Looking for a home in a gay marriage state.
posted by ohsnapdragon to Grab Bag (50 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I've been trying to leave Atlanta for two years now, but I just don't know where to go. My wife and I have decided to make moving to a gay marriage/strong gay rights state a priority. Right now, that would be California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Washington and Washington DC. It also seems like New Jersey will be joining this month and any state that is very likely to join the team in the next 2-3 years is worth considering as well.
I'll try to keep this short and organized.
My family - East coasters, southern at the moment, but I don't know if that will stick.
Her family - Kansans.
-access to nature of the quiet, relaxing, exploring variety more than sporting. Think casual hiking and swimming vs. rock climbing and skiing. We love parks, urban trails, leafy streets, etc. as well.
-jobs in the art/design/creative/communications sector. I'm a graphic designer, she's an illustrator.
-affordable cost of living. See above. : ) Honestly we both grew up in very low cost areas and the idea of ever buying a 400k+ home seems ridiculous. I know that rules out a lot of cities. We don't need to be in the best, coolest, safest neighborhood ever though.
-detached single family homes with at least a small yard. We like privacy and quiet.
-some level of walkability and charm. That being said, we have a car, and we don't want to give it up.
-milder weather. I don't care for the cold, she doesn't care for humidity. We know we will have to compromise here.
-easy drive (5 hours or less) to multiple outdoor recreation areas (mountains, ocean, lakes, whatever) as well as proximity to a few other sizeable cities.
-family friendly. We want kids in a few years.
-down to earth, friendly culture.
Misc. Data Points:
- Atlanta checks several of our boxes: gay friendly (but no gay rights to speak of), good size, some affordable cute neighborhoods, decent job availability. We should really like it. But the culture of the city bothers me. It is too image focused. Also I abhor the traffic. Mostly it just doesn't feel like home. I feel bad criticizing Atlanta, like it is a romantic partner who tries really hard to please you but you just can't fall in love.
- I like Kansas City okay, but it is just so isolated and I'm afraid of getting bored. I also felt like I was the weird, loud, quirky friend when I lived there, even though I don't particularly think of myself as being any of those things.
- We wanted to like North Carolina, but Asheville has no jobs, Durham felt way too small and sleepy, and Raleigh felt like what Atlanta must have been twenty years ago. And, of course, the deal breaker is again the lack of legal protections for our family.
- My wife loves Portland, and in theory I'm a fan of the Pacific NW, but I'm concerned about the rain, the lack of jobs, and that we're probably already priced out of Portland.
- I am really interested in Minneapolis, but my wife thinks I wouldn't last the winter and she is probably right.
- We are essentially homebodies. My priorities are a pretty, comfortable home, a supportive, friendly community, a stable job, and enough urban amenities to keep us creatively stimulated and entertained.
So I am looking for neighborhood, town and/or city recommendations in a gay marriage state (or state where you think gay marriage will happen any day.) I am open to pretty much anything, except please don't try to convince me that Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, etc. are actually really gay friendly. I agree that there are cities and neighborhoods almost everywhere where we would feel comfortable, but we're really looking for legal protection at the state level as we get serious about starting a family.
Thanks for chiming in!