Best city for a single middle-aged gay man
January 13, 2017 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Single, about to be unemployed, middle-aged gay man with no obligations. I can move anywhere, do anything. I could use a list of great places.

Hi Metafilter,

My industry (college textbooks/study guides) has changed, I'm closing the business I opened 20 years ago. Moving it on-line didn't help. Rocking social media didn't help. Tough as hell to compete with free. I've got 20 years of entrepreneurial experience to offer and am pretty darn good with excel. I get social media and marketing, although without an MBA, it is difficult to prove.

Living in a college town was fun, so much fun, but I'm a middle aged (47) gay man and having trouble finding age appropriate guys to date. Being single is a relatively recent development.

It might be time for a new city. Where should I go? I'd like a vibrant gay scene and job opportunities. I know of NYC and SF, but maybe there is a better choice I haven't heard about. Help me narrow my infinite possibilities.

Yes, I'm terrified and excited.
posted by Classic Diner to Work & Money (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Atlanta! :)
posted by Medieval Maven at 9:38 AM on January 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

Just because it immediately springs to mind (and can help narrow the infinite possibilities), do you have any climate preferences?

I've always been of the opinion that Washington, DC has a disproportionately large gay scene for a city of its size. Economy-wise, I'm a little more hesitant to make a statement as who knows what's going to happen with the imminent change of administration, and it really depends on what industry you're in. But as a gay man (younger than you, though) DC has always seemed to be full of other gay men.
posted by andrewesque at 9:41 AM on January 13, 2017

My friends are a married couple with kids, but are in your same age bracket and one has a very similar entrepreneurial background to yours. They recently relocated to Portland, OR for the other's work and both are really loving it.
posted by goggie at 9:44 AM on January 13, 2017

posted by sulaine at 10:10 AM on January 13, 2017 [3 favorites]

The greater L.A. area seems like a pretty obvious suggestion. I think the Long Beach area specifically skews older.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:15 AM on January 13, 2017

Columbus OH has a thriving gay neighborhood/community (short north) and is also home to Ohio State. Austin, TX is fairly gay friendly, also has U. Texas. Austin is very much on the national radar but Columbus is a sleeper hit, IMO, and will be much cheaper than NYC, SF, LA, CHI, BOS, etc.
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:19 AM on January 13, 2017

I only know through observed experience rather than directly, and only because I lived there, and I don't really have anything else to compare it to, but San Diego might be a decent fit. There's a well-established LGTBQ-friendly area of town that I lived at the edges of for a decade. When I lived just to the south, a hotel on my street had a party every Friday night on its roof that, going by who was walking by my apartment, was well-attended by middle-aged gay men, and there were a few bars in the area that supposedly catered to people past their 30s as well. There's also the best weather in the lower 48, but you pay for it.
posted by LionIndex at 10:24 AM on January 13, 2017

MeMailed you about the Twin Cities in MN.
posted by jillithd at 10:25 AM on January 13, 2017

I don't know about the employment opportunities, but Eureka Springs in Arkansas is very hilly, adorable, and surprisingly very LGBTQ friendly -- I went thru with a group of friends when we were staying in a lake house nearby, and the population seems to skew a little older, which might be more to your liking. The area is woodsy enough that summertime doesn't seem like it'd be too muggy, and it's far enough south that the winters aren't likely to be too harsh.

It's on the list linked here, which might have some other non-standard ideas. Small towns are usually lower cost-of-living too. (Of the other places on the list, I lived in Bloomington Indiana for 5 years and it's lovely, but it's a college town, and I think a middle-aged gay man would want to be partnered before moving there...I've also visited Portland Maine, and it's adorable--I would imagine the winters are pretty harsh though)
posted by leemleem at 10:40 AM on January 13, 2017

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard
Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft
posted by pixlboi at 10:50 AM on January 13, 2017 [4 favorites]

Yeah, it really sounds like you ought to come to Columbus.
posted by kevinbelt at 12:04 PM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seattle if you can find affordable housing and some way to survive the traffic.
posted by matildaben at 12:40 PM on January 13, 2017

The Advocate just published their list of the Queerest Cities in America, and Jersey City, NJ (just across the river from Manhattan) was their #1.
posted by fings at 12:47 PM on January 13, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Advocate just published their list of the Queerest Cities in America, and Jersey City, NJ (just across the river from Manhattan) was their #1.

Pittsburgh's #8!

If you like Columbus, you'll love Pittsburgh :D
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:32 PM on January 13, 2017 [2 favorites]

I live in San Francisco now. Sound as a pound and never want to leave. I lived in Los Angeles before and in DC before that.

DC is the gayest place I've ever lived, and is welcoming, social, dense, diverse, you name it. It's a great city, federal government be damned. There's lots of work there for you in the nonprofit sector (everynonprofit has an office there). Even if you live outside the city proper, there are plenty of burbs that are transit-accessible and have thriving town scenes of their own. Not to mention Baltimore's just up the track. Many of my former DC mates who've left the city are in Baltimore or Philadelphia, and they love where they live. Access to NYC and the eastern seaboard at large via Amtrak is a huge boon.

Los Angeles is... it's Los Angeles. Love/hate relationship. As someone mentioned above, Long Beach hits some of the best notes: older, still super queer, not as expensive or, uh, complicated as West Hollywood and the traditional gay playgrounds. I lived there for six years and the transit insanity more than anything led me to decide that it's in the not-for-me column of the spreadsheet.

A fair number of the smaller cities that I love are also college towns, so if you're over that vibe then Austin, Ann Arbor, and others might not be the best fit. I grew up in rural Arkansas and had my coming out years in Little Rock, and I still miss that city. It's an island of culture and unbelievably cheap, with an exploding gay scene and a downtown that's been marching through improvements for a good 15 years at this point. There's a university and a huge medical school, but neither dominate the city's population.

Happy trails!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 4:08 PM on January 13, 2017

Middle aged lesbian here, a few years younger than you. I travel nationally for my job. Other than NYC and SF, I'd recommend the Twin Cities, Philadelphia, or Chicago.

I also used to live in Portland, ME and I absolutely DO NOT recommend living there as a queer person.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:10 PM on January 14, 2017

Toronto. Bonus: no Trump!
posted by raider at 10:23 AM on January 15, 2017

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