We get ALL kinds of press releases but we’ve noticed more and more attention being paid to elder gay issues. The fact of the matter is, millions of out (and not so out) LGBTQ Baby Boomers are now in their retirement years (or soon to enter them) which is focusing attention on the needs of gay seniors.
The website SeniorAdvice.com has just announced that Seattle has been named one of the top 20 cities for LGBT friendly retirement in their 2018 nationwide report. The ranking was determined by “data driven algorithims” which evaluated a number of variables.
We’re guessing “Cost of Living” wasn’t one of them since Seattle is hella expensive and getting more so all the time…Portland Oregon and Los Angeles also made the list, as well.
Here’s the first half of the article/list from SeniorAdvice….check out the whole thing HERE.
By Yvonne Feltman
Between 2010 and 2050, the United States is projected to experience rapid growth in its older population. Over the next four decades, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to double from 40 million in 2010 to over 88 million in 2050. Baby Boomers are largely responsible for this increase in the senior population, as they began turning 65 in 2011.
The growing senior population includes a demographic often difficult to calculate: seniors who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered (LGBT). Older members of the LGBT community have to be even more selective about choosing where to retire. Not all cities in the US are welcoming to those living “non-traditional” lifestyles.
According to the national nonprofit Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders (SAGE), today there are 3 million LGBT people age 55+ living in the United States. With that number increasing each year, the need to discover locations that are welcoming to LGBT elders also increases.
Here are the best cities in America for LGBT seniors in 2018:
1. Fort Lauderdale, FL
There is a reason the senior population is nearly 20 percent in the state of Florida: the mild year-round climate. Fort Lauderdale is the 10th largest city in Florida and along with its warm weather, it offers a warm welcome for those in the LGBT community. Wilton Manors, a community of 12,000 bordering Fort Lauderdale, has a 14 percent per capita LGBT population. The area has many gay-friendly businesses, bars and restaurants.
Fort Lauderdale has several city parks, gay-specific beaches, resorts and over 130 area golf courses. Celebrating 25 years of service, Pride Center Florida was established in the city to meet the distinct health, social, educational, socio-economic and safety needs of the LGBTQ community and its allies.
In Florida there is no state income tax and Fort Lauderdale has very low assisted living and home healthcare costs compared to national averages. Seniors make up just over 15 percent of the city’s population.
2. Austin, TX
With a LGBT population of just over 5 percent, it is no wonder that this Capital city in the middle of Texas made our list again. With its welcoming attitude, low-crime rate, warm weather, abundance of restaurants, arts and culture activities, nature trails and gay-owned businesses, Austin is a gem for LGBT seniors.
Austin drives progressive policies and ongoing advocacy for the LGBT community, and there is a strong support network for gays living in Austin. With a huge number of attendees to the annual gay pride festival and parade, Austin clearly celebrates the LGBT community. To empower and strengthen LGBT businesses and offer advocacy, connections and education programs, the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, was formed in 1997.
The overall cost of living in Austin is average compared to the national US average and Texas has no state income tax which is an attractive perk for seniors. Austin has a high number of Medicare registered doctors in the city, 20 hospitals and over 100 senior living facilities in close proximity to the area.
3. Atlanta, GA
The senior population in Atlanta is just under 10 percent and the general LGBT population there is just over 4 percent in the metro area. The city has one of the highest LGBT populations in the south. An annual LGBT pride festival draws roughly 200,000 people. Several Atlanta neighborhoods have businesses that market heavily to the LGBT community. Offering support for these and future businesses is the Atlanta Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
Atlanta is a diverse city with rich cultural and art influences. With relatively short and mild winters and stellar quality healthcare like the Emory University Hospital System and other health facilities, Atlanta is a great place for seniors to call home.
There are over 200 senior living facilities in the Atlanta vicinity. Costs for senior living facilities in Atlanta are all below the national average. The cost of living in Atlanta is average compared to other cities in the US.
4. Portland, OR
The LGBT population in Portland is about 5.5 percent, making it one of the largest per capita in the country for individuals identifying as LGBT. Portland is known for its excellent and inexpensive public transit which can be used to travel to its many gay-friendly neighborhoods. The Burnside Triangle near downtown is known for its abundance of restaurants, nightlife and boutiques catering to the LGBT community.
The Oregon Equality Act prohibiting discrimination for those identifying as LGBT became effective in 2008, but Portland has long been one of the most progressive cities in the US when it comes to legislation supporting gays. SAGE Metro Portland has developed several initiatives including a program designed to assist senior housing providers in reaching their goals of having an attractive housing option for the growing LGBT senior community.
With a wealth of senior living facilities in close proximity, no weather extremes and a plethora of nature trails, golf courses and parks in the area, Portland proves to be a smart choice for the LGBT population. Check out the Rainbow Vista LGBT Senior Community nearby.
