Monthly Archives: August 2016

Why the Gayborhood?

When LGBT people are asked if they’re going to look for a home in a Gayborhood or gay ghetto, some may answer yes, while others may have no idea what the term means. While gay neighborhoods were once very thriving communities, today some see them as no longer a necessity. LGBT people are much more accepted and in most locations do not have to fear being attacked by their neighbors. But the gay neighborhood still exists in many cities, and there are still some LGBT individuals and couples who feel more at home there. If you haven’t thought about a home in one of these areas, here are some reasons why the Gayborhood might be a good fit for you.

Safety

There Are Still Many Perks to Living In a GayborhoodMany simply feel safer knowing that the people who live around them have chosen to live in a gay neighborhood and are very accepting of everyone. Some gay ghettos are very diverse and are home to others who may not necessarily feel welcome in other parts of the community.

Community

Along the same lines, many feel like they are more of a part of a community if most of their neighbors are LGBT. They know that they will have something in common with those who live nearby. In other areas, they may not necessarily think they will be able to have any kind of friendship with their neighbors.

The Schools

If you’re parents, one of the major factors in deciding where you’re going to live is most likely going to be the school system. You want your children to attend a school where they won’t be made fun of or discriminated against. Schools in and near a gay neighborhood often have a very welcoming atmosphere. Students and teachers alike recognize diversity and strive to create a safe area where everyone can learn. LGBT parents are often on the school board or PTA, and there’s usually a Gay/Straight Alliance at the school, too.

Nearby LGBT Businesses

LGBT-owned businesses are often located near gay communities, and those who want to open their own business or support LGBT-owned businesses may find it helpful to live in a gay ghetto. You may also be within walking distance to local theaters, clubs, and other great nightlife. Pride parades are also often held in or near gay neighborhoods.

Overall, there are some great reasons why you might want to ask your gay or lesbian real estate agent if your city has a gay neighborhood, but don’t pass up your dream house just because it’s not in one of these districts.

Is Richmond Right for You?

Are you thinking about a move to Virginia? If so, you may be talking to a gay or lesbian real estate agent about homes in Richmond. The capital of the state, Richmond, was incorporated in 1742, making it a city with a huge amount of history. It’s also home to growing artistic community and a number of LGBT citizens.

Knowing if Richmond, Virginia is Right for YouIn fact, Richmond added a large LGBT community center in 2008 and home to the Triangle Theatre, one of the biggest LGBT theaters in the area. The city, which has more than 200,000 people in Richmond proper, and over 1.2 million in the Richmond Metro Area, does have two different areas that are considered gay neighborhoods. The Museum District is centered around the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is one of the more affordable areas in the city. It’s perfect for families and art lovers.

The Fan is the other area. This historic neighborhood features more small shops, bistros, and restaurants that the Museum District, but it’s also close to downtown and Virginia Commonwealth University, which means there are few rental properties available during the school season. It also tends to be a little more expensive than the Museum District.

Rights and Protections in Richmond and Virginia as a Whole

While Virginia has not been one of the more LGBT-friendly states overall, it is slowly changing. Virginia banned same-sex marriage in 1975 and later passed a bill refusing to recognize any same-sex marriages performed in other states in 1997. The state even passed a bill in 2004 preventing civil unions and overrode the governor’s veto to make it legal. Another amendment in 2006 banned all types of formal same-sex relationships that resembled any form of marriage.

So why would you want to live there? Because in the past ten years, many things have changed. Many Virginians now support same-sex marriage, and following legal challenges, same-sex couples could legally marry in 2014.

Since 2007, same-sex couples have had a number of rights, including the ability to have full access to their partners if they are in the hospital. Several attempts were made to expand on these rights prior to marriage becoming legal, but they all failed. Virginia also doesn’t currently offer many protections, either, although a few cities and counties do. Richmond is technically considered an independent city, however, so it is not subject to any county laws or regulations.

What LGBT Citizens Can Expect in Baltimore

Baltimore may not be the capital city of Maryland, but it’s probably the most famous. This city, which is technically not considered part of any county, is known for having the most public monuments per capita than any other city in the country, as about one out of every three buildings is on the National Register. If you’re a part of the LGBT community who loves history, art, and architecture, then Baltimore is for you!

The city actually has a pretty good-sized LGBT community, and it’s growing. You’ll find a number of different LGBT businesses and other organizations, including the large GLBT Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland. The city also publishes its own LGBT newspaper, the Baltimore OUTloud, and holds a large pride festival every year.

LGBT Neighborhoods

What LGBT Citizens Can Expect in BaltimoreIf you’re thinking of moving to the city, a gay or lesbian real estate agent can help you find a home in one of the three gay neighborhoods in Baltimore. The first is the combined area of Fells Point and Patterson Park. The two are technically adjoining neighborhoods, but they’re usually considered to be one area. This is Baltimore’s historic gay district, and it’s home to a very diverse population.

Then there’s the Mount Vernon neighborhood. Here you’ll find a good number of LGBT-owned businesses, including restaurants, clubs, and bars, of course. Federal Hill is another gay neighborhood located in the heart of Baltimore. Living here gives you access to just about everything, but it’s also a little more expensive than some of the other options.

Your Rights in Baltimore and Maryland as a Whole

Maryland legalized same-sex marriage at the beginning of 2013, and they’ve had a number of different protections for individuals based on sexual orientation since 2001. Those laws were updated in 2014 to include gender identity, providing protection for everyone in the state.

If you’re looking to adopt children, there’s no law banning you from doing so. In fact, Maryland allows same-sex couples to adopt as co-parents. A law has also been passed that requires all health insurance policies to cover fertility treatments regardless of orientation, so it’s possible to also have a child naturally.

The Maryland General Assembly passed a law in 2015 that makes it fairly simple to change the gender on your birth certificate even without sex-reassignment surgery. Interestingly, neither this nor the bill on fertility treatments were signed or vetoed by the governor, so they actually went into effect with no signature on them.