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5 Affordable Gay Cities You’re Forgetting

  August 31, 2017  |    #Live Fabulously

The ditty on gay cities 

What the eff are gay cities? Gay cities are cities, big or small – size doesn’t matter – that are openly friendly to queer people. From New York City to San Francisco and Pittsburg to Portland, if I can walk down the street and holding my husband’s hand without fear, it’s a gay city. If you are looking to move, get your 22-point Moving Affordability Checklist and Calculator here. 

Migration to the gay cities

For decades, there’s been a migration of corn-fed boys and small-town girls with big city dreams to major cities that became the norm within the LGBT community.

Not long-ago gays and lesbians had to hide in bigger gay cities — like San Francisco, the queen of all gayborhoods — if we wanted to live our lives as ourselves. We gathered in pockets of less desirable neighborhoods in these larger cities.

The Castro in San Francisco today is not The Castro of Harvey Milk. Chelsea in New York City and Boystown in Chicago weren’t the exclusive enclaves they are today. Pre-1980, these neighborhoods were dirty, crime-ridden places citizens forgot and governments hoped to forget.

With the number of people these cities housed, it was easy for gays and lesbians to hide in plain sight. It’s been either irony or recompense that these places of refuge made many marginalized residents marginally rich with their DIY skills long before shirtless HGTV stars showed them how.

Live fabulously in affordable gay cities

Times have changed and, in many parts of the country, we no longer need to seek refuge. There’s still a draw to these bigger cities — one that now poses a financial problem. While real estate and the cost of living has increased nationwide since the 1970s — exponentially so in these first- and second-tier metros — many once affordable gay locales are now million-dollar enclaves Google employees can’t even afford. For gays and lesbians who don’t earn six figures, that’s a problem.

To be sure, today’s economy requires multiple streams of income and an entrepreneurial spirit. That’s why we’re advocating for more queer people to become gay bloggers. This can increase your streams of income to make more money at your own pace and on your own time. We’re also advocating for more people of “alternative lifestyles” to consider alternative residence.

Big city, empty pockets

While it’s fabulous to live in a city with tons things to do seven nights of the week with millions of people who look, talk and act like you, it’s also easy to become fabulously broke there. Here is the cost of living numbers for premier gay cities per PayScale:

  • New York – cost of living is 129% above average; housing is 369% above average
  • Los Angeles – cost of living is 50% above average; housing is 355% above average
  • San Francisco – cost of living is 192% above average; housing is 198% above average
  • Chicago – cost of living is 20% above average; housing is 46% above average
  • Seattle – cost of living is 24% above average; housing is 82% above average

A regular mo needs multiple incomes just to afford to live in one of those premier gay cities. If you’re committed to living on one of the above or other expensive cities, commit to starting your own business to generate income.

Smaller cities, bigger pockets

Gays and lesbians today should know that the door out of the closet doesn’t just lead to these emerald cities. Here are five alternative and amazing gay cities that rank in the top 15 for the highest concentration of LGBT per capita and have a more affordable cost of living. Best of all, when budgeted correctly, most queer residents in these gay cities can quickly hop on a plane and visit any of the above with the click of their heels.

Use This Moving Affordability Checklist & Calculator to Plan Your Next Move!

1. Austin, Texas

Austin boasts an LGBT population of 5.3% of the general population. Its cost of living is 3% below the national average and housing is 4% below the national average. Austin has an amazing music scene and is becoming a mecca for comedy and improv theater. It’s also known for great food, yet is one of the fittest cities in Texas. Austin’s gay community bookends the summer with Splash Days on Memorial and Labor Day weekends, which is the place to be Memorial and Labor Day weekends. For a full breadth of entertainment, fun and gay community, Austin may be your best bet.

2. Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City is not the Sal Tlay Ka Siti we’ve come to love from The Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City’s LGBT people make up a solid 4.7% of the total population. Its cost of living is just 8% over the national average, and its housing is 33% over the national average. Salt Lake City is close to premier skiing and cycling destinations and has a growing music scene with free concerts in Pioneer Park.