5. Palm Springs, CA
With the cost of living above the national average, Palm Springs is still a great alternative to San Francisco for those LGBT seniors who seek a more financially reasonable California city to call home. A diverse west coast city, it boasts a vibrant gay community and people from all kinds of religious, ethnic, liberal and conservative backgrounds.
Harboring a relaxed vibe in this highly walkable city, with its mild weather, beaches, golf courses and abundance of outdoor leisure, Palm Springs is an active playground for LGBT residents and tourists alike. Palm Springs ranks third among the top cities nationally with the highest number of same-sex couples per 1,000 people, according to census data from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
In December of 2017, Palm Springs made history by becoming the only city in the US with an entirely LGBT city council. Coupled with its gay-friendliness and being one of the most senior-dense cities in the US, Palm Springs is a good destination to spend the post-retirement years.
Those in need of full service care will find Stonewall Gardens, a luxury assisted living facility that provides support and dignity for LGBT seniors in Palm Springs.
6. Santa Fe, NM
Located in the beautiful southwestern desert, Santa Fe is dubbed ‘The City Different’ due to its quirky and casual vibe. It may be America’s oldest capital city, but when it comes to the LGBT community, Santa Fe has a fresh and progressive stance. A small city chock full of unique shopping, dining, nature, culture and art, no wonder the Santa Fe area is a destination for gay retirees.
Active in Santa Fe, the ACLU of New Mexico has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of LGBT people since 1962. That includes fighting for equal rights and fair treatment by the government; protecting LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, schools, housing, and public accommodations.
A high percentage of seniors inhabit Santa Fe because it offers a laidback and reasonable lifestyle so desired by many in older demographics. For a city with a general population just over 80,000, it has an abundance of senior living facilities in and around the city. One such place is the Birds of a Feather facility located 30 minutes away. It is an LGBT-friendly senior community for people over 50. Homes are designed for “aging in place” in a setting offering a supportive and social environment.
7. Providence, RI
Four seasons, diverse neighborhoods, beautiful beaches, plenty of golf courses and rich history make this small East coast city a draw for retirees. Providence has over 120 senior living facilities and was once considered a top food city in America by Travel & Leisure magazine. Providence is located in the “Ocean State” enveloped by nature and miles of gorgeous coastlines.
Since 1995, Rhode Island law has outlawed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in employment, credit, housing and public accommodations has been outlawed since 2001.
The percentage of individuals identifying as LGBT in the Providence area is nearly 4.5 percent. Supporting the gay community is Pride RI, ACLU of Rhode Island and other civil rights organizations and Meetups promoting equal rights and visibility for the local LGBT community. In June, Providence hosts its annual RI Pride Fest drawing large crowds from all over the area.
8. Seattle, WA
Another west coast city that is welcoming to the senior gay population is progressive Seattle. The LGBT presence in the city is nearly 5 percent. Seattle has mild seasons and gets less rain annually than Boston, New York City, and Miami among other areas. The mountains and water make Seattle a draw for nature lovers. Similarly to Portland, Seattle is one of the most tolerant and supportive cities for LGBT businesses and legislation protecting gay-rights.
The state of Washington requires no state income tax, and with over 500 senior living facilities near the Emerald City to choose from, it is a good for a place to dwell during the later years. “Gay and Grey Leads the Way” is the slogan of the NW LGBT Senior Care Providers Network which was established in Seattle to provide education and support for the LGBT senior community for navigating the health care continuum while ensuring that dignity and individual choices are respected.
9. Columbus, OH
Home to Ohio State University, the third largest college in the US, Columbus is an open community with many different cultures, including a LGBT population of almost 4.5 percent. Seniors over 60 can audit college classes for free in the state and there are over 30 colleges nearby. There are a few active gay neighborhoods in the city and 31 percent of the city’s population is over age 50.
The gay pride festival in Columbus is one of the largest in the Midwest and has been an annual event for over 36 years. Established LGBT resource groups in Columbus include:
Specifically supporting older gay men in Columbus is the Prime Timers which is a worldwide organization first established in 1987.
Being that the overall cost of living in Columbus is low, has an income tax below the US average, and over 140 senior living facilities in the area, Columbus is an attractive Midwest setting LGBT seniors.
10. Los Angeles, CA
The liberal attitude and mild climate of the West Coast is a sought after place for many gays in their golden years. The greater Los Angeles area has just over 4.5 percent of its population identifying as LGBT. The city has long been an eclectic mix of cultures, races, lifestyles and a strong LGBT presence.
In 1999, California became the first state in the US to legalize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples. It was also the first state to officially ban the use of gay panic and transgender panic defenses in murder trials. There is a long list of legislation advocating for the LGBT community originating in Los Angeles and other California cities.
Acknowledging the growing number of gay seniors in the area, the Los Angeles LGBT center helps connect seniors by offering a wide range of fun programs, services, activities, and events.
There is an astonishing 650+senior living facilities in close proximity to the city, including the nation’s largest affordable housing development specifically for LGBT seniors: Triangle Square Senior Apartments in Hollywood.
MORE: check out the whole thing HERE.