Many LGBT youths believe they have to move to notoriously gay-friendly cities like New York, San Fransisco, and Seattle in order to live full and happy lives. However, according to a recent Consumer Affairs report, new LGBT safe havens are popping up across the nation. But the most surprising thing? Many of these cities are in red states.
Salt Lake City, Louisville, Norfolk, Indianapolis, and other middle-tier red state cities offer LGBT youths greater affordability and less competition for well-paying jobs. In 1990, one-percent of Salt Lake City identified as LGBT, Consumer Affairs reported. Today, five-percent do.
Image courtesy of Consumer Affairs
“What you’re really seeing is reflective of other national trends,” Consumer Affairs content manager Ryan Daly told The Daily Beast. “Specifically, it lines up with people—especially young people—choosing less to live in huge, expensive cities, which were traditionally friendlier toward LGBTQ individuals, and choosing instead to make lives for themselves in small and mid-tier cities in the middle and southern states.”
Affordability is the biggest factor in this migration. Also, the LGBT anti-discrimination laws passed locally and nationally have helped to make red state cities more desirable. With same-sex marriage now legal nationwide, LGBT members are less bound to crowded and expensive gay-friendly cities.
While there is still major work to be done on anti-discriminatory transgender laws in many of these new safe havens, it is inspiring to see shifting demographics in traditionally conservative locales. With uber conservative Republicans in the presidential race right now, it will be telling to see whether this sea-change continues regardless of who wins the election.
To find out more about this demographic shift, you can visit ConsumerAffairs.com and check out their interactive map on national moving trends.