part of Washington, D.C. is an area known as the U Street Corridor. It’s sometimes referred to as Cardozo or as the Cardozo/Shaw district, too. This area is a residential and commercial neighborhood that is made up of nine blocks of U Street, starting at NW 9th and ending at NW 18th street. It’s bordered on the north by Florida Avenue NW and by S Street NW on the south. The area has gone through a number of major changes over the years, but today it’s considered an ethnically diverse neighborhood that’s home to a thriving LGBTQ community.

U Street’s Beginning

U Street, a Home to the LGBTQ Community in DCThe neighborhood was originally developed in the 1860s. Many of the homes were done in the Victorian style, and most are not considered historic. These row houses were built quickly to house a growing population after the U.S. Civil War. During that time, the government was growing fairly quickly, and many more people were needed in the D.C. area than ever before.

During the 1900s, the area became the center of Washington’s African American community. In fact, until Harlem overtook it in the 1920s, U Street was the largest such community in the country. Many businesses, theaters, churches, gyms, and other organizations thrived in the neighborhood. Up until the 1960s, U Street had the nickname of Black Broadway thanks to the large number of performances held here. Some of the most famous performers include Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Louis Armstrong.

The Decline and Restoration of the Neighborhood

Following Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s, assassination in 1968, the area began to decline. Riots broke out at U Street and 14th Street. The violence resulted in many businesses and residents moving out of the neighborhood, and by the mid-70s, drugs were a major issue on U Street.

When the Reeves Center was built in 1986, it began a domino effect that started revitalizing the district. New bus and metro stops were added, a number of grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development came through, and other new construction brought people back to U Street. Redevelopment continued into the 2000s and early 2010s, gentrifying much of U Street.

Today, the diverse area is home to many LGBTQ individuals and families. Many businesses have returned, and the arts community is once against thriving here. For those who are looking for a home that welcomes everyone, U Street is a great opportunity. Housing costs have gone up due to the gentrification of the neighborhood, but a good gay or lesbian agent will help you find a home you love that’s within your budget.

The Gay Neighborhoods of New Orleans

Are you considering a move to New Orleans? This unique city offers a melting pot of various cultures, creating a place like no other. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to raise a family or a great place to party and meet people, New Orleans has it. But does it have a gay neighborhood? It doesn’t just have one; it has three! If you’re looking for a gay community in New Orleans, here are three neighborhoods you may want to live in.

Faubourg Marigny

The Gay Neighborhoods of New OrleansIt might have a weird name, but the neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny is full of beautiful architecture. Founded in 1805, it’s one of the older parts of the city, and much of it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It declined during the 1950s, but after Hurricane Betsy, the Faubourg Marigny began growing as a number of displaced Filipino Americans moved into the dilapidated area. By the mid-1980s, it was home to many music venues and arts festivals. This drew a number of LGBTQ individuals to Faubourg Marigny, turning it into a gayborhood.

The French Quarter

One of the most famous neighborhoods of New Orleans, the French Quarter is the city’s version of San Francisco’s Castro District. Unfortunately, also like the Castro, the cost of living in the French Quarter is significantly higher than in many other parts of New Orleans. However, the many historical sites and unique styles of the French Quarter are worth it, though you do have to accept the fact that many tourists visit the district year-round. This is one of the most diverse parts of New Orleans, and you’ll find that basically everyone who lives here has embraced that diversity.

Pigeon Town

Finally, there’s Pigeon Town. This neighborhood is much quieter than the French Quarter, but it’s no less historic. It’s also quite diverse, and many artists and musicians have made it their home. It’s not unheard of for people to gather in the street to party just because they want to, especially since the roads aren’t congested. Many people prefer to bike or use public transportation instead of driving. There are a number of public art projects that anyone can contribute to as well. Overall, it’s a great place for a family.

No matter where you’re looking to live in New Orleans, a gay or lesbian real estate agent can help you find the perfect home.

The Downsides of Gentrification on the Gay Neighborhood

When people think of gentrification, they often think of older, rundown neighborhoods being reinvigorated and restored. Gentrification can do a lot of good to a neighborhood. It brings new life back into sections of a city that once flourished but then were typically hit by hard times. These areas often become home to a large amount of crime while in disrepair, so gentrification helps eliminate this.

