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Moving To Gay Illinois? Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

Moving To Gay Illinois? Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

One of the most common thoughts you might have before relocating anywhere is how accepting the locals are towards the LGBTQ+ lifestyle. It is a very valid concern and something that sadly still needs to be considered in this day and age.

To help queer folx who are considering moving to Gay Illinois, we have put together this guide from experts on the ground, considering the pros and cons of life here, discussing LGBT rights in Illinois and whether Illinois embraces our community.

We also take a look at the most gay-friendly cities in Illinois, and LGBT community organizations in Illinois that you should be aware of!

Moving To Gay Illinois Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.

Illinois, located in the Midwestern United States, has a diverse and vibrant LGBTQ+ community. The state has a long history of LGBTQ+ acceptance and advocacy, with notable milestones, including the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2013 and the implementation of state-wide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in housing, employment, and public accommodations.

These protections have made Illinois a relatively safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ+ individuals to live. In terms of resources and support, Illinois has a number of organizations and initiatives dedicated to serving the LGBTQ+ community. The Chicago Pride Parade, one of the country’s largest and longest-running pride events, attracts millions of attendees yearly.

The state is also home to several LGBTQ+ community organizations that offer community support, programming, and resources. The state of Illinois can be considered a relatively safe and welcoming place for LGBTQ+ individuals to live. While no place is perfect, the state’s history of acceptance and non-discrimination laws, as well as its resources and support systems for the LGBTQ+ community, make it a strong choice for those seeking an inclusive and supportive environment.

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Whether you are a current resident or considering a move to Illinois, the state’s rich LGBTQ+ culture and resources can make it a loving and welcoming home for many in the community. But sadly, all parts of Illinois are not equally welcoming.

To reduce the stress of your relocation, we recommend engaging a gay realtor in Illinois early in the process to help you find your new perfect home there. They will have up-to-the-minute information on the best cities and areas for LGBT people and be able to match your needs to a neighborhood most suited to you.

You can just start with a no-obligation conversation, and if you decide to continue with your move to Illinois – they will not only have your best interests at heart but also ensure you are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire process.

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Highlights Of Moving To Gay Illinois

Different aspects of every state make it a unique and tempting proposition to transplants and locals, and whether it’s museums, farm-to-fork restaurants, tours, theatre, and adventure, there’s something for everyone in this state.

Once you move here, you’ll be able to quickly befriend locals and spend your free time discovering the best sights and culture Illinois has to offer. On top of this, thanks to an offbeat yet deeply engaged LGBT community, which congregates at a few fabulous queer hot spots, securing a relocation to Illinois should allow you to meet queer people with similar interests.

We are certain locals will have many more to add, but to get you started, here are a few highlights of moving to LGBT Illinois.

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Lots of Fun

Many states experience the highs and lows of fun. However, in Illinois, the nightlife thrives all year round. Large cities such as Chicago have LGBT nightlife that has grown into different veins of the city.

In Northalsted, you can enjoy the high nightlife in clubs such as Hydrate or Roscoe’s. If you’re looking for something a little more high-class, there are still many more clubs where you can enjoy world-class entertainment. 

The crowd in Illinois nightlife is vibrant and lively, especially during the summer. Even so, this doesn’t mean that fun life in Illinois is limited to clubs or bars. There’s plenty of shopping to enjoy too! If you’re a fashionista, you will love the range of available clothing options, from department stores to vintage clothing offerings.


Here’s the thing about Illinois- LGBT life isn’t only limited to Chicago! LGBTQ people in the state can and do celebrate themselves in various ways. Each year, the state’s capital city hosts Springfield PrideFest, which features exceptional music, lots of fun, and a colorful street fair, all of which end in a drag show. 

There’s also the Old State Capitol Art Fair, where you can enjoy a variety of artwork created by regional artists, all of whose mission is to spruce up your home. Peoria is also home to a couple of events thanks to Peoria Proud teaming up with various other organizations to host a cookout for LGBTQ families.

The cookout usually features community tables, prizes, and lots of games. The icing on the cake is the Pride festival, sponsored by the city.

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LGBTQ+ Rights In The USA

The laws governing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have altered considerably over time in the United States and vary from state to state. In many ways, LGBT rights are some of the best in the world – but the devil is in the detail, and some places are much more hostile to queer life than others.

