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Dear Kathy
My name is Erika and my partner and I are ready to start a family. We currently reside in a homophobic area and we want to move desperately. But we don't just want to move anywhere, we want to move somewhere that we can be ourselves fully, 24/7. We want to relocate to an all lesbian and gay community. We see it on The L Word and on Queer as Folk, do these places really exist? And if so, do you have a list of them?
Dear Erika:
Wouldn't it be nice if places like The L Word existed? Remember, these are TV shows, not real life. But there are plenty of queer friendly places to live. Here are my top picks.
Readers, what do you think? Add you comments below.
Photo of Portland, OR by Kathy Belge
June 5, 2006 at 9:46 pm
(1) Dawn says:

Those places are pretty expensive. I have heard that Decateur, Ga specifically is Lesbian friendly, with a good community. Other Places I have heard of are:
Most college/university towns are more open
Ferndale, MI

But your best bet is to ask around, keep your ears open and your eyes open when you read things.

June 6, 2006 at 12:24 am
(2) Mickey says:

I did a job interview in Amherst, MA which is right next door to Northampton, MA. I agree on the statements, it is VERY gay there….in fact, when we went to dinner during my interview, I didn’t see many straight couples on the main streets.

Another place I would definitely put on the list that would be more affordable than some of these places would be Madison, WI. Being from the Midwest, this is the best place a queer couple can be. Lots of community activism, groups, family-oriented orgs and local shopping. What more could you ask for?

September 7, 2006 at 3:02 pm
(3) angel says:

i live in madison, wi i hate it.. dont move here, the cost of living is ok..but as well as things to do boring.. me and my grlfriend r a lesbian couple and we been there almost a yr and hate it we r 28yrs old, by the way me and my grlfriend r stongly thinking about moving to portland, or it cheaper then cali, and they r veryminded well hope to hear from ya.. if u want info about wi or some other places i can give ya somet light on the subject i use to live in ga its nice.. the cost of living is a lil high, but its very minded there.. wi is very cold in the neg degree, hope to hear from ya

August 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm
(4) Tai says:

Northampton is a Great little town-very bohemian
Portland is a little conservative as compared to Seattle, which has a decent lesbian population but many of whom are “too cool for the room” which can come off as unfriendly

As a Woman of Color (Afr. American) Portland is NOT very diverse…and can be a bit racsist–I felt more at ease in Seattle, Northampton, Madison than in Portland

October 17, 2008 at 11:07 am
(5) sydnea says:

kansas city is pretty open, and becoming more accepting all the time. the cost of living is low, too, compared to many other cities.

May 19, 2009 at 9:03 pm
(6) Hannah says:

I would have to agree with the previous poster that Hot-lanta is the best lesbian city in America if you take into consideration of living expenses and the pleasure of being in a diverse lesbian community.

Even though I have never been to San Fran but my research had shown that it is too expensive to live in. An average dingy house there costs almost $500,000. New York is not any better with the traffic jams and all of its glory of being — New York.

I loved Atlanta because it was friendlier, diverse, and it was relatively less expensive. The cultural events there were out of this world last time I lived there about 3 years ago. You can purchase a good home in Decatur for around $150+.

May 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm
(7) lil says:

i lived in atlanta for years and had a very difficult time as a lesbian. it is true that there are many lesbians there, and that especially in decatur and L5P areas and also midtown there are gay friendly attitudes…

however, it is very butch-femme there.
i am feminine and like feminine girls, and i had a very difficult time meeting women there.

in santa fe new mexico i met some of the most amazing lesbians of my life. not a huge community but open, and awesome.

and of course, san fran area. LA.

in florida and hawaii, very rare to see gay couples.

June 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm
(8) Step says:

Why do people keep suggesting states that do not allow gay marriage and limited gay rights? Seriously those of us who are the normal gay population and not the “I make $100,000 a year people are looking for “real” places.

Please re-answer the original question with viable options that won’t cost a life fortune to live.

July 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm
(9) Heather says:

In Massachusetts, seriously check out Northampton, Easthampton, Sunderland, Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, and South Hadley. I live in Northampton and there are tons of lesbians in this area. Some of the other towns are less expensive, but are equally near to Northampton. The hill-towns around here are cheaper too. Just ask a real estate agent around here for more specifics, you can probably find one with a pride flag on the website. You can’t buy a house for 100,000, but you can get married and adopt kids. Less house, more rights. In Northampton, your kids won’t be the only ones with two moms.