Run down neighborhoods also tend to become home to those that the more affluent residents find “undesirable.” For quite some time, this included the LGBTQ community. That’s why many gay ghettos started out as poor, deteriorating neighborhoods in need of some repairs. Today, partly in thanks to the LGBTQ residents of these areas, many gay neighborhoods have gone through gentrification and are now more affluent areas with low crime and gorgeous, restored homes. But there are some downsides to gentrification, unfortunately. You may want to learn about these downsides before working with a gay or lesbian real estate agent to move into a gayborhood.

Low-Income Residents Are Forced Out

The Downsides of Gentrification on the Gay NeighborhoodAs gentrification takes hold, housing prices typically rise. In many cases, this makes it all but impossible for low-income residents of the gayborhood to remain there. If they rent, the rent goes up. If they own, their property taxes increase as the neighborhood becomes more valuable. They may also find that the cost of basic necessities such as groceries increase as higher-end stores move into the area.

Racial Tensions Can Increase

Another side effect of gentrification is that it can lead to increasing racial tensions. This is generally from the people who move into the neighborhood rather than those who have been a part of it for years. These new residents are looking at the gayborhood as an affluent, upper-class area. As such, they may also come in with preconceived racial notions that lead to conflict with their neighbors.

Certain Professions or Identities Are Pushed Out

Because these gentrified areas were once run down, they became home to a number of people who simply didn’t feel welcome elsewhere. In the LGBTQ community, this may include those are part of a subgroup such as leather daddies or those who enjoy BDSM. As the neighborhood becomes a desirable place to live, clubs and other businesses that cater to these subcultures may become targeted by those who look down on these groups. People may feel as if their neighborhood is no longer their home because they’re being pushed out for having particular interests or for identifying one way or another.

Many people may find it odd that an LGBTQ neighborhood, even after being gentrified, would turn against others due to their race or their interests. However, it does happen. It may not occur in every gay village, fortunately, but gentrification does transform the neighborhood in a number of ways, not all of them positive.

The LGBTQ Neighborhoods of Atlanta

Are you thinking about moving to Atlanta or making a move from one part of the city to another? Georgia can be a great state to live in, and its capital is an amazing city. It actually has four recognized LGBTQ areas, too, so there’s a gay village for everyone! If you’re talking with a gay or lesbian real estate agent about finding a new home in Atlanta, here are the neighborhoods you might want to check out.

Ansley Park

The LGBTQ Neighborhoods of AtlantaAnsley Park is located east of the Midtown area. It was one of the first suburb areas designed for people who owned cars, so the roads here are actually more winding than the older parts of Atlanta, which are laid out on a grid system for streetcars. Many of the homes here were built in the 1930s and are listed as historic properties. This area is one of the more affluent parts of Atlanta, so home prices do tend to be higher.

East Atlanta Village

The East Atlanta Village gayborhood is known for its street art. You’ll find many artists and artistic people living here, and there are a number of popular festivals and other events held in the neighborhood. It’s a more laid-back LGBTQ district that is perfect for those who want a little peace and quiet.

Grant Park

Grant park is for those who love nature and the outdoors. This area has a huge number of recreational spaces, parks, and other undeveloped areas. The neighborhood, like Ansley Park, is made up of mostly historic homes, and they do tend to be a little more expensive than some newer builds.

Kirkwood

Kirkwood is also an historic neighborhood. It’s located on the east side of the city and is a streetcar suburb, so unlike Ansley Park, its streets are laid out in a grid pattern. The business part of Kirkwood has recently gone through a period of gentrification, catching it up to the more residential part of the neighborhood. Kirkwood is something of a small town in and of itself, and it has its own police and fire stations, library, and post office. You can do everything you need to do in the neighborhood without going into any other part of Atlanta, so it’s perfect for LGBTQ individuals or couples who want that small-town feel, but also want to have everything a large metro area has to offer right at their fingertips.

Ybor City – Tampa’s Gay Ghetto

Tampa, Florida, may not be home to Disney World, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the state’s busiest tourist areas. The Tampa Bay Area is home to over 4 million people, while the city proper has a population of over 400,000. With such a large city, it’s no surprise that it has a gayborhood. While Tampa is certainly very LGBTQ-friendly, the neighborhood of Ybor City tends to be the most welcoming and diverse.

