If a cold winter climate is no problem, I would highly recommend
Columbus, Ohio. It has the largest gay population between coasts,
even larger than Chicago's. There is a good social life centered
around the areas of German Village and the Short North (both are
upscale neighborhoods). The city is amazingly tolerant considering
its midwestern and Bible belt location.
You will find a good assortment of bars and restaurants which cater to
the kids and in all price ranges. The gay flag flys openly on the
front of several buildings and the Short North district will remind
you in many ways of West Hollywood. (other than the weather, again)
Columbus is fast growing and there are job opportunities even when the
rest of the country in in a downturn. The high-tech sector is
expanding rapidly as well as medical research, communication research,
and more. Columbus is also an affordable city in which to live.
There are gay service organizations which are among the best in the
nation. Two fairly large gay newspapers and several smaller
From "Gay Columbus" - "Columbus, Ohio has one of the most vibrant gay
communities in the country. It has been rated as one of the safest and
friendliest cities for gay people to live and work in, in the country.
It has one of the best anti discrimination laws around. There is
something for everyone in our community, somewhere in the city or one
of the surrounding cities."
Ohio is not exactly what you would call an avid "gun control" state.
I own rifles, shotguns, and hand guns along with a collection of
shooting trophies and ribbons.
Some other items you might be interested in knowing about:
Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival
http://www.cngltf.com/ - includes such sponsors as the Ohio State
University Dept. of Theatre and the Greator Columbus Arts Council.
The Columbus Gay Men's Chorus
http://www.columbusound.com/artscene/singalong.html - From
Columbussound.com - it is an award winning choir.
I could probably drag this out longer but there is no reason.
While there are other good places in the country for you to live, none
of them have all the requirements you are looking for, especially
weapons ownership. Most all the others are in locations with liberal
political bases and strong gun control along with attempts at social
control in some cases.
I could recommend no better place than Columbus.
I look forward to seeing you in German Village.
Search - google
Terms - gay columbus and personal experience
If you need any clarification, please ask.
Clarification of Answer by
10 Mar 2003 23:46 PST
Just to be on the safe side, I checked a few other places. While
there are better places to live in certain respects, there is strong
gun control in place. Places where there is little enforced gun
control aren't exactly places where gays would be welcomed with open
Miami Florida, for example, has good weather and south Beach is near.
There is even a concealed carry law which would permit you to be
armed. However, the employment situation is in the dumps.
Some other major southern cities have some jobs available, along with
liberal gun laws, but are controled by some very conservative factions
and the gay communities are still isolated in time to the 1950s.
I must presume you are already familiar with the communities in New
York, L.A., San Francisco, etc and know where they stand on the
Columbus still seems the best for what you are looking for. As far as
gun control in Ohio, we are of course subject to whatever federal
regulations there are but Ohio has layered little or nothing beyond
Request for Answer Clarification by
14 Mar 2003 15:16 PST
I like the answer, but I was hoping for a few more options if
possible. If you do look for more gay is a priority over gun.
Clarification of Answer by
14 Mar 2003 17:33 PST
Alright, you have given me a good project for the weekend. In order
to help me craft the most usable answer for you since I was in error
assuming that weapon ownership and use was your main concern, could
you please let me know what amenities you are looking for. Is weather
a factor, large city, medium, small or rural?
Of course I know employment opportunity is important. Without telling
me exactly what you do, which is really none of my business, could you
give me a general idea of the type of industry or Type of work you
would be interested in. The more benchmarks you can give me, the
easier it will be to make suggestions other than the standard replys
such as West Hollywood or South Beach. Though I hope you have not
eliminated Columbus entirely from your thinking. :)
From personal living experience I can give you some ideas about West
Hollywood and Los Angeles in General, I was also 15 Years in Las Vegas
(which may be a good choice for you) and New York City. You say you
are 26. I don't remember 26. I have enough difficulty remembering
56. I'm now somewhere between that and death. So I hope some of my
past experiences may be of help to you.
Clarification of Answer by
15 Mar 2003 16:17 PST
Since I have not heard from you on the clarification request, I have
assembled what in my opinion and the opinion of many others are the
best locations for you to consider. I have also suggested a few
locations you may like to avoid.
Because of the nature of the question, much of the information must of
necessity be considered heresay for the following reason:
Due to the nature of some, or even most, of the official websites for
the gay communities in many cities, all I can do is give you quotes or
other digested information from those sites as they contain links to
innapropriate and adult only material which is not permitted in this
venue. It is a shame that many otherwise respectable websites dealing
with the gay communities in various cities cannot seem to operate or
even exist without the revenue generated by adult links. So if you
find information presented here without the corrosponding links or
citations provided, there is a reason why.
Rather than list cities alphabetically, I will progress by region from
west to east.