While same-sex marriage has been legal in every state since the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling on June 26, 2015 (before Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage was legal in 36 states and Washington, D.C. ), LGBT people are still treated differently in different states – both societally and as inequality under the law.

Over half of all states still allow discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, while counties and cities within states often have distinct laws as well.

While some states permit adoption by all couples, others forbid it for all unmarried couples. This is all to say what most of us already know is that LGBT rights and equality differ greatly across the USA, and the specifics of family, marriage and anti-discrimination laws are different in every state.

Thus, while it is comforting to know that you can choose to marry whoever you love across the USA (and have it recognized as such) and are protected against hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity (which can be punished under Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr.

Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009), there are still many questions you will likely have about moving to Illinois and what you can expect of LGBT life there.

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Does Illinois Embrace The LGBTQ Community? 

What may surprise many people is that Illinois is a diverse, accepting city that’s home to people from many backgrounds, cultures, and lifestyles. In the past, one of the priorities for people in the LGBT community was to search for neighborhoods that would offer them the acceptance they needed to live full lives.  In some cases, they had to build such neighborhoods themselves. 

Today, this isn’t the case, as LGBT families are sure to find acceptance wherever they are. In the past, there has been a decline in its Gayborhoods as LGBT families have found acceptance in different areas. LGBT families are free to set up bases in neighborhoods that offer the amenities that attract them, such as parks, schools, and others.

Illinois also gets a thumbs up for being one of the states that have recently passed laws designating public sing-occupancy restrooms as gender neutral. The state loves its LGBT people so much that it has also banned ‘LGBTQ panic’ defenses. This alone is a significant step in quashing beliefs that legitimize violence against members of the LGBTQ people.

Illinois is generally considered to be one of the country’s most progressive states. In 2019, Illinois was the 5th in the country to pass a law directing schools to teach LGBT history and also highlight the contributions of LGBT people in the curriculum.

The state is also one of the most liberal in the Midwest. Same-sex activity in the state has been legal since 1962, as a result of being the first state in the country to repeal sodomy laws.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in the state since 2014, and civil unions have also been allowed since 2011. If you’re looking to grow your family, Illinois is happy to indulge you since same-sex couples are allowed to adopt.

Discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in housing, employment, public accommodation, and credit is illegal in the state. The state also banned conversion therapy in minors in 2016.

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Is Illinois An Expensive State To Move To?

The cost of living in Illinois is almost the same as the country’s average. Living here will cost about 1.9% less than the national average. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest costs you will have to incur while living in the state.

Housing. The typical home value in Illinois is $187,000 and is about $17,500 less than the U.S. median home value. All across Illinois, homes built in 1939 or before cost around $155,500, while those built in 2014 and after cost approximately $365,000. If you’re thinking of renting, prepare to pay around $990 each month for a one-bedroom apartment. Expect to pay around $1,500 a month in rent for a home with five or additional bedrooms.

Transportation. Expect to pay around $2.37 per gallon or $830 on gas each year. If you consider transport costs such as car insurance, you should know that these might vary. However, you can generally expect to pay around $1,760 per year.

Healthcare. The average healthcare cost in Illinois for a single adult is $4,570 per year. If you’re a family of four, this amount goes up to $13,900 per year.

Food. Obviously, when you move to Illinois, you’ve got to eat. If you’re keen to save a little money on food items, grocery bills alone will cost around $3,000, while a family of four will spend around $8,680 on average.

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LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Illinois

Wherever you live, it is essential that you support LGBT organizations in any way you can use so that they can keep reaching out to and assisting other, more vulnerable members of the community. After all, we are stronger when we work together, and each of us will likely have a time in our lives when we require a little extra support.

Thankfully, Illinois has a supportive and diverse LGBTQ community, which has helped the state become more gay-friendly in recent years.

As a result, there are a variety of LGBT resources available to community members, their allies, friends, and families – and you ought to feel free to utilize them or consider giving your support as needed to keep your new home state moving forwards! They are also great places to meet new people and find your queer chosen family in Gay Illinois.

LGBT Chamber of Illinois

Through marketing activities, public relations efforts, and joint advertising that reaches national, local, and regional markets, the Chamber works relentlessly to promote its members. 

