Category Archives: Gay and Lesbian

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.

Asbury Park, a Great LGBTQ Community in New Jersey

If you’re considering living in New Jersey, one of the areas you may initially think about avoiding is the Jersey Shore. Made infamous by the reality TV show, people have a misconception about this area. Not everyone is a Snooki or has a weird nickname like “The Situation.” Many people in the Jersey Shore area are incredibly nice and friendly, including those who live in the gay village of Asbury Park.

The Community

Asbury Park, a Great LGBTQ Community in New JerseyAsbury Park is a small city with around 16,000 people. Originally a small town, it’s grown over the years to reach its current population. Since it sits on the shore, it does have a beautiful beach area, but unlike some other parts of the Jersey Shore, it’s not a huge tourist destination. Some of he hotels that once sat on the beachfront have actually been demolished due to a lack of use. This means residents don’t have to worry too much about their neighborhood being invaded by tourists regularly.

The city does hold a number of live music events, festivals, and other events that do draw people in from around the area. Asbury Park is home to the New Jersey Music Hall of Fame and has a strong hip-hop community.

History of Asbury Park

Asbury Park was founded in 1871. Originally a residential area, the city soon expanded, adding a waterfront area, pavilion, restaurants, and many different hotels. Soon, more than 500,000 people were visiting the area during the summer for vacation. The population hit highs of 200,000 during tourist season, though that’s not always the case today.

By the 1920s, the town underwent a major change as a theater, convention all, and casino arena were added. Changes continued for the next several decades. The 1950s saw the addition of various suburbs, while the 1970s brought discord to the peaceful city after riots broke out in protest to the demolition of a number of historical buildings. This includes some buildings that were considered historic places.

From the 2000s on, Asbury Park has been in a revival period. The downtown area, the site of many of the demolished historical buildings, has been improved, as have the boardwalk and beached area.

The LGBTQ Community in Asbury Park

The LGBTQ community took root in the 1950s and has continued to grow over the years. Many LGBTQ people who are unable to afford the increasing cost of housing in New York City have moved to the area. Many have worked to restore the historic Victorian houses that make up some of the older parts of Asbury Park, gentrifying them into gorgeous properties. The Empress Hotel, a gay-oriented hotel, is a major attraction for those visiting the area. The city also hosts the Jersey Gay Pride festival every summer.

Interested in moving to Asbury Park? Ask a gay or lesbian real estate agent for more information about the properties available here.

Which Large Metro Areas Are Home to the Most LGBTQ Residents?

Are you thinking of moving to a large metro area, but want to make certain you’re also near other LGBTQ individuals and couples? You’ll find an LGBTQ community in every metro, but some of these communities are larger than others. Here are the metro areas that have the largest percentage of LGBTQ residents.

The San Francisco Metro Area

Which Large Metro Areas Are Home to the Most LGBTQ ResidentsIt’s no surprise that the San Francisco area has the largest proportion of LGBTQ people in the U.S. According to surveys, some 6.2% identify as LGBTQ. Many people flock to San Francisco metro, which includes Oakland and Hayward, every year to visit, and many decide to stay.

The Portland Metro

The Portland metro area, which includes Vancouver and Hillsboro, has an LGBTQ population of 5.4%. Portland has become more and more popular with young people and with the LGBTQ community in recent years. Portland Pride has grown into a huge celebration of identity that brings in people from across the country.

The Austin/Round Rock Metro

Surprisingly, New York City doesn’t make the top three metro areas—in fact, it doesn’t even make the top ten! While Texas is a fairly conservative state, Austin is something of a haven for the LGBTQ community. Some 5.3% of its population identify as LGBTQ, and the city is home to the famous Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival. For those who want to live in Texas, the Austin metro is certainly an area to consider.

New Orleans/Metairie

The New Orleans metro area, which includes Metairie, is home to a large LGBTQ population. The many different festivals and events held in New Orleans, especially Mardi Gras, bring thousands of people into the city throughout the year. Home costs in New Orleans are fairly affordable, especially when compared to San Francisco, so you can find a great home here for a very reasonable price.