3. New Orleans, Louisiana

Gay people make up 5.1% of The Big Easy. New Orleans’ cost of living is 2% below the national average and its housing is just 1% higher than the national average. New Orleans flamboyance makes Las Vegas jealous and is a foodie’s buffet. With as much history as hurricanes, of both the wind/water and libation varieties. Lastly, New Orleans is rumored to be the home of David’s favorite drink, the Sazerac. That, alone, might make us move there.

4. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville’s queer people make up a healthy 4.5% of Louisville’s overall population. Louisville’s cost of living is 10% below the national average, and housing is 22% below the national average. The city is filled with beautiful historic homes and — put on your best hat —it’s home to the Kentucky Derby! Louisville also has a thriving art, culture and zombie scene – yes, zombie scene; it’s the site of one of the world’s biggest annual Zombie Walks.

5. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville can be proud of its 4.3% of LGBTQ people in it’s The River City. Jacksonville’s cost of living is 4% below the national average and housing is 15% below the national average. If you want to live near the beach, but can’t afford it, Jacksonville is the next best thing and much better than the movie of the same name. Jacksonville has a thriving downtown scene, including great restaurant and nightlife. It also has the largest urban park system in the U.S.

The above list isn’t all-inclusive of the best third- and fourth-tier cities for queer people to live, but they’ll give you money-conscious considerations to live fabulously, not fabulously broke even with a single job. With multiple streams of income, you could be sitting like the queen or king you want to be.

What affordable gay cities do you recommend?

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53 responses to “5 Affordable Gay Cities You’re Forgetting

  1. I can definitely agree with you that New York City is EXPENSIVE!!! Going out with your friends and ordering just one drink can cost you $15 when you can get that same exact drink for $7 anywhere else!!

  2. You missed Columbus Ohio. We have one of the largest gay populations in the Mid-west, second only to Chicago. Plus we’re the home to a multitude of large companies, so there are plenty of jobs to go around. Check us out!

    1. Thanks for the hint. We didn’t find Columbus ranking high on the per capita for LGBT populations. Maybe the lists we were looking at need some updating. We are going to be in Akron for a speaking event in 2017. We may have to drive on over.

    2. Have lived in Columbus, Ohio 34 years. It has gone from a cow town to a VERY diverse and Gay-friendly town. Housing, salaries, education, Arts/Foodie community-check ,check, and check! Also, GAY majority neighborhoods. German Village, Victorian Village, and Clintonville. Cost of housing is amazing! Supportive City council, mayor, and even state reps. They even march or ride in June @ PRIDE!

  3. Hey David! It’s Zanaan; thanks for including Salt Lake City on your list. I moved from Denver to Salt Lake and I always tell people it’s the biggest best kept gay secret in America!! The LGBTQ community is thriving here in the city, with a Lesbian Mayor, Gay city council members, booming economy and one of the largest populations of gay families with children, it’s no wonder why Salt Lake City is being touted as the new San Francisco.

    1. Thanks Mike, we may need to add that to our list. We also pull from the listing of cities with higher than average LGBT populations. I am not sure where LV stands on that list. Do you?

  4. I certainly hope that you don’t truly believe that Louisville, KY is a city where gay couples can walk down the street, holding hands, without experiencing frequent comments, jeers, or threats! To believe that, would only demonstrate that you haven’t done so yourself. And if you have, and didn’t have a negative experience, then I assure you, it’s not the norm!

  5. Looking for a safe and gay friendly- gay population city with a large Asian and Pacific Islander presence

    Healthcare is a very important consideration

  6. Austin has gotten much more expensive over the past several years and only getting worse. Our diverse neighborhood (ethnically and LGBTQ, older ppl and families) is becoming less so because of housing prices and property taxes. It’s sad and we’re looking for a less expensive place to retire when the time comes.

  7. Do you have a list of the best LGBTQ small towns? I would love to find a quaint town that it is gay friendly and liberal, somewhere out of the South, and somewhere that hasn’t become overly gentrified. I know, that’s a lot to ask for.

    1. New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey (across the Delaware River from one another) are very gay friendly and quaint.

