Living the LGBT Life in Connecticut

Connecticut is often imagined as a picturesque state, especially in the fall.  The trees turn amazing colors, and people take long drives through the area to see them.  But, of course, there’s more to Connecticut that trees.  The state is one of the oldest in the nation, and it’s home to a number of major industries and universities, including Yale.  It’s also home to a large number of LGBT people, and there’s a reason for that.

An Early Win

Connecticut Is a Leader When it Comes to Rights and Legislation for the LGBT CommunityBack in 1971, Connecticut revamps its sodomy laws, making consensual sodomy legal.  It was only the second state to do so, making it a haven for LGBT people.  It would go on to be one of the most progressive states in the union.

Same-Sex Marriage

In 2005, the state passed legislation creating civil unions.  While not true marriage, these unions were one of the earliest recognition of same-sex partnerships.  They did not provide couples with all of the rights a married couple had, but they were the first step in bringing equality to the state.

In 2008, the state’s Supreme Court made its ruling in the case of Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health.  Their ruling stated that same-sex couples had all of the same constitutional rights as opposite-sex couples, including the right to engage in marriage.  They further stated that the civil unions created in 2005 were actually violating the state constitution.  In November of that year, the state began issuing marriage licenses to all same-sex couples.

In 2009, legislation was passed that officially added same-sex marriage to all of the state’s statutes and laws.  The legislation creating civil unions was abolished, and all civil unions were automatically converted into civil marriages in October of 2010.

Protection Under the Law

The state has laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination.  These laws include both orientation and gender identity, and they apply to employment (both public and private), government services, and more.  Orientation and identity are also both included in the state’s hate crime laws.

Children and Birth Certificates

Single individuals and all couples, regardless of orientation and marital status, may adopt children.  The statues do say that the adoptive parent(s) orientation may be considered during the process, but so far, it appears to have played no part in any adoption decision.

Transgender individuals in the state can change the gender on their birth certificates and other legal paperwork.  They do not have to go through gender reassignment surgery first.

Many gay and lesbian real estate agents recommend Connecticut for those who are considering a move to the New England area for all of these reasons and more.  The state is simply a nice place to live, no matter what your orientation.

What to Know When Living in New York City

Living in New York City isn’t necessarily what you’d expect it to be.  That’s why gay and lesbian real estate agents often surprise their clients when they tell them that the Big Apple isn’t like it appears on TV.  Yes, the rent is high and the subways aren’t always a pleasant experience, but the city more than makes up for it.  Here are a few things you might want to know about NYC before you make the move.

Avoid the Taxies

Life in New York City Brings With It a Few Unexpected Nuances, But Most Of Them Are Good, or No Inconvenience to Most PeopleYes, you see characters on TV taking taxies everywhere in New York, but you don’t see what their car rides cost them.  Taxies are very expensive, which is why a lot of people walk or take the subway.  Driving your own car is an option, but it’s also difficult due to the sheer amount of traffic and, in some places, the very limited parking.  Many people prefer to avoid the headache of traffic and simply walk.  It’s healthier, too.  Also, note that if you do drive your own car, you may still have to walk several blocks or more to your home, especially if you’re living in an apartment.

The Subway is a No-Cell Area

Think you’ll spend your time on the subway catching up on calls?  While it probably seems obvious once you think about it, some people are surprised that they can’t get cell service underground.  Keep this in mind if you planned on looking up directions to your destination or doing other tasks on your phone that require cell service.

One thing movies and TV got right: trains and the subway do break down or get delayed on a regular basis.  You’re going to be late, and you’re not going to be able to call or text to let others know!

People Aren’t Rude

A lot of people believe in the stereotype of rude New Yorkers, but the truth is that you’ll find all types of people here, just like you would anywhere.  No one needs to be afraid of asking others for directions or help, and very few people have issues with having LGBT neighbors.  Because the city is such a melting pot of different cultures, you can be true to yourself without worrying about being judged harshly or accosted.

The LGBT Parties are Fabulous!

This stereotype is dead on, though—you’re going to find some amazing LGBT events and groups in New York City.  There’s something for everyone, too.  If you want to go out and party, you’ll find great clubs, but if you’re more of a quiet type, there are plenty of LGBT book clubs and other organizations you can join.  Don’t worry about fitting in—you’ll find something that fits your interest here.