The Chamber has established the solid foundations essential for its programs and efforts to be successful as a platform for the representation of the LGBT community. It also serves as a safety net that gives the LGBT community social and economic influence.

The structure for their committee promotes their members through their website, local media, and at events resulting in free publicity.  Additionally, they also recognize member companies in their monthly newsletter and during networking gatherings. They support and remain present at LGBT gatherings and events all across the Chicago area throughout the year.

Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

The University of Illinois’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center aims to provide an atmosphere that is welcoming to people of all gender identities and sexual orientations. The Center serves as a resource for the general university community as well as the LGBT community.

The GSRC works to ensure the campus is a welcoming and safe environment for all faculty, students, and staff, with a focus on LGBT staff, faculty, and students at the University of Illinois. The organization hopes to assist in initiatives to combat homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, and heterosexist views and attitudes on campus.

Center on Halsted

The Center on Halsted is the region’s most popular community center, whose mission is to secure the well-being and health of the LGBTQ community in the area. The center is also on a mission to advance the community through the 1,000+ members that visit each day. The Center on Halsted works to offer a safe and welcoming space with services and programs targeting the entire community.

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The Most Gay-Friendly Cities In Illinois

In Illinois, there are many wonderful areas to live in, but when relocating to LGBTQ Illinois, you should be cognizant that there are a few cities and gaybourhoods that are nearer to the queer hubs of life. Knowing them will allow you to pull your U-Haul up to your new house in a gay-friendly neighborhood or town that is best suited to your needs.

If you’re a lesbian, gay, bisexualtransgender, or otherwise queer person seeking a welcoming neighborhood with facilities you’ll cherish, start with these top gay and gay-friendly Illinois cities to discover your perfect new home, each with its distinct personality.

Give yourself enough time to acquaint yourself with Illinois’s diverse personalities, and remember that there is no one perfect answer when it comes to the most gay-friendly places in Illinois… and just because it does not make our list doesn’t necessarily make it a bad option.

We recommend speaking to a local LGBT real estate agent for a more detailed understanding of the best options today. Now, let’s take a look at where these fabulously gay-friendly cities in Illinois are and why you might want to consider them!

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One of the things you will love about living in Chicago is that the city is diverse and welcoming. In the past, one of the most popular places for gays was Boystown.

However, it was more popular with gay white guys. The city has, however, witnessed a more varying presence of queer people. If this is your type of scene, you will love to see the gay, genderqueer, POC, trans women and men, femmes, and much more in the city. 

The best thing of all? Wherever you go in Chicago, there are queer people. While most of the queer population in the city still lives in some of the neighborhoods that are considered to be more gay-friendly, many of them live wherever they can. Some of the gay neighborhoods in the city include places like Wicker Park, Boystown, and Andersonville

While the name Boystown implies that it’s inhabited mostly by gay men, the truth is that it is the city’s most inclusive and diverse neighborhood that is home to a plethora of gyms, restaurants, shops, bars, theatres, and so much more. If you’re looking for hotels to have a staycation, you will have an easy time here since most of them are gay-welcoming and gay-friendly. 

You can find some pretty awesome hotels along Fulton Market or in Wicker Park. Chicago is home to vibrant queer nightlife, LGBT-owned businesses, and a thriving art scene.

Areas such as Andersonville is that’s popular with the LGBT community. Andersonville was originally an area popular with Swedish immigrants, and you will be able to experience their architecture and mouth-watering foods in many of the neighborhood’s many restaurants. 

Many of the privately-owned businesses in this neighborhood are lesbian-owned, so you can be sure that you will have the chance to support a number of LGBT businesses.

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Galena is Illinois’s oldest city, having been founded in 1826. The National Register of Historical Places lists a significant chunk of Galena as a historic location. Just arriving in town gives you the impression that you’ve traveled back in time. Galena is a historical buff’s paradise.

The city is also the state’s best-kept secret for affluent LGBT tourists. The Galena Historic District, which has 1,000 intact pre-1900 structures, lies near the center of the city and was established in the wake of the first American mineral rush. A weekend getaway from the hectic Chicago lifestyle to the state’s northwest border is made ideal by the restaurants, boutiques, museums, and slower-paced local lifestyle. 