    2. Replying to Jeremy about seeking small towns in the south that are LGBTQ friendly — it almost doesn’t exist unless you are interested in the small towns near Atlanta like for instance Avondale Estates. To find liberal communities you have to study how these places vote. If predominantly Republican, then go elsewhere. The very best small city in the US I think is Port Townsend, WA. Housing is relatively cheap and cost of living is not exorbitant. No state income tax in Washington state. The closer you get to Seattle, however, is almost cost prohibitive.

  8. I agree with others about SLC being a good place to locate. I’ve considered Austin too, but I think we should let politics be our guide. If for instance one were interested in Louisville, KY, all you have to do is look at who your senators and congressmen are. In Kentucky would you as a LGBTQ person depend on Mich McConnell, Rand Paul, or the up and coming Kim Davis (who got national attention for her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gays) to defend your rights? Nowhere is perfect for us, but don’t set your sights on backwards towns, cities, and states.

  9. I’m a 63 yr old gay woman who is in a nursing home in Novato, CA! I’m basically healthy I just got stuck here due to unfortunate circumstances and nowhere to go! I lived in Northern NJ my whole life and in 2016 my Mother passed away! I had been living with her for 16 years, I gave up my life and at the end I couldn’t take of her or myself any longer! My younger sister suggested I move here for s better life and I thought I was! I thought she was going to help me get back on my feet and find permanent, affordable housing! At the time I did not know the Bay Area was not only the most expensive place to live in the country but the 2nd most expensive in the world! I ended up in shelters at the age of 62! I didn’t know how to do this but somehow I survived! I ended up in a nursing home because of knee surgery and I believe the only reason I’m here still is because of some medical difficulties and because I tried to take my life! I want to live but I want housing I can afford without 3 or 4 20 year olds sharing a bathroom! I want to be honest about who I am and enjoy some of the things I use to! I want to work and help others! I been so abused and taken advantage of and that is not happening any longer either! I have no roots any more I just want my own space and bathroom and to find lgbt friendships again! And possibly even a relationship! I wish my experience here in CA had been better but I wasn’t prepared and I planned to be now! If you can help me find housing without being in the middle of the boon docks where I’d be slaughtered if I used the gay word I’d be grateful! I’m in a nursing home in Novato and believe me a lot of these older people are Trump lovers and they scare the hell out of me! I appreciate the roof over my head but it’s time to find a place to call home and to have a key to my own door! Thank You for your time and listening and I hope you can help me!

    1. I live in Portland and unfortunately it’s not what it seems in terms of being “gay friendly”. Portland was decent for gay and lesbians couples but, a few years ago we started seeing more and more anti-gay religious groups come in and buy the buildings that had many of the gay and lesbian establishments. When they did that they didn’t let the businesses renew their leases or they increased the rent so much that it wasn’t affordable. On top of all this Portland is getting to be on our with Seattle as far as cost of living goes. In fact my husband and I were looking at moving to Chicago, and we discovered the cost of living is higher in Portland than Chicago. So I am glad that Portland didn’t make the list.

      1. Oh, Portland is a waste of space. I’ve lived here for 24 years now, and am doing everything I can to escape it’s restrictive, self-importance. Hipsters and uniformed individuality (everyone is a lemming) is tiresome.

    2. Are you kidding? The cost of living is high in Portland. We have a housing crisis, and rent is exorbitantly expensive.

  10. A warning to anyone considering Denver as an option – it’s not.

    We came out here for a month to check it out – nothing pays over 16.00 an hour including I.T., developers and software engineers. It’s a disgustingly dirty city with bad roads, horrible drivers, and the economy is marginal at best. So many people came here for the pot boom and those jobs are FILLED and GONE with many waiting in line…the largest and most successful pot store in Colorado was recently shuttered due to a huge federal intervention and now hundreds of employees have felonies on their records…pot may be legal, but it’s still heavily monitored and regulated here.