Is Moving to Las Vegas a Good Option for Me?

Thinking about moving to Las Vegas?  The city is known for gambling, amazing shows, and quickie marriages, but should an LGBT single or couple move there?  As you’d probably expect, Las Vegas is open to just about anything, and that includes the LGBT community.  Any gay or lesbian Realtor will tell you that Vegas is quite welcoming and, in fact, is really nothing like most people think.  The strip is really just a very small part of the city, and the rest of Las Vegas isn’t nearly as glitzy, loud, or crazy.  In fact, it’s a pretty normal city.  It’s also home to a large number of gay and lesbian people: in a 2014 poll, the city ranked 14th in the country for the largest percentage of LGBT people to the overall city population.  According to that survey, 4.3 percent of people living in the city identified as LGBT.

Las Vegas and LGBT Rights

There Is a Lot Going on in Vegas, But That Doesn't Mean You Have to Settle Down Near All the Hustle and Bustle of The StripNevada began allowing domestic partnerships back in 2009, so it’s no wonder that the city attracted a good number of LGBT people.  When same-sex marriage became legal in 2014, many residents simply filed the appropriate paperwork and changed their partnership to a marriage.  Both gender identity and sexual orientation have been included in anti-discrimination laws since 2011, and the hate crime laws have included sexual orientation since 2001 and gender identity since 2013.

Where to Live

Las Vegas has a number of different neighborhoods, and some of them are practically gay ghettos.  If you want to be close to the action, Spring Valley is located only a few miles from the casinos on the strip.  It’s a gated housing development that may be near the strip, but, because of security, is actually fairly quiet.  Many retired people, including gays and lesbians, live in Spring Valley.

If you don’t want to live near the strip (and many people don’t unless they work there), you can still find nice houses.  East Vegas is a great area with modern houses that are very affordable.  It’s also somewhat near the strip, but you don’t have to worry about a lot of traffic.  It’s quiet and near many of the local gay-owned businesses.

There are a number of other Las Vegas neighborhoods you may want to check out.  Stallion Mountain, McNeil Manor, and Spring Valley are all populated with large numbers of LGBT singles and couples.  Of course, because Vegas is so welcoming, you can really live anywhere you want.

The Biggest Pride Events in the U.S.

Are you already thinking about what pride events you want to go to this coming year, or maybe you’re going to factor in this large celebration into where you plan on moving next.  Pride can, after all, be a good way of judging just how welcoming a city is to LGBT people and how active the community is.  Many gay and lesbian real estate agents will be able to tell you what the pride celebrations are like in their cities, but if you’re looking for places with huge celebrations, here are some of the biggest pride events in the U.S.

Capital Pride

Many Areas of the U.S. Have Pride Festivals, But These Are Some of the LargestWashington, D.C., is one of the gayest places in the U.S.  Capital Pride spans nine days and includes a huge range of activities and events.  Thousands of people attend the festival every year.  It’s held around the end of May or the first week of June.

Miami Beach Pride

People love going to the beach, so why not combine that with a pride parade?  That’s what Miami did.  More than 100,000 people attend the parade every year, which is one of the longest pride parades in the country.  It’s held in the first part of April every year.

Boston Gay Pride Festival

In early June, LGBT people from all over New England head to Boston for pride.  The Boston festival has been held continuously for more than 40 years and attracts more than 50,000 attendees every year.

NYC Pride Week

After Boston, many people head over to New York City for their pride week.  This celebration of LGBT rights ends with the NYC Pride March, a celebration of everything that makes the LGBT community great.  The parade is held on Fifth Avenue, and there’s normally over a million people watching it.

Chicago Pride

Chicago brings in thousands of people to its pride parade every year.  It’s been held for over 40 years and now features over 250 floats.  The parade is held in late June.

San Francisco Pride

What list of great pride events wouldn’t include San Francisco?  In late June, thousands attend this pride celebration and marvel at the 200 plus floats.  There are over 20 different venues that host events during pride week, and some people take the entire week off work to celebrate.  San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration and Parade isn’t just the largest pride event in the U.S., it’s known as being one of the biggest and best in the world.