A new study from Homes.com took a look at the state of homeownership in the LGBTQ community. The “LGBT Real Estate Report 2018-19: A View of LGBT Homeownership Trends and Economic Impact,” shows that, “significantly more LGBT clients are expecting to increase their real estate holdings either by moving into bigger homes or purchasing a second home (41% and 27% respectively), compared to only 20% expecting to downsize in the near future.” The survey curated responses from nearly 500 real estate and mortgage professionals.
The survey also focused on housing discrimination among the LGBTQ community, noting that, “Federal law and the Fair Housing Act do not yet include protections for LGBTQ clients.” Although, “According to the Human Rights Campaign, twenty-one states and the District of Columbia currently prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, with a further one state prohibiting housing discrimination based on sexual orientation but not gender identity.”
Members of the LGBTQ community are driven by many of the same factors as anyone else when looking to buy a home—price, value, amenities, convenience. But, given the history of discrimination against this segment of the population and present-day issues, there is also a desire among many gay homebuyers to purchase in an area with an LGBTQ population, or one that is at least considered gay-friendly.
That’s where the “gayborhood” comes in.
Dictionary.com defines gayborhood as, “an area of a city or town characterized as being inhabited or frequented by gay people.” Despite a proclamation in 2017 by the New York Times that the gayborhood was dead, having “straightened” over the years, “There are more of them than you think,” counters Mashable.
Their recent take centers around the idea that “gayborhoods are shifting, not dying.” The piece is based on research from Amin Ghaziani, assistant professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia. “In his recently published piece, ‘Cultural Archipelagos: New Directions in the Study of Sexuality and Space,’ Ghaziani analyzes new research to make a bold hypothesis: The gayborhood hasn’t died, and it isn’t being diluted out of existence,” they said. “Instead, gayborhoods are multiplying and diversifying.”
Ghaziani takes the definition of gayborhood beyond the more rudimentary description, identifying four main factors: “It’s a geographical center of LGBTQ people (including queer tourists), it has a high density of LGBTQ residents, it’s a commercial center of businesses catering to the queer and trans community, and it’s a cultural concentration of power.”
So where are today’s gayborhoods? You have your usual suspects: The Castro in San Francisco, The West Village in New York City, Boystown in Chicago. A look at the “U.S. cities with the highest rate of same-sex married couples” from NBC News is also illuminating. According to federal tax data from the year gay marriage was legalized, the cities with “the largest share of same-sex married couples” are:
1. San Francisco, CA
2. Santa Rosa, CA—also a top 20 retirement spot for LGBT seniors
3. Seattle, WA
4. Boston, MA—the first state to legalize same-sex marriage
5. Portland, OR
6. Miami, FL—also named the “greatest gay destination in America” by Thrillist
7. Albuquerque, NM—also a SeniorAdvice most LGBTQ-friendly retirement spot
8. San Diego, CA
9. New York, NY—Home to “the largest number of same-sex marriages”
10. Portland, ME