    It IS NOT a gay friendly city regardless of what you read, and everyone is segregated into neighborhoods – there is a gay ghetto like very city near City Park and Cheeseman Park (and I mean GHETTO – it’s stuck in the 80’s), but I rarely see “family” in the area, including the grocery store. People will tell you they are cool with queers, just don’t move into their neighborhood…remember that couple who couldn’t get a wedding cake made here? – yah – that’s Denver…

    Not sure where to go – Austin is a blue dot in a red sea and seems to only be attractive to hipsters, Salt Lake is full of Mormons and IS the city Book Of Mormon describes – live there, but know the Mormons rule the city…and the state. If you’re gay and Mormon, well good for you.

    Can’t wait to get out of this backwards dirt bowl…but have no idea where to go next – spent most of our lives in Seattle but it is overpriced and lackluster considering it rains 10 months out of the year, and is quickly becoming San Francisco. Portland won’t hire us because we have CA jobs on our resumes. Moving North to Chicago sounds miserable, and Las Vegas is just…sad…and was the most impacted city in the last downturn.

    If anyone has a better idea, I’d love to hear it…

  11. I found Salem, Ma – an artsy, rainbow flying, sea side community when I was priced out of the LGBT neighborhoods in Boston.

  12. I’ve lived in Kentucky my entire life. There are no cities where you can comfortably live as a gay man. Lots of toxic masculinity, racism, and religious ignorance and intolerance. Do yourself a favor and do not move to Louisville.

    1. Hi Charles, and anyone else who can contribute:
      Good to know. I live in Los Angeles and the cost of living is out of control. I saw property is cheaper in Kentucky and was thinking of moving to Lexington or Louisville. Here’s the thing, while I am straight, my 11 year old daughter has come out. I am very protective of her and read that KY was moderately tolerant. What would be your or any one else who is reading this(‘s) honest opinion? Thanks -Chris

  13. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions on this list. I moved from Seattle in 2011 to the Midwest to be with family. Yes, Seattle is a very expensive city, however, you DO get what you pay for. A post earlier regarding KY talked about safety while holding hands with a same sex person (Thank you Jeremy P. For your comment), and I can say without question that Seattle is THE only city I have ever lived that one can feel comfortable being a gay person or holding hands/walking arm and arm (my preference *smile*) with a special someone. Yes, you may get the occasional look, but it’s not one of hatred, it’s one of “ohh, right…I live in Seattle, I’m cool with this”. (In my opinion anyway). They also have the largest gay and lesbian business association in the country! They even give scholarships to lgbt students for college!

    So now I’m looking for a new place to live. I’ve been in the worst midwestern state for gay people for 7 years now and need to retreat. (They truly hate us…they aren’t ignorant, they just hate us. Let’s move on.)

    Again, thanks to those who’ve added to this list. Does anywone else feel we lost a lot more than just the ability to have nice chats with other like-minded gay folk when gay.com went down? I remember talking to people on there before I moved/visited anywhere just to get a feel for neighborhoods and local opinions. It was always helpful! I’m still friends with a number of them to this day. Sadly, we seemed to have reached our peak/epoch around 2016. Laws were changed, minds were finally starting to open and we were taken seriously! Even respected. No more. I guess we just got too proud and too free.
    Whatever the case, I still hold those triumphant days in my chest/soul. Maybe soon I’ll find myself in a city or town that respects all walks of life. Revels in diversity, even celebrates it.

    The search continues. But hey, we ARE still out here. No matter how they try to push us off the table or reimagine us, we are here. Woohoo! We are here.

  14. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions on this list. I moved from Seattle in 2011 to the Midwest to be with family. Yes, Seattle is a very expensive city, however, you DO get what you pay for. A post earlier regarding KY talked about safety while holding hands with a same sex person (Thank you Jeremy P. For your comment), and I can say without question that Seattle is THE only city I have ever lived that one can feel comfortable being a gay person or holding hands/walking arm and arm (my preference *smile*) with a special someone. Yes, you may get the occasional look, but it’s not one of hatred, it’s one of “ohh, right…I live in Seattle, I’m cool with this”. (In my opinion anyway). They also have the largest gay and lesbian business association in the country! They even give scholarships to lgbt students for college!

