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

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

If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the decision to relocate to a new state can be daunting, especially when you’re unsure of the level of acceptance you’ll receive. It’s a legitimate concern to have, and unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s still a reality that not all places are equally welcoming. However, with the rise of queer-friendly cities and states, the process of moving can be made more comfortable and reassuring.

By conducting research and tapping into resources, queer people can identify places where they can live their lives authentically and thrive. So, if you’re thinking of relocating, don’t let the fear of not being accepted hold you back. With some planning and support, you can find a new home where you’re celebrated for who you are.

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

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

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Ah, the novelty of moving to a new state! New sights to behold, adventures to be part of, and new friends beckon. If you’re looking to move to a state that will offer you a constant supply of local produce, as well as small-town living enmeshed in big-city life, moving to Iowa, might be the right choice for you!

Iowa is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States known for its rolling hills, fields of corn and soybeans, and small towns with a strong sense of community. It is home to a diverse population, including many members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The state has a long history of supporting LGBTQ+ rights and has been a leader in the fight for equality. In 2009, Iowa became the third state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, and in 2021, the state passed legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

There are several cities in Iowa with active LGBTQ+ communities and many resources available for LGBTQ+ individuals. In Des Moines, the capital of Iowa, there are several LGBTQ+ organizations and events, including the Iowa Pride Network and the Des Moines Pride Festival, which attracts thousands of people each year. The city is also home to several LGBTQ+-friendly bars and clubs, including Blazing Saddle, a popular gay bar.

Other cities in Iowa with active LGBTQ+ communities include Cedar Rapids, which has an annual Pride festival and several LGBTQ+-friendly businesses and organizations, and Iowa City, which is home to the University of Iowa and a vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

Moving To Gay Iowa Thing To Know Before Relocating Here As An LGBT Person.
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Overall, Iowa is a relatively welcoming and inclusive state for LGBTQ+ individuals, with many resources and opportunities for community members to come together and connect. However, it certainly isn’t true that all places in Iowa are equally hospitable to the queer community, and there are many nuances to consider.

To reduce the stress of your relocation, we recommend engaging a gay realtor in Iowa 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 Iowa – 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 Iowa

Different aspects of every state make it a unique and tempting proposition to transplants, locals, and visitors – and residents of Iowa are well aware that their state is brimming with hidden gems. After all, this is why many chose to live here.

Once you move here, you’ll be able to quickly befriend locals and spend your free time discovering the best sights and culture Iowa 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 Iowa should allow you to meet queer people with similar interests.

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

Thriving Arts and Cuisine

Most regions that fully embrace the arts are most likely also vibrant and diverse. Well, this is what you get with Iowa. There’s a lot to do all through the state past 5 p.m. and during the weekend. Whether you choose to experience new live music venues, festivals, or art crawls, there’s no time to get bored here. If you’re a foodie, you will enjoy living here. 

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Job Opportunities

If you’re looking to start a business, the state is home to a range of industries that feed into its economy. Some of the top industries in Iowa include finance, insurance manufacturing, and biosciences.

If you’re looking to get into the food industry, you will be happy to know that there’s a high number of agricultural engineers in the state. You can also enjoy life here with a good salary is this is what you’re looking for.

The Farmer’s Markets

There’s nothing as nice as knowing that the state you’re moving to will encourage your healthy lifestyle. Every city in Iowa is home to a downtown Farmer’s Market during the summer. The booths on display aren’t limited to residents in the city, and you will find treasures from all over the state regardless of the city you choose to move to.

Goods in the farmer’s markets range from fresh produce to hand-painted decorations and hand-carvings. If you’re lucky, the city you move to hosts a farmer’s market during the fall. Even so, Iowa isn’t the healthiest of states, so you will have to work hard to keep your body bangin’!

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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 Iowa and what you can expect of LGBT life there.

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Does Iowa Embrace The LGBTQ Community? 

If you’ve never been to Iowa before, you might be tempted to think that the state is very conservative, especially when it comes to LGBT issues. However, surprises await you because Iowa is a very welcoming state. Iowa has statewide legislation on issues such as non-discrimination in employment, and marriage equality. The state also has measures in place to ensure that everyone is treated equally. 

