10 of the Best Cities for LGBTQ+ Families to Call Home
Best Cities for LGBT Families to Settle Around the World
Starting a family is a momentous occasion, but for LGBTQ+ families, there are many challenges that starting a family brings about. Not only do LGBTQ+ families have to worry about the method of family planning they will use, but they also need to take a special consideration as to where to raise a family. Although the world is becoming more progressive on equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, it is no secret that some communities are more open-minded than others when it comes to diverse family types. For equality and safety, it is good to learn about the best cities for LGBT families.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco has been known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world for decades, with The Castro being an international tourist spot for LGBTQ+ travelers and locals. The streets are painted with rainbows and the entire district is full of drag shows, arthouse flicks and other culturally diverse events and activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
The Castro is also an amazing neighborhood with large Victorian-style homes, many of which have been divided into stylish and affordable condos, perfect for the small LGBTQ+ family. The homes that have not been divided up into condos typically have three to four bedrooms. Also, the curb appeal in The Castro is excellent because the neighborhoods are well maintained and landscaped. Families can expect to spend $800,000 to $2,000,000 on homes.
When people think of the best LGBTQ+ cities in the pacific northwest, many people automatically think of Seattle, Washington, but another great choice is Portland, Oregon. This region of the country is one of the most progression in the nation, and many LGBTQ+ families love Portland because there is not one central gay district or hub. Instead, the entire city is welcoming and accepting of diverse families. There are certain neighborhoods more popular than others, such as the Hawthorne District, which is very hipster and modern.
Another fabulous feature of Portland is the rural surroundings that allow families to get a quarter-acre or larger lots right outside of the city. You can get the best of both worlds around Portland, and houses are typically less than half a million dollars for a fabulous property large enough for a family.
St. Louis, Missouri
There’s no better place in the Midwest for LBGTQ+ families than St. Louis, Missouri. You might not think a state on the bible belt could be welcoming for gay families, but St. Louis is a progressive city that celebrates diversity. Manchester Avenue is quickly reviving itself as an LGBTQ+ hotspot, and there are a few neighborhoods that are mainly known for being welcoming to gay-families, including The Grove.
The Grove is a boutique and very stylized neighborhood full of cool storefronts and newly rehabbed homes that are perfect for families. There are plenty of three-bedroom homes for less than $250,000, which makes The Grove one of the most affordable neighborhoods for LGBTQ+ families.
Providence Rhode Island
If you love east coast living and are looking for the middle-class, white picket fence, traditional type of neighborhood for your LGBTQ+ family, Providence has a lot to offer. The city is small with less than 200,000 people and there is not one particular gay hub or district; however, the city is artsy, hipster and home to some of the most progressive colleges in the nation—Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Providence is slowly turning into the city students never leave as more young people settle down to make families here after graduation.
Providence also has a wide range of home types available from micro-apartments, which could be great for a newlywed couple to sprawling eight-bedroom mansions with affordable three and four-bedroom homes that can be snagged for less than $200,000.
Los Cabos, California
Los Cabos is one of the most gay-friendly areas and is a hotspot for LGBTQ+ tourists. Cabo San Lucas offers late night fun for LGBTQ+ adults, while San Jose del Cabo offers the perfect residential neighborhood for families. The quaint village features cobblestone roads, a historic square and has a hipster vibe that centers around arts and culture. On Thursdays, the downtown streets close for late-night art gallery openings and street vendors. Los Cabos is also perfect for families that love hitting the waves and spending the day on the beach or exploring the great outdoors.
Los Cabos is found at the southernmost tip of Baja, California and is as close as you can get to Mexican culture and living without living in Mexico. The area is separated from Mexico by the Sea of Cortes and has a small year-round population of only 58,000 people. The weather is gorgeous, with lows around 60F during the winter season and a year-round average of 78 degrees. Los Cabos is in the hurricane path in the Pacific Ocean, however.
The economy is booming in the tourism industry, and many families find jobs working in boutiques, resorts, and similar fields. Culturally and politically, Cabo is more aligned with Mexico than California. If you’re looking to move to Los Cabos, however, purchasing a home sooner than later is an excellent idea as home values are rising as more people are flocking to live here.
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Toronto is the largest city in Canada and with 2.8 million citizens, it is also the fifth biggest in North America. The entire Toronto region is home to more than 6 million people and there is no shortage of activities for families and adults alike. The Greater Toronto Region is one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities with inhabitants from all over the world. Many would describe Toronto as progressive and Forbes Magazine included the city in its top 10 most economically powerful cities in the world.