    So now I’m looking for a new place to live. I’ve been in the worst midwestern state for gay people for 7 years now and need to retreat. (They truly hate us…they aren’t ignorant, they just hate us. Let’s move on.)

    Again, thanks to those who’ve added to this list. Does anywone else feel we lost a lot more than just the ability to have nice chats with other like-minded gay folk when gay.com went down? I remember talking to people on there before I moved or visited anywhere to get a feel for neighborhoods and suggestions by locals. It was always helpful! I’m still friends with some of them to this day. Sadly, we seemed to have reached our peak/epoch around 2016. Laws were changed, minds were finally starting to open and we were taken seriously, respected. No more. I guess we just got too proud and too free.
    Whatever the case, I still hold those triumphant days in my chest/soul.

    The search continues. But hey, we ARE still out here. No matter how they try to push us off the table or reimagine us, we are here. Woohoo! We are here.

  15. Me and my partner have been together 20 years and we currently live in norther NJ we are looking for a great place to retire we are both retired and have a specific amount of money per month.
    We are looking for a town that is gay friendly, I worry about my partner because he is a bit flamboyant and is a bit of a target for haters, we own our house so the good thing is when we sell we will have that money to buy another hopefully with a little left over. We would love to find a house somewhere between 200,000.00 to 230,000.00 not a penny more. The propert taxes here in NJ are getting out of control. We would love some direction from anyone who can give us some advice we would love a warmer climate and was thinking of Florida, however I hate bugs and heard they are big big big in Florida……we don’t want anywhere there are and enormous community of religious fanatics……..

    1. My partner of 30 years and two dogs have found life great in the North Ga mountains. We live in a town called Ellijay which opens s close to Blue Ridge. We are located 90 mi north of Atlanta. U would easily find properties very nice but n your price range! Check it out! Life is great here!

    2. Joseph,

      If you are still looking, St. Petersburg, Florida was just rated as the third best city for gay folks in the U. S. by Realtor.com. The climate is warm, there are relatively few “large bugs” here., and the city has become one of the major cultural/artistic centers of the Southeast. There are beautiful sandy beaches all around to the west of the city. Most importantly, there is a a large retired gay community that is quite active through the Metro Wellness Center with weekly discussion sections, outings, social events etc.

