As Acceptance Grows, LGBT Communities Go Suburban

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The geography of gay liberation since the late 1960s is intrinsically linked to inner city spaces. It was amidst the grit of derelict city centers that gay communities typically emerged and made themselves present in the fabric of some of the world’s most important urban centers. Often, they paved the way for the gentrification of those areas.

The pattern continued for many decades and is still visible in many capitals such as London (Soho, Vauxhall areas), Berlin (Schöneberg), Paris (Le Marais) and San Francisco (Castro), to name but a few. However, as acceptance of LGBT families grows, many members of that community are choosing to live in less urban environs and moving out to the suburbs, which perhaps three decades ago would not have been a wise, safe move, to say the least.

Recent statistics show a massive change of heart when it comes to acceptance of LGBT people. The 2017 Gallup poll found that 64 percent of U.S. adults support same-sex marriage, a record high.

In this new, more tolerant scenario, LGBT households can feel freer to move around, and some prefer suburban neighborhoods with more affordable housing options and education, particularly in the northeast of the U.S.  

Avondale Estates in Atlanta (GA) is one example of a gay friendly suburban setting. As the name suggests, it was inspired by Tudor architecture from the late 15th century in England. According to the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, the suburb has the highest density of same sex couples in Georgia.

Besides featuring good arts and gastronomic scenes, Avondale Estates also includes services for homeless, elderly LGBT citizens, besides specific services for transgendered people.

Other suburbs with a high rate of LGBT residents include Maplewood and South Orange in New Jersey, and the Marmalade District in Salt Lake City, Utah, which has the highest rate of LGBT couples raising children.

This new demographic trend is a welcome sign that an increasing number of communities are thriving on mutual respect, equality and inclusion, regardless of sexual orientation. The LGBT community has suffered terrible discrimination in the past, with many ruined lives in the process. The present and the future look much brighter.

Image credit: CBRE