The Seattle Metro

Going back north, the Seattle Metro area (Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma) rounds out the top five cities with the largest LGBTQ population. Some 4.8% of the metro’s population identifies as part of the LGBTQ community, and they’re a very active group. The metro has two pride festivals and two LGBTQ choruses. The city’s hospitals have even been identified for always treating LGBTQ patients with dignity and respect.

If you’re looking to move to a large metro area that you know is accepting and friendly towards the LGBTQ community, these five are a good place to start the search. You’ll find many gay and lesbian real estate agents ready to help you make the move.

Does the Gayborhood Have a Future?

The gayborhood, gay ghetto, or whatever you want to call it exploded during the 80s. Boystown in Chicago, the Castro District in San Francisco, and many other neighborhoods attracted LGBTQ people because they offered a safe space. Over the years, the people who moved into these communities transformed them from run-down areas to gorgeous neighborhoods where many people, regardless of their orientation, want to live. But has this gentrification extended the life of the gayborhood or is it going to bring about the fall of these communities?

Higher Costs Could Spell the End

Does the Gayborhood Have a FutureWhen many of these gay neighborhoods began, they were low-income areas that were in disrepair. LGBTQ people were more or less forced out of the nicer neighborhoods due to discrimination. However, rather than live in dirty, run-down areas, they began repairing the homes and building up a sense of community. Today, many of these areas feature restored historical houses that look amazing.

Unfortunately, this cost does come with a downside: many people can’t afford to live in these neighborhoods. Those who can don’t always identify as LGBTQ. The result is that many are becoming more like every other neighborhood with a large mixture of people. They’re great communities, but they’re no longer predominately LGBTQ.

There Are More Choices

Higher home prices aren’t the only factor threatening the future of the gay ghetto. In the 80s and even the 90s, being LGBTQ meant facing discrimination, and many people stayed in the closet. Today, thanks to wider acceptance, most people are proud to be known as LGBTQ. Many want to live close to work or in a specific school zone. They’re selecting their homes based on other factors, not on who their neighbors are. Few see the need to live in a gay neighborhood. It’s no longer the only option for out LGBTQ people.

New Builds Are Attracting New Homeowners

Some people seek out historic homes or houses that may need a little love and maintenance, but some don’t. Some people want to live in new houses and condos that are move-in ready with no repairs or changes. As more of these new homes pop up, the gay neighborhoods get left behind. This is especially true for neighborhoods that are within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and other amenities. These communities are attracting more and more young homebuyers.

In fact, a few of these newly constructed or revived neighborhoods have actually become LGBTQ communities. So, the gayborhood may not be dead—it may simply be moving to a new location. It varies from city to city. In some areas, older gay ghettos are vanishing with no new replacements. In others, new communities are popping up. Some of the older areas, such as Boystown, haven’t been affected that much.

No matter where you want to live, be sure to seek out the services of a gay or lesbian real estate professional. They will help you find the home of your dreams.

Phoenix – A LGBTQ Haven in the Southwest

The southwest is known for its dry heat, native American influences, and deserts. It’s not exactly known for being an LGBTQ destination or a place to live, but Phoenix, Arizona, has a thriving gay and lesbian community. This metro area is gorgeous all year long, so if you love bright, sunny days, it may be the perfect place to call home. There’s a lot to do in both the LGBTQ community and in Phoenix as a whole.

Phoenix is home to dozens of luxury resorts, so there are many tourists here throughout the year. Many of these tourists and residents alike love taking hot air balloon rides or riding horseback through the unique landscape. Golf is another popular hobby in Phoenix, and the city has an astonishing 200+ golf courses. With shopping, art exhibits, and sporting events, there’s a ton to do in the city.