July 20, 2009 at 8:57 pm
(10) Kelly says:

Heather – my partner and I have a 9 year old daughter. We were just in Gloucester Massachusetts and were thinking about moving there. My partner wrote to the Mayor of Northampton to get info (didn’t know where else to start) but we never heard back. What is employment like in the area? Careerbuilder didn’t look too promising. We live in the Philly suburbs now. Any suggestions for looking into the area?

July 27, 2009 at 3:07 am
(11) Hannah says:

This is my answer to Lil, that I am a fem who likes other fems but Hot-lanta had been kind to me and so are many other places. Are you attractive?

August 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm
(12) Kaya says:

Try Buffalo, NY. I know…bad wrap for the cold. BUT, a GREAT town for gays. They have a tight knit community in Allentown; an artsy district that resides a majority of gays and Lesbians. As of 2008 they had 13 Gay bars; 3 of which are designated lesbian bars. The community is strong and active.

October 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm
(13) Becky says:

Austin Texas. The cost of living is very reasonable. Homes in Austin generally start in the 120′s (thats for a nice neighborhood with almost new homes). Austin is very gay friendly and Texas gas prices are always below the national average. Austin was even featured on the Logo channel. There’s a lot of jobs there and schools, if you plan on continuing your education. Georgetown is pretty friendly (its right outside of Austin) and then there’s my town, Killeen (30-40 minutes away). All of these cities/towns have really good school systems. Killeen is pretty accepting, I think it’s because we’re a military town. Killeen has a very good real estate market. You can buy a house in an established neighborhood for 60 thousand, and a brand new house in a new neighborhood in for a total price of 194 thousand. The only downside is that Killeen doesn’t really have a lot of things to do. Texas is a good place to raise a family. Yeah it’s deeply conservative but my fiance and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

November 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm
(14) DMB says:

ahhh segregation….we preach acceptance and then only want to be around other gays. I have lived just about every where. I have never had a problem.

December 3, 2009 at 11:28 pm
(15) Cheryl says:

Those of you who have never had a problem are blind…or maybe just naive! Open your eyes! Don’t move to any area in New York state!

December 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm
(16) nae says:

Georgia is not a very nice place to live they are very closed minded here and the policeman picks with u especially dekalb and fulton dont move here please im trying to get out n i just move her one yr ago ther is nothing hot about Atlanta except clubs, n the men ugh they r so worry about there testerone

February 3, 2010 at 3:35 pm
(17) lil says:

yes i am `very attractive. but women in atlanta found me too feminine, or not feminine enough. it was very frustrating for me. ive had much better luck meeting women in boston, san diego, and santa fe….than in atlanta, where only seriously butch women like me

(nothing against them at all! i just love femme girls)

March 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm
(18) mpo says:

It sounds crazy but Columbus, OH is a great place for working-class lesbians. Check out the Clintonville neighborhood especially.

July 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(19) SamIam says:

Apparently Cathedral City, near Palm Springs, CA has many lesbians. Palm Springs is pretty much run by gay people…it’s hot, but very gay friendly, very inexpensive. Unfortunately, the gay marriage is not allowed at this time-unless you made the small window they provided (how dumb)

October 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm
(20) Timber says:

Well, I lived in Overland Park, Kansas and the cost of living is reasonable, I never experienced any discrimination or harsh looks. I am an east coast native and expected the worst, I was very pleased and surprised at how comfortable I felt. Downside? Nothing to do.
It seems everyone has forgotten Connecticut. My partner (wife) and I live in Connecticut now. It is VERY gay friendly no matter where you go, and marriage is legal here. I work for the railroad and every single person I come into contact with has been very open minded and treat me just great! I call my wife ‘wife’ and NO ONE gives me a sideways look or glance. I must say that of all the places I’ve lived, Connecticut has made me the happiest.

December 2, 2010 at 9:11 pm
(21) Asia says:

It seems a lot of women are saying Northampton is a great place for lesbians. Ive visited Atlanta plenty of times and found it a great place to party but not to find someone for settling down.I live in the midwest and I SWEAR everyone sleeps around in the same circles (JUST LIKE THE L WORD) Its disgusting! I just want to find one person like minded in a gay friendly town to live life with SO HARD:-(

December 19, 2010 at 2:07 pm
(22) Sarah says:

The absolute best place to live if you have established a family is Madison, WI. Maybe not the best if you are single or a childless couple. We have lived in a variety of places…majority coastal areas from California to Gulf Coast. Nobody blinks an eye at a 2 Mom family here. An enormous amount of active people here…bike, run, ski, triathlons,etc. The amount of 2 mom families is just ridiculous…our 4 year old has plenty of playdates!

January 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm
(23) Paula Phillips says:

I am interested in traveling to find a home for a feminine lesbian.

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