Gay & Gray: Top LGBTQ-Friendly Places for Gay Senior Travel and Retirement

Written by JosephJuly 8, 2021

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A third of LGBTQ elders fear having to “re-closet.” About half of all LGBTQ couples in the United States have experienced negative treatment when seeking senior housing — and transgender elders report facing discrimination at even higher rates. A third of these elders said they fear having to conceal their sexual identity when looking for […]
A third of LGBTQ elders fear having to “re-closet.”

About half of all LGBTQ couples in the United States have experienced negative treatment when seeking senior housing — and transgender elders report facing discrimination at even higher rates. A third of these elders said they fear having to conceal their sexual identity when looking for a home — be it in a retirement community or a long-term care facility.

For years, LGBTQ retirees have suffered indignities during their final years. While the situation has improved in recent years, there is still a demand for supportive retirement communities for LGBTQ people.

The following LGBTQ-friendly destinations are open and inclusive. They have progressive legislation, gay-focused and gay-run businesses, and welcoming attitudes. Many of these places also have LGBTQ retirement options—even more reason to stick around!

Whether you’re planning a getaway or looking for a new place to call home, check out these top 10 cities:

Toledo, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio? Yes, Toledo! With home prices well below the national average, thousands of acres of metro parks, and a perfect score on the HRCME index, this diverse northern Ohio city has become a popular place for LGBTQ seniors.

Toledo’s gone to great lengths to become gay-friendly. They have a ban on conversion therapy, a domestic partner registry, antidiscrimination protections, and many employers offer same-sex partner benefits. Also, Toledo’s overall cost of living is lower than other major cities in Ohio and the U.S.

Tucson, Arizona

With its affordability and constant sunshine, Tucson, Arizona, is one of the fastest-growing retirement destinations in the nation. With over 13% of the city’s population ages 65 and older and a general LGBTQ state population of 5%, many find Tucson to be one of the best cities for LGBTQ seniors.

Tucson offers a unique mix of dining and shopping options, historical and cultural attractions, and an abundance of year-round outdoor activities to enjoy.

Atlanta, Georgia

Most areas of the Deep South aren’t particularly welcoming of LGBTQ people, but Atlanta and neighboring DeKalb County offer a cosmopolitan environment with plenty of art, music and culture. Several neighborhoods, such as Midtown and Avondale Estates, have numerous businesses that serve the LGBTQ community.

West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach is home to year-round sunshine and over 40 miles of pristine, sandy-white beaches along Florida’s Atlantic coast. The downtown area is home to four distinct districts that buzz with activity, including fine dining, music and theater, art museums, unique festivals, and plenty of shopping, including the popular Antique Row in its Arts and Design District.

The city’s significant LGBTQ legislation has opened the door for other U.S. cities with their demonstration of support and policies protecting their LGBTQ community. However, the overall cost of living is very high.

New Orleans, Louisiana

A city rivaling San Francisco with its abundance of gay-inclusiveness and year-round LGBTQ specific events such as the Gay Easter Parade, Southern Decadence, the Saints and Sinners LGBT Literary Festival, and nearly a dozen gay bars sprinkled throughout the Quarter, the history-rich city of New Orleans has been a haven for the LGBTQ crowd since before the Civil War.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

With its warm weather, Fort Lauderdale also offers a warm welcome for those in the LGBTQ community. The year-round sunny weather, city parks, gay-specific beaches, cultural attractions, art districts, and no income tax are a few of the reasons why the senior population is almost 17 percent of the city’s population. Just minutes north of the city is Wilton Manors, a community of nearly 12,000 with a 14 percent LGBTQ population, a dense senior population, and many gay-friendly businesses, bars and restaurants.

Austin, Texas

Austin is a diverse, liberal oasis in an otherwise politically conservative state. Austin is famous for its live music scene, with more music venues per capita than any other U.S. city. Austin is one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country, but many residents hope to preserve its quirky and artsy culture with the motto, “Keep Austin Weird.” Winters are mild, but summers are very hot and often humid. According to a recent Gallup poll, Austin has the third-largest percentage of LGBTQ residents in the country.

Dayton, Ohio

Dayton has more than 300 miles of paved trails and an abundance of parks for outdoor enthusiasts. Dayton has a ban on conversion therapy, has a perfect score on the HRCMEI and there is a non-discrimination ordinance on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment, housing and public accommodations, according to Senior Advice.

Alexandria, Virginia

A few miles from Washington D.C., Alexandria, Virginia has abundant outdoor spaces, from parks to nature trails, and it has more than 100 golf courses, according to Senior Advice.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recognized Alexandria as a top LGBTQ city due to practices such as local non-discrimination laws, providing transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees and offering LGBTQ-inclusive services.

Dallas, Texas

For many years, Dallas has had a strong, vibrant LGBTQ community centered around the Oak Lawn neighborhood and, more recently, the Bishop Arts District. Dallas is also home to the Cathedral of Hope, the largest LGBTQ church in the world. The cost of living, house prices and taxes are all relatively affordable in Dallas.

Are you heading into retirement while single? Being a senior citizen doesn’t mean an end to your gay dating life, but rather it’s an exciting beginning of another phase. We highly recommend premier dating sites like Gay Dating Solutions and My Gay Match.

My Gay Match is a new gay dating site that focuses on matching gay men not only on demographic information but a unique personality measure developed by a psychologist. All members are personally confirmed and carefully screened by their staff to prove that they are real. If you’re looking to find a warm and meaningful connection with interesting and caring singles this is the site for you. The gay dating website is currently offering a free 30-day trial.

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