Phoenix’s LGBTQ District

Phoenix – A LGBTQ Haven in the SouthwestUnlike some cities, Phoenix doesn’t really have a major LGBTQ neighborhood. The city is very spread out, and the LGBTQ community is, too. Even though there’s not really a gay ghetto here, there are a number of LGBTQ-owned businesses in the Melrose District. You’ll also find the Central Phoenix LGBT Community Center there along with some great clubs and bars. The Phoenix Pride festival is held every year at Steele Indian School Park and brings in thousands of LGBTQ individuals and allies from Phoenix and the surrounding areas.

One of the more unique things about the Phoenix LGBTQ community is that it spreads out beyond Phoenix. Many of the suburbs and nearby cities that have grown into Phoenix have large gay and lesbian populations. Scottsdale, for example, has a thriving LGBTQ community thanks to the large arts movement there.

Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Gilbert, and Apache Junction, collectively called the East Valley cities, also have a good number of LGBTQ communities. Arizona State University brings many younger LGBTQ individuals to Tempe, while Mesa is one of the fastest growing cities in Arizona. Many have moved there in response to the commercial boom the city is experiencing.

No matter what brings you to the Phoenix area, it’s certainly a great place for LGBTQ individuals and families. Home prices in the area are reasonable, especially if you compare them to other large metros such as New York, LA, or Chicago. You’ll find many gay and lesbian real estate agents who can help you find the perfect home in Phoenix.

LGBTQ-Friendly Cities Where the Real Estate Market Will Improve in 2019

As with any year, you can expect 2019 to bring about many changes in your life. Will one of those changes include moving to a new city? If so, you might want to be aware of which cities are going to have a higher-than-average housing market. Moving to one of these cities may be a bit more costly, but it could also be a major opportunity for you.

Of course, you also want to make certain these cities are fairly welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Working with a gay or lesbian real estate professional is certainly one way of learning about the area and finding the right home for you. If you already live in one of these cities and have been thinking about selling, now may be the time.

Dallas, Texas

LGBTQ-Friendly Cities Where the Real Estate Market Will Improve in 2019Dallas has always been a fairly open metro. It’s home to the Cathedral of Hope, one of the largest inclusive church congregations that’s mainly LGBTQ. The city has also received a score of 100 on the HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, which shows that it’s very progressive and that city officials have made it a point to protect and include the LGBTQ community.

Experts in real estate and the economy expect homes in Dallas to continue to sell for slightly above the national average, but they will continue to sell. Homes will improve in value, which means even if you’re not looking to buy, you may want to consider selling. For example, if you’re an older couple and your children have left home, selling your current home and downsizing could net you a very nice profit.

Washington, D.C.

It’s no secret that living in the capitol city of the U.S. is expensive, which is why many people prefer to live nearby and commute to work. Those who do own property in D.C. will see housing market do exceptionally well. One of the reasons some experts are giving for the growth in D.C. is because Amazon has selected the city and New York City for its new headquarters buildings. Originally, the company was only going to build one additional headquarters, but executives later decided to build two smaller bases.

Denver, Colorado

Denver may not have been chosen for Amazon’s HQ, but it was a finalist, and even that has had an impact on the city. With a number of LGBTQ neighborhoods, it’s certainly a great place for anyone looking to live in the Midwest U.S. While there is some concern about the housing bubble bursting, analysts believe those concerns are unfounded and that the Denver housing market will grow in 2019.

These are just three LGBTQ-friendly cities that are going to see a strong housing market in 2019. While that may not affect your housing decisions, it is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to buy or sell in these cities.

Delaware’s Gay Ghetto, Rehoboth Beach

If you love the Northwest, you may want to think about moving to Delaware. While it may not get as much recognition as other northern states such as New York and Pennsylvania, Delaware has a lot to offer. For those who are part of the LGBTQ community, Delaware even has its own gay neighborhood in Rehoboth Beach. Unlike some gay ghettos, Rehoboth Beach is actually its own recognized city. It’s located in the Cape Region, one of Delaware’s up-and-coming areas, and is a part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metro Area.