Some cities in the state have specific laws that help LGBT residents feel much more secure. While the cities in the state aren’t as populated or urban as cities such as San Francisco or New York, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t as inclusive. If you’re thinking this is all the state has to offer, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Iowa has been a strong player in LGBT history. 

The state introduced sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 2007. In 2009, Iowa legalized same-sex marriage. This was such a big step because it was six years before same-sex marriage became federally legal.

Even so, that doesn’t mean that the state is devoid of any struggles for the LGBT community. In 2021, the state legislature introduced 15 anti-LGBT bills- most of which targeted transgender people. According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are seven cities in the state that are welcoming to LGBTQ people. 

Cities such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Dubuque each got ratings of 100 points in the MEI. Des Moines scored a 93, Ames 87, and West Des Moines an impressive 95.   Iowa City has previously received a perfect score, which was followed by HRC staff members visiting the city to commend it for its efforts.

They highlighted specific actions by the city, including establishing a municipal anti-bullying policy and employing an LGBTQ liaison for the police department.

It’s clearly not wrong to say that the city has long been devoted to LGBTQ rights. Long praised for its progressive values, Iowa City is a popular tourist hotspot for LGBTQ people because of its gay nightlife, storied PrideFest, and plenty of cultural options. Along with other cities in the country, Iowa City has gotten accolades as the ‘gayest city in America.

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Is Iowa An Expensive State To Move To?

The average cost of living in Iowa is lower than it is nationwide. The average cost of services and goods in the state is 10.7% lower than the national average.

Housing. The average home in Iowa is valued at $142,200, which is less than the national median home value. A home constructed in 1939 or before is priced on average at $95,200, while a home constructed in 2014 or later is valued on average at $317,100. In Iowa, the average renter pays approximately $765 per month for housing, which is less than the $1,020 per month nationwide median rent. In Iowa, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $595 per month, while the average rent for a home with five bedrooms and more is $900.

Transport. If you intend to drive in Iowa, you should expect to pay around $925 on gas alone in a year. The average cost of auto insurance in the state is $1,326, which is lower than the national average.

Healthcare. Compared to the U.S. average of $4,265 for a single adult, Iowa’s average cost of health care is $4,530 annually. The average yearly cost for a family of four would come to around $13,700, which is $750 more than the national average.

Food costs. A family of four in Iowa would spend, on average, $8,500 a year, while a single adult is expected to spend, on average, $2,950 on food. For comparison, the average yearly food expenditure in the United States is $9,356 for a family of four and $3,235 for an adult.

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LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Iowa

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, Iowa 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 Iowa.

One Iowa

One Iowa was established in 2005 to promote the legalization of gay marriage in the state. When Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Varnum v. Brien in 2009, marriage equality became a reality in the state, fulfilling the organization’s initial mission. The group then made a U-turn and committed itself to protecting the right to wed against formidable foes. 

Marriage equality in the state no longer required the ferocious resistance it formerly did. One Iowa then redirected its attention to a comprehensive strategy to guarantee that the rights and dignity of Iowa’s LGBTQ community are upheld in all facets and stages of their lives. The organization’s objective is to develop, empower, and enhance the lives of LGBTQ Iowans all through the state. 

One Iowa aims to enhance the lives of the LGBT population in the state by defending and advancing equality and inclusivity via education, enhancing workplace cultures, and expanding access to high-quality healthcare throughout the state.

LGBT Iowa Archives and Library

The goal of the LGBTQ Iowa Archives and Library is to provide access to queer literature for people of all ages while collecting, preserving, and sharing the state’s queer heritage. The archives have 3  main tasks that they perform in order to achieve their objectives of gathering, protecting, and disseminating queer history in the state. 

The initial one is a lending library that offers the community access to the diversity of LGBTQ authors and stories for enjoyment and education. The library is a vital resource for LGBT texts and authors.

The second goal is to create a collection that documents the substantial physical evidence of LGBTQ life in the state and makes it accessible to members of the community and scholars to browse and research what they need. 