  16. I must start this by Saying I found it totally by accident, or should I say “providence?”
    I am right in there as so many of us are. I lived in Fort Lauderdale for 45 years, my late 20’s to my 50’s.
    It was fabulous. I am a Hairdresser with National and International recognition. I worked hard, and believe me, PLAYED HARD. I regret not one single day of my then life and would probably kill to go back and do it ll again.
    But – LIFE HAPPENS.
    I was very fortunate and met the most magnificent man in a hustler bar, who was taking a girlfriend of mine fr every penny she had playing pool. I am not a pool player, per se’ but I went in, took the game she lost for $100 and did a double or nothing. I lost. Too Bad. I went in again and asked for a double or nothing and he said “Sure” with much haste. I then, somehow, as fate would have it, I broke and after all the balls went their way, I got the eight ball in on the break. (That’s good I think)
    Well he left owing me money and had to borrow $20 to get home.
    I had to chase him down, only to get my $20 (uhumm)
    What I got was a magnificent man in every way possible. Sadly this “magnificent man” came with a crack habit, a stealing habit, legal problems, and just about everything you would think of from finding him in a hustler bar in downtown Ft La di da.
    For better or worse, I had it bad. After multiple $1,000’s of legal fees, stolen jewelry, stolen money, stolen cars, blah blah blah, it is now going to be 20 years on April 27th, 2019.
    Unfortunately I got sick in 1999 (Congestive Heart Failure), and had to start dissolving y empire.
    At that time I had 4 Salons in the South Florida area, with 2 in Lauderdale. We had a Family Restaurant, (open 6 am to 10 pm), a Gentleman’s Club (open 23 hours a day per law), 4 Escort Services (1 Female 4 Male and 3 Male 4 Male with hours that were busy mostly from 8 pm to 5 am, the bartenders get urges too), we had adopted a young Latin Girl who was in the 3rd Grade (her family spoke no English, her Dad was an abusive drunk, and when the parents fought, she had to call the Police because she was the only one who spoke English).
    One day her Dad came over to see his wife (I had her come in and do laundry and clean the Salon for extra money and to get away from “HIM.”
    His daughter, Graziela (but she wanted to be called Jennifer), was playing with getting fake nails from the manicurist and such, which he did not like. So he saw this and said, She likes it here and you so much, why you no take here.
    I was gobsmacked and said what do you mean, and what he meant was TAKE HER. So she is not his problem anymore.
    After 3 Lawyers, much paperwork and counseling from someone who spoke Spanish and could tell them whats up, she was officially adopted. (I offered to take the Mom as well but she was afraid he would kill her if she tried to leave.
    She moved, went from failing in school to excelling and becoming on the Honor Roll.
    Long section here turned into Readers Digest version, her Mom came to see her weekends. She would stay over, until he got jealous. Then she had to ride along with him on his job. YES, he got a job.
    He was a delivery person for KFC. When he was between calls, she had to sit in the car, so he could watch her. No comment on this part anymore.
    After a couple years, she started going to their house (trailer) to visit on weekends. He would drop her off Sunday mornings, then after a while, he started just dropping her at school as that was on his was to KFC, to cook chicken now (inter-company advancement).
    The one day about 2 years later, we had here for almost 5 1/2 years by now, the school called and said “Jennifer did not show up for school.”
    YEP! You guessed it. We went to the Trailer Park where they were living, and “no body speaka no English…….”
    She as gone, the family was gone, the trailer was empty.
    The Police came and found out they left on Saturday morning, seemingly right after he picked her up.
    The Police looked for 3 weeks avidly but finally said (without any insinuations to Latin people by myself), Latin people are a very close knit people. They don’t have to KNOW you to help you. All you have to say is somebody is trying to take my daughter and “poof” – INVISIBLE!
    They gave up and so did I.
    Side note about 3 years later I was coming out of Home Depot and saw her Dad going in the store with a young lady. To this day I swear it was here but my “Hustler” said, it could be anybody.
    About a month later, he told me he thought it was her also. He told me “She will remember you for the rest of her life. You took her out of a place of distress and made her an A student, dressed her to the nines, taught her manners and helped her think about her future (she wants to be a lawyer that helps people who can’t afford a lawyer). Wonder where that came from.
    In any case, this whole tirade has been to tell you that I am presently stuck in SW Florida, the Venice area. We happen to be house sitting but that is ending soon, like REAL SOON, maybe next week.
    There is no place to go.
    My 45 yr old body is now a 65+ body that can not walk. I got to be 605 lbs when I had CHF, and have no cartilage in my joints, as well as peripheral neuropathy from lack of movement in my legs. I get around by Power Chair or I don’t go.
    My better half (let’s call him John, a little play on how we met) is not the 22 he was when we met. Did I forget to tell you he was 24 years younger than me when we met?
    He works 22 hours a day, as he has to cook for me, clean for me, clean ME, wash the clothes, do the shopping, everything.
    I am sure when he met this middle aged Hairdresser with a Jaguar, a Ford F250, AND a Corvette, he thought he hit the golden goose. And he did for many years.
    When I awoke from CHF and he was still there, I was shocked to say the least.
    That is when I knew I found the “soul mate” so many talk about.
    I know he is still there when I am screaming at him not to drop me when I need to get in the truck (I lost weight but still 382)), or when I call him and say I dropped my pen, then 10 minutes later, I dropped my mouse, then 5 minutes later when I call and say Can I get a soda please.
    He is still here.
    I am blessed.
    We have looked for a place to go for over a year now and there is no place. He can’t get a job because I can not even go to the bathroom by myself.
    I get $750 on disability, and $560 of that goes to my truck payment.
    Then I have to create the rest of our lives out of thin air. Food, Internet, Electricity, Pet Food, Laundry Money, all the things it takes to live today.
    So your article has become a guide of what to try and do when and where.
    Thank You, don’t stop by any means and maybe you will become our Saviour!
    Sorry for the fatal attack of loquaciousness.
    Next time tell me to shut up!
    Thank You, my friend.