Rehoboth Beach and the LGBTQ Community

Delaware’s Gay Ghetto, Rehoboth BeachRehoboth Beach was officially founded in 1873, although people had lived in the area for quite some time before that. While it originally was a Methodist camp area, the area soon became a vacation area for those from Washington, DC, and later the nation.

In the 1940s, the LGBTQ nightlife scene took off. Poodle Beach, the area at the southern end of the boardwalk, became a haven for gay men. Bars such as the Pink Pony Bar sat on the boardwalk itself, drawing in many LGBTQ people. Despite having a reputation as a family resort, the area became more and more popular with the LGBTQ community, leading to dance clubs, hotels, and other businesses that catered to the community.

The 1990s and Gay Bashing

Unfortunately, not everyone in Rehoboth Beach was welcoming. IN the early 1990s, there are a number of incidents of gay bashing. The phrase “Keep Rehoboth a Family Town” appeared on signs and bumper stickers as a slogan for rallying anti-homosexual sentiments. One of the popular clubs in the city, the Strand, became the central point of the conflict when it was denied a liquor license. City officials passed a law banning any bar that wasn’t attached to a restaurant. This mostly affected LGBTQ businesses.

Because of this, LGBTQ activists, leaders, and allies formed an organization dedicated to bringing the Rehoboth Beach community together. Today, the city’s LGBTQ population has expanded and is seen as a welcome, equal voice in the community. Rehoboth Beach has been named one of the country’s beast gay beaches and one of the best retirement destinations.

If you’re considering retiring to the area or simply want a change of location, Rehoboth Beach should be on your list of options. Its welcoming attitude and amazing coastline make it an ideal place to live, work, or just visit.

Gentrification and the LGBTQ Community

If you’ve looked at homes in a gay neighborhood or have lived in one before, you’ve likely heard the term “gentrification.” This term is used when a poor neighborhood is improved and maintained to the point that those who once could afford to live there are no longer able to. Gentrification is often connected to the LGBTQ community due to its history in areas such as the Castro and Boystown. Once, these were the only neighborhoods where LGBTQ people felt safe. Today, however, many find that they simply can’t afford to live in these historically gay areas.

The LGBTQ Community After WWII

Gentrification of GayborhoodsThe history of gentrification begins after World War II. Those who had fought in the war were quickly and efficiently kicked out of the military if the let it be known that they were gay. Others found themselves the victims of hate crimes and were forced to leave the neighborhoods they were living in. With often little money and nowhere else to go, they settled in poor, often run down parts of the city.

Over time, these brave LGBTQ individuals and families began changing the communities they were forced to live in. They repaired the homes, improved the landscaping, and in general made the neighborhoods nicer than they were before. Developers saw these up-and-coming neighborhoods and began building new apartment complexes and housing developments in them. The result is that after a few decades, suddenly these “gay ghettos” were affluent neighborhoods with rising property values.

The Benefits of Gentrification

On one hand, the LGBTQ community is able to take advantage of the benefits of gentrification. Many of these homeowners are able to sell their houses for much more than they paid for them. Many even make a profit after subtracting out the cost of maintenance. The neighborhoods such as Harlem, East Village, and West Village were once mostly LGBTQ communities, but today that’s no longer true because many of the gay or lesbian homeowners sold their properties for a nice sum. Those who continue to live in these areas now enjoy safe neighborhoods that are the envy of many.

The Downsides

Of course, there are some downsides to gentrification. Young LGBTQ couples and individuals may find it impossible to move into the gayborhood of their choice. Those who continue to live in a gentrified gay district are likely to find their property taxes have greatly increased. Their overall cost of living may have increased, too. Some may even find themselves forced to sell their beloved home because they can no longer afford it.

Whether you love it or hate it, gentrification is something that many LGBTQ people have to face at some point. Fortunately, there are great gay and lesbian real estate professionals here to help you buy a home in the gay neighborhood of your choice or sell a property you already own.