The History of Ybor City

Ybor City – Tampa’s Gay GhettoYbor City is named after its founder, Vicente Martinez-Ybor. Originally, the area was home to dozens of cigar factories and populated mostly by immigrants from Cuba, Italy, and Spain. It was actually fairly unique because of this—few other cities in the South were home to an all-immigrant population. This had an impact on the food, the style of homes, and much more, creating a very unique neighborhood.

As Ybor City grew over the years, its population changed. During the Great Depression, cigars were a luxury few people could afford, leading to many factories closing. The neighborhood continued to decline during World War II, and by the 1970s, much of it was abandoned. Finally, in the 1980s, a number of artists took advantage of the low housing costs of the area, and gentrification began. By the 2000s, Ybor City had become known for its nightlife, and many of the old cigar factories had been renovated and transformed into bars, offices, and even apartment complexes.

The Gayborhood

A number of the artists who worked to renovate the area were part of the LGBTQ community. Their influence led to a number of different gay bars, restaurants, boutiques, shops, and other organizations opening up in Ybor City, many of which were situated between 8th Avenue and 15th Street. Today, this area is home to the GaYBOR Coalition, a nonprofit group made up of various LGBTQ-owned businesses in Ybor City. The group hosts the annual GaYBOR Days event around the Fourth of July and helps promote the LGBTQ community through Tampa and the entire state. The GaYBOR coalition is noted for including a number of businesses owned by straight allies.

Moving to Ybor City

Thinking about moving to the Ybor City neighborhood? Homes here can range from around $150,000 to $300,000 or more. It all depends on the size and the exact location in the neighborhood. A gay or lesbian real estate expert can help you find the home that’s perfect for your needs.

Should I Retire to an LGBTQ Neighborhood?

If you’re getting close to retirement age, you’ve probably already started thinking about where you want to spend your golden years. While some people plan on staying right where they are, others want to embark on a new adventure now that they’re retired and free to do what they please with their lives. Determining where you want to live is a key component to your retirement plans. If you’re a part of the LGBTQ community, you may be thinking about retiring to a gay neighborhood. Should you?

Look at Your Finances

Should I Retire to a LGBTQ NeighborhoodThe first thing to do is to take a good, hard look at your finances. Many traditional gay neighborhoods are also quite expensive. Boystown, the Castro District, and most of the neighborhoods in New York City are very costly, and you may simply not be able to afford to live there. Some up-and-coming communities that are filled with LGBTQ residents may be more affordable, but they often don’t have the character that some of the older neighborhoods have. Some are also new construction in downtown areas, which can be costly as well.

Are You Active in the LGBTQ Community?

If you’re an active part of your LGBTQ community, moving into a gay neighborhood or even a retirement complex aimed at LGBTQ seniors can be a great way of continuing to play an active part in your new home. As you age, you may have to face the fact that your driving capabilities are no longer what they once were. By settling yourself in an LGBTQ community now, you can be sure you’re within walking distance of the local community center and other locations. Being able to walk to many locations can also help you maintain your health and watch your budget.

Are You Concerned About Hate Crimes?

Some seniors are worried that they will be unable to defend themselves should they be attacked or the victim of any sort of hate crime. Living in an LGBTQ neighborhood can help protect against this since you know your neighbors either identify as LGBTQ or are very supportive—otherwise, they likely wouldn’t live in the area. If you are concerned about safety, you’ll find that some gay neighborhoods are also gated communities, especially the newer areas conceived as housing developments. These locations can bolster your sense of security and may come with other amenities such as included yard maintenance.

No matter where you want to retire to, you may want to see if there’s a gay neighborhood in that area. Even if you aren’t looking to live specifically in a gay district, it can be a good place to start your house search.

San Francisco’s SoMa Neighborhood

Looking for a great place to live in San Francisco that is welcoming, but also more affordable than the Castro District? One area to consider is South of Market, better known as SoMa. The SoMa neighborhood is actually pretty large, so there are a good number of homes here. In fact, SoMa is so big it’s actually been divided further into smaller neighborhoods, including Rincon Hill, Yerba Buena, South Beach, South Park, and the Financial District South area.