  17. How does anyone feel about Philadelphia? I’m looking to retire from NYC but still want a city lifestyle (don’t want a car), somewhere gay friendly, with good healthcare, an international airport for frequent travel and no city state taxes on retirement income. Philadelphia seems to fit and I’ve been there twice but would love to hear what anyone else thinks.

  18. I live in Seattle and this is on point. I lived in indianapolis a few years back and it was surprisingly LGBTQ friendly. In the city. Not outside the city. Also affordable. Im almost surprised it didn’t make the list.

  19. Hey guys! This is such a great list. But I still need your help. Im currently living in Jacksonville Florida and it is not a gay friendly as I though it would be. There aren’t that many lesbian friendly places to go and meet people. So a last I will be moving elsewhere. Where can a black bi women feel not only comfortable being bi but can also live affordably and still be able to meet people at lesbian friendly bars and restaurants?

  20. I lived in Jacksonville for years and yes it much cheaper than the rest of Florida and the people are more friendly than Fort Lauderdale where I live now . I am looking at Austin or Salt Lake now over south Florida . Cost of living here is terrible and very hard to meet anyone .

  21. Palm Springs is a Gay Retirement HOT SPOT…… so much so, that prices have been rising. But the city is approx. 60% gay ( one of the highest in the country). Weather is unbeatable, with 360 days of sun. For California, the housing costs are still affordable. And we have major health care both locally and near by. Plus plenty of outdoor activities like great hiking, the country’s second largest film festival, a year round street fair, Modernism Week, GREAT RESTAURANTS, and plenty of entertainment due to all of the local casinos who attract big name entertainers.

  22. As a Southerner who has lived in several places, including Atlanta, there are several small Southern cities that are gay friendly and affordable. If you can stomach the state legislature, both Asheville and Raleigh, NC are gay friendly. These are liberal enclaves in a conservative state. I find Charleston, SC welcoming, though less so outside of the historic district.

  23. Has anyone heard anything about Vancouver, WA? Just sold and moved out of Seattle. Biding our time before we jump back into the housing market and thought Vancouver WA looked interesting. Cheers!

  24. My partner of 30 years and two dogs have found life great in the North Ga mountains. We live in a town called Ellijay which is close to Blue Ridge. We are located 90 mi north of Atlanta. U would easily find properties very nice n your price range! Check it out! Life is great here! Growing gay area especially for couples.

  25. Come to Fairfield Iowa! Liberal, International. Democratic gem of a town. People are healthy and into Transcendental Meditation, organic gardening, and are very evolved, welcoming, and accepting! Cost of living. Is very low, and it is 1.5 hours from Iowa City. Lots of houses to fix up and businesses to be built here! Come one come all! We relocated from Chelsea, NYC and it is super easy to make good friends here and we need more cool people! Very LGBQT friendly!!!

  26. Albuquerque is affordable, gay friendly, low real estate prices, lots to do, and a perfect climate. Major drawbacks would be geographically isolated and relatively high crime rate.

  27. WoW! Thanks to this article I am about to do an extensive search for an affordable condo for this 66 yo retiree (former dancer/ professor). I’m single. So survival is on SS and very small pension! Have to be in an accepting/democratic (liberal) area/friendly to gay seniors/and social life! I would appreciate any/all feedback comments. $125,000 that includes HOA = total no higher than $750/monthly. One (of very few pioneering) Gay Single Men who adopted two sons (now 20 & 27), while working FT as a professor. Fought through the negativity of most in the LGBTQ sharing, “will never happen”! Well, it DAD!!!! Now by myself and searching for the next chapter to live (and possibly partner up!) LOL

  28. I grew up in NYC and lived in DC and visited most major US cities on business. I moved to Philly in the 70s and recently came out as trans and love Philly…..it is so LGBT friendly. The city is not huge but very picturesque and a relatively median cost of living. Heck, seniors over 65 get to ride all trains and busses and trolleys for free….and people are pretty friendly compared to NY

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