The third function of the library is to operate as a hub for oral history resources as they disseminate the instruments, know-how, and expertise required to effectively record LGBTQ history in Iowa.

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Most Gay-Friendly Cities In Iowa

In Iowa, there are many wonderful areas to live in, but when relocating to LGBTQ Iowa, 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 Iowa cities to discover your perfect new home, each with its distinct personality.

Give yourself enough time to acquaint yourself with Iowa’s diverse personalities, and remember that there is no one perfect answer when it comes to the most gay-friendly places in Iowa… 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 Iowa are and why you might want to consider them!

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Iowa City

Iowa City is blessed to have around 73,400 residents. The city received a perfect score of 100 on the HRC annual index, which ranks cities that excel in enacting laws promoting nondiscrimination in the workplace, relationship equality, fairness and respect for LGBTQ city employees, and other issues that are extremely important to the LGBT community and the general public. 

The University of Iowa is situated in Iowa City, which is primarily renowned as a college town. With 58% of the adult population in the city possessing a bachelor’s degree or more, Iowa City is highly educated. A vibrant and varied nightlife is also present in the region.

LGBT city residents founded what is now known as Iowa City PrideFest a year after the Stonewall Riots. The celebration is now one of the first and longest-running Pride celebrations in the Midwest, and across the country. 

Even if you’re a seasoned shopper, you can still find independent shops and major retailers in the city quite exciting. If you prefer adventures, you can go biking, hiking, and kayaking. Football and wrestling fans don’t have to wait their turn either, as the sports bring UI loyal in droves.  

For the more curious individuals, you’re welcome to take tours of the museums, fossils, and libraries. Foodies will also have a good time here thanks to farm-to-table eateries and craft breweries. 

Iowa City is a welcoming and diverse city that attracts curious communities all year round. What’s more, there are plenty of activities throughout the year to keep you busy such as athletic competitions, musical performances, and author workshops and readings.

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Des Moines

The capital and largest city of the state, Des Moines, has a population of 202,430. Des Moines also received an excellent rating (85) on the HRC’s annual MEI index. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to residents of the city that they are rated as being quite inclusive.  Numerous city policies are in place to guarantee equality for all residents and inclusion in public employment and community life. 

The city also has many shopping, dining, and entertainment options, which contribute to Des Moines’ transformation into a great urban enclave. Des Moines has a vibrant LGBT community and a resident median age of 33.5 years.

The biggest LGBT rights organization in the state, One Iowa, provides training to West Des Moines police on how to improve ties with the queer and transgender population. 

The East Village in the city is home to several gay bars and boasts a thriving LGBT community. There are inclusive, gay-friendly communities in the city.

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Sioux City

With approximately 82,680 residents, Sioux City has also been singled out positively by the HRC. The excellent school system in the city and its initiatives to teach and prevent discrimination and bullying from the outset are among the city’s many advantages.

The Human Rights Campaign also points to the advantages of local laws that expressly forbid discrimination of any kind, including those based on sexual orientation. 

Sioux is a very diverse city that enjoys the inclusion of all residents and aims to welcome everyone. The city is known for its beautiful old architecture, myriad parks, excellent dining options, and summer music events.

Sioux City has a sizable art museum filled with works by local painters, and a sizeable community museum with exhibits. If you choose to live in Sioux City, you will experience a laid-back gay scene. 

The boutiques, bookstores, and coffee shops, in the area all exude a warm, welcoming Midwestern charm. If you want to get to know the local LGBTQ+ community, many local businesses host meetups, and event calendars that inform visitors of when the next meetup is approaching so they can make plans accordingly.

Every year, Sioux City hosts a Pride celebration that draws a sizeable crowd of supporters. 

Sioux City is typically regarded as a safe destination. It has inclusive Midwestern culture, and the friendly atmosphere is largely heightened by the friendly locals. You will feel at ease while you live here because of its tranquil pace. 

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Finding Gay Realtors In Iowa

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 Iowa 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 Iowa, 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 Iowa 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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