The suburbs around Toronto are great places to raise families with North York and Richmond Hill, being some of the best places to raise children. The University of Toronto is one of the most prestigious colleges in the world, and the teachers in Ontario are the highest paid in Canada. Another great perk of raising your family in Toronto is their extremely efficient public transit system, which allows everyone to get around conveniently without getting bogged down in traffic. The system makes visiting the amusement parks, museums, art galleries, bistros and other great attractions super easy, and this is why it is one of the best cities for LGBT families.
Berlin sets the bar high for European cities when it comes to the best place to raise your LGBTQ+ families. The city is known for being one of the hottest destinations for gay travelers in the world, but many people choose to put their roots down here as well. No matter where you go in Berlin, you are sure to experience a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community with dozens of local businesses owned by LGBTQ+ people and venues that cater to the gay-crowd mainly.
Berlin is another one of the best cities for LGBT families. It is divided up into 12 different neighborhoods. Prenzlauer Berg is an up and coming family-focused neighborhood with many young people who are just starting their families. The neighborhood is also known for being health-conscious with many vegan restaurants, although steaks are still plentiful. Kreuzberg is one of the most culturally diverse areas of Berlin with artists, students and international expats making their home here. Tempelhof-Schoneberg is known as the gay hub of Berlin with many gay clubs and bars, as well as formers homes of icons such as David Bowie.
The average home price in Berlin is less than $300,000 and the town is known for having a very affordable cost of living compared to the rest of metropolitan Europe.
Madrid is home to the largest gay identifying population in the world and is often referred to as the gay capital of Europe. Spain was the third country to make same-sex marriage legal back in 2005 and nearly 90% of the population support equality. The entire city is a dedication to gay culture with iconic figures such as Federico Garcia Lorca and Pedro Zerolo. They are immortalized in the city through statuary and even having plazas named after them.
If you want your children to grow up immersed in a community that is accepting and welcoming to the gay community, there is no better place in Europe than Madrid. The city is also home to one of the largest Pride festivals in the world every June, where the entire Chueca neighborhood celebrates together. Madrid is also one of the most affordable European cities to live in, with many retirees on a budget also flocking here to live out their lives comfortably.
While the politics of the United Kingdom may be polarizing, London is a well known gay-friendly city with several neighborhoods that are progressive with a loud and proud LGBTQ+ scene. Gay people are entitled to equal rights in the UK, and Stonewall, a gay rights charity that has lead the charge on equal rights, is based in London. London is also home to many gay-friendly employers, venues and schools.
Some of our favorite neighborhoods for raising an LGBTQ+ family include Soho on the west end of London, Camden, Islington, Vauxhall, Hackney and Stoke Newington. Soho has long been known as the hub of the gay community with a vibrant nightlife and many first-class restaurants. Camden in North London is home to many eclectic families, students and artists, and is not far from Camden, Islington is considered expensive and has the highest number of same-sex couples living together in the UK.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Netherlands has long been known as one of the most progressive places in the world to live. The quality of life is higher than most other first world countries and citizens are entitled to healthcare and education. Amsterdam is particularly welcoming to LGBTQ+ families as the equal rights organization, COC Nederland, has been based in Amsterdam and fighting for the community since the 1940s. The Netherlands was also the first country to legalize same-sex marriage back in 2001.
Amsterdam is one of the best cities for LGBT families and is also one of the top places, if not the number one, for transgender and nonbinary families. The courts ruled recently that a third gender must be recognized and have allowed transgender people to change the gender on their birth certificate since 1985. The Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade is also one of the largest and most famous in the world and the country is known for being liberal with all neighborhoods being well-suited for LGBTQ+ families.
Best Cities for LGBT Families: Where Will You Settle?
Even if the best cities for LGBT families on our list are not feasible for your family, there are a few considerations you should take before choosing where to start your family. Whenever possible, make sure that the national, state, or local laws are LGBTQ+ friendly.
You should also research the elected city and county officials if you are trying to decide if a town is conservative or progressive. If your children are gay or transgender, you will also need to check out the options for schools and find out what their individual or district policies are concerning bathroom and locker room usage, and dress code. Before accepting a new position at a company, make sure you have a complete understanding of their values and policies on workplace discrimination. Looking into these things can help you determine if the cities you are considering are best for LGBTQ+ families.