Where Is SoMa?

San Franciscos SoMa NeighborhoodSoMa is, as the name suggested, located south of Market Street. San Francisco Bay sits to the northeast of the area, while the south is boarded by Division Street and US Route 101. The boundaries of SoMa aren’t exactly set, which does make it somewhat unclear where one neighborhood begins and another ends. Specifically, SoMa, the Mission District, and Mission Bay tend to overlap in areas. While the boundaries have changed, it doesn’t really matter too much if you live in one of the areas where it’s unclear what neighborhood you’re in.

The LGBTQ Community in SoMa

One of the most unique sub-neighborhoods in SoMa is the LGBTQ and Leather Cultural District. It’s fairly new—the area was officially created in 2018. It’s situated between Howard St, US 101, 7th Street, and I-80. The district was formed as a way of maintaining and sharing the history of the leather subculture that had been active in SoMa for almost 50 years. The area includes The Stud, the oldest gay bar in San Francisco.

Activities and Events

You don’t have to be a part of the leather subculture in order to enjoy everything SoMa has to offer, of course. There are many different arts and cultural events held in the area, plus many museums to visit. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is located in SoMa, as are the Old Mint, the Yerba Buena Gardens, the SOMArts cultural facility, and more.

SoMa is home to the Folsom Street Fair, a leather subculture fair held during Leather Pride Week. There are also a number of Filipino cultural events held throughout the year thanks to the large Filipino community that lives in the area.

Want to learn more about housing options in SoMa? Ask a local gay or lesbian real estate agent to show you properties in the area.

Hell’s Kitchen – Don’t Let this LGBTQ Neighborhood’s Name Fool You

Hell’s Kitchen is one of the more notorious-sounding neighborhoods in New York. Just based off the name, it certainly doesn’t sound like a place you’d want to move. While it’s true that the area did once have a poor reputation, in recent years it has undergone gentrification. While it was originally the home of many poor immigrants, today Hell’s Kitchen is populated by many actors and young professionals. It’s also one of New York’s primary LGBTQ communities.

How Hell’s Kitchen Got Its Name

Hell’s Kitchen Don’t Let this LGBTQ Neighborhood’s Name Fool YouThe neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen is more officially known as Clinton, but few people call it that. It occupies the area between 34th and 59th and from Eighth Avenue to around 43rd Street. No one is actually certain how the neighborhood got its unique nickname. There are a few different stories. One claims that Davy Crockett coined the term while making horrible comments about the Irish immigrants in the area. Another says Hell’s Kitchen was originally used to describe a building on 54th Street but later expanded to the entire district.

Greenwich Village and the Gay Exodus

Greenwich Village was one of the first gay villages in New York City, but because of gentrification and other changes in the neighborhood, the cost of living has increased over the years. In the early 1990s, the neighborhood saw something of an exodus due to the expensive housing prices and other costs. Many gay and lesbian residents moved to nearby Chelsea. However, it didn’t take long for housing prices in this area to also skyrocket.

The gentrification in Chelsea led to a number of people moving to Hell’s Kitchen. The neighborhood is now considered by some to be the new gay center of Manhattan. However, while it’s still more affordable than Greenwich Village and Chelsea, it’s true that costs are increasing in Hell’s Kitchen.

Points of Interest

One of the central locations in the Hell’s Kitchen LGBTQ community is the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. This church is primarily focused on serving the LGBTQ community, though it does have members of all orientations and gender identities. The church was founded in Los Angeles, but it has moved several times until it found its current location in 1994.

The Actor’s Studio, an organization for actors, directors, and writers, is located in Hell’s Kitchen. A number of well-known actors have studied here under the direction of Lee Strasberg. The studio draws a number of aspiring actors to Hell’s Kitchen, many of whom live in the Manhattan Plaza.

The USS Intrepid is docked on the Hudson River Pier 86 on 46th Street. The aircraft carrier serves as the main part of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, which also includes a Lockheed A-12 plane, a submarine, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise.

Interested in moving to Hell’s Kitchen? The many restaurants, studios, and other locations make it a great place for aspiring actors, directors, and writers. A gay or lesbian real estate agent can help you find the perfect place in this unique LGBTQ neighborhood.