Seattle: Seattle has a large and active gay community which fits
comfortably within the social life of the city. Employment factors
within the metro region are basically flat as some large industries
have closed, cut back, or just not in a growth phase. The climate
would be classified as Northwest Maritime and seldom overly cold.
Seattle's main gay neighborhood is Capital Hill with apartments and
housing prices climbing steeply as the area gentrifies. Average rents
have climbed from $449 monthly for an apartment to $723 now. Another
emerging gay neighborhood is West Seattle where the average rent for a
'studio' apartment is $569. Seattle is a fairly expensive city for
most of the gay community and the traditional gay neighborhoods are
shrinking rather than growing. I am including it here for the simple
reason you asked for the "best" places to live and in spite of some
problems, Seattle is still a good city for gays choosing a place to
live. Most all major websites dealing with gay Seattle contain links
that prohibit their posting here. There is only one major website
which does not have such outside links but the photos of Gay Pride
celebrations found on the site display images which will not make the
cut on this page.
Just so you don't think I'm being overly picky, I own and work for
educational websites for students of all ages and am adamant about not
permitting adult material to be accessed even through secondary and
peripheral pages. As you are probably already aware, there may well
be some viewers of this answers forum who will try to make a case
simply because I have chosen to answer this question in any manner
San Francisco and Los Angeles (along with New York City in the east) I
will ignore as there is already so much information already available,
it is not something I feel you should be paying for.
Las Vegas: This is a city I can give you some personal information
about as well as material gleaned from online. Las Vegas is a great
place to live. The cost of living is very reasonable, real estate is
inexpensive compared to other nearby areas and there are plenty of
investment and employment opportunities available due outstanding
growth. Las Vegas weather weather however, can be considered miserable
for most of the year with extreme heat in the summer and winter
temperatures dropping as low as the single digits. There are plenty
of palm trees but don't let that fool you into thinking
"sub-tropical." In light of the extremely high growth rate the city
has plenty growing pains. While the governmental entities are working
as hard as possible, the infrastructure is falling behind in the
impossible race to keep up with growth. The gay community is moderate
in size and fairly active. But Las Vegas also has a large and
conservative religious population and some stress is unavoidable.
Target shooting and competitions are fairly common within the state of
Nevada. Las Vegas' first Gay Pride event was not till 1998 though
some local governments, casinos and businesses have adopted a
"domestic partner" inclusion in their health insurance plans. And,
yes, there is even a gay wedding chapel. Once again, the websites
covering the Las Vegas community cannot be published here.
The cities of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon I will not
cover. While they have gay communities and these communities are
often active, you did ask for the best places to live and in that
respect, these cities are not above the average. And in some cases,
locations in areas such as Idaho and parts of Utah are downright
We now jump all the way to Chicago. The situation here is much like
that I already covered for Columbus except the community is slightly
smaller so there is not much additional to say. Your enjoyment of
weapons may cause some problems, even from your peers, in the city and
surrounding areas, but if you travel to more southern regions in the
state, you will find some relaxation of the rules. Toledo and
Cleveland are much the same and both will provide a comfortable home.
While there is a gay community in Detroit, I must be prepared to
accept the flack from loyal Michiganders in that I can find nothing
whatever to recommend that city to any person who is gay and looking
for a home.
Back to the websites and links citations for a moment. I am finding
it impossible to provide any at all. While a website may not link
directly to adult material, the sites linked to sooner or later
provide ongoing links to material that is prohibited. So I'm afraid
you will find an answer with no citations at all.
We are now to the East Coast. New York has already been mentioned,
Washington D.C. and Boston are no more than average for their
respective gay communities and I highly recommend avoiding the
southern cities altogether with the exception of the Miami and Key
West areas due to problems of acceptance, the history of anti-gay
violence which has included bombings and murders as well as strong
pressures to remain 'in the closet.'
The Miami and Key West communities have a strong online presence and
information should not be difficult to find.
Please ask for further clarification, if needed. Though I still think
you will find your best welcome in Columbus.
Clarification of Answer by
17 Mar 2003 10:01 PST
An additional note about Las Vegas - If you should decide to live and
work in that city or any place else in Clark County in the
hospitality, gaming, entertainment, or public service industries, you
must be prepared for a full background check. The issuance of a
police work permit is mandatory. One of the benefits of such a permit
is that if you decide to leave the area to live and work someplace
else, by maintianing the sherrif's card, you already have an excellent
background check resource should you need additional investigation for
another job. Having such a card is a great benefit as it is already
90% of the battle in most of the country when it comes to employment
I have also received a reply to an email I sent to a friend in
Chicago. He reminded me to pass on the fact that in spite of some of
the more rosey reports, that the employment situation in the city is
not all that great. He operates an employment agency in the gay