Galena isn’t known for having queer celebrations, gay bars, or clubs, but it is still regarded as an LGBTQ+ getaway because it is surrounded by nature and offers a culturally diverse way of life with tours, historical structures, and museums.

The town also offers numerous activities that everyone can enjoy. Galena is quite accepting of LGBTQ+ people, and you can see this for yourself when you watch gay couples openly walking hand in hand. 

Galena’s charming Main Street, which runs alongside the Galena River, is the town’s focal point. A terrific way to start and get a sense of the city’s size is to take a tour on a vintage red and green trolley.  There are many beautiful gay-owned hotels in the city, with more outside Galena’s city center.

The region surrounding the city has a lot to offer outdoorsy types as well as admirers of history and scenery, including kayaking, swimming, and hiking.

best gay-friendly cities in Illinois - Galena


If you’re looking for a city where you can be free to live the American dream, Aurora should be at the top of your list.  With a population of only 200,456, the city is the state’s second-largest city and is renowned as the “City of Lights” since it was one of the country’s first cities to use street lights for electrification. 

Even so, Aurora is a conservative and middle-class American town so you won’t find much nightlife here. Aurora held its first pride parade only a few years ago. Aurora is making a new, more substantial step in its efforts to better engage with its LGBTQ+ community.  The Aurora City Council has been having deliberations on a nine-person LGBTQ+ advisory board.

Other areas where supporters believe it can do better include expanding the number of LGBTQ personnel in local administration and generally enhancing connections between the LGBTQ+ community and the local police force.

The LGBTQ+ Liaison program of the Aurora Police Department is in charge of developing, preserving, improving, and expanding the interactions between the LGBT communities. 

The LGBTQ+ liaison constantly strives to improve relations between the community and the Police Department by fostering a sense of trust and confidence between the two groups in the police.

To foster this relationship, the LGBTQ+ Liaison gives presentations to LGBT organizations, PFLAG, community organizations, and educational institutions.  In order to inform law enforcement professionals about the value of developing ties in the LGBTQ+ community, the group also gives presentations in law enforcement courses at Aurora University and Waubonsee Community College. 

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Finding Gay Realtors In Illinois

When looking for the ideal realtor, why would you consider someone’s sexuality? This may seem strange at first, but there are several reasons why contacting a gay realtor in Illinois is a great way to find your dream house.

After all, when it relates to one of life’s most significant transactions, it’s not unreasonable to expect fair, equal, and honest representation from someone who understands the queer community’s particular needs and wishes.

Furthermore, unfortunately, many people (up to a third of Americans) believe that our community does not deserve protection and dignity in housing, adoption, employment, and other areas of life.

So it’s no surprise that LGBT people who use mainstream realtors often describe feelings of discomfort, unnecessary trouble, unenthusiastic representation, or even antagonism or outright contempt. Everyone deserves a pleasant, stress-free home buying or selling experience while being adequately represented, and this is why we feel you should hire a gay realtor to assist you in finding your future home.

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LGBTQ realtors are more likely to be familiar with the diverse communities in their area and know which ones may be best suited to you when looking for a home.

That’s not to say a heterosexual realtor isn’t capable, but they’ve probably never had to address many of the issues LGBT people face. Rather than just being concerned with how bustling, fashionable, or up-and-coming a neighborhood is (or what it may appear like), gay realtors conduct extensive research into the neighborhoods in which they sell homes to ensure that clients are safe.

It used to be challenging to locate professional LGBT-friendly real estate agents in Illinois, and it was virtually impossible to find one if you were relocating here from out of state and didn’t have access to a local referral.

You no longer have to search for a realtor without knowing whether or not they are accepting of others because you can use a list of gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly agents in Illinois to do all of your homework for you.

Simply go to the page, and you’ll be presented with a free list of gay, lesbian, and gay-friendly agents who can help you with your relocation as well as other useful information like LGBT+friendly schools, shopping, storage firms, tradespeople, and more

. Read the biographies of LGBT real estate agents, then choose the one who is right for you. It’s critical that you find someone who will be by your side and support you and your family during one of life’s most exciting occasions.

Even better, there is no hidden motive, cost, or obligation whatsoever!

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