As you contemplate a potential move to a new locale, one of the foremost considerations that may cross your mind is how hospitable the locals are to those who identify as LGBTQ+ and endeavor to live an authentic life. Regrettably, this remains a salient issue in our contemporary world, and it warrants thoughtful consideration.
To help queer folx who are considering moving to Gay Pennsylvania, we have put together this guide from experts on the ground, considering the pros and cons of life here, discussing LGBT rights in Pennsylvania and whether Pennsylvania embraces our community.
We also take a look at the most gay-friendly cities in Pennsylvania and LGBT community organizations in Pennsylvania that you should be aware of!
Embarking on a new chapter in a different state? Pennsylvania, with its rich tapestry of cultures and communities, could be your next home. But let’s delve into a key aspect: the LGBTQ+ community’s presence and acceptance.
Pennsylvania celebrates diversity, and this is vividly seen in its varied attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. Cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh shine with their progressive, inclusive cultures, offering robust support and vibrant LGBTQ+ communities. Among these gems, Reading and New Hope stand out as shining examples of hope, inclusion, and community spirit.
Reading, with its burgeoning LGBTQ+ population, is a hub of acceptance and support. It’s a city where LGBTQ+ individuals and allies form a tight-knit community, celebrated through local events, support groups, and inclusive policies. New Hope, on the other hand, is renowned for its vibrant LGBTQ+ scene, rich cultural events, and a welcoming atmosphere that has long attracted individuals from all walks of life. It’s a place where diversity is not just accepted but celebrated.
While Pennsylvania is a state of contrasts, with some areas more conservative than others, the overall trajectory is one of positive change and inclusion. The rise of LGBTQ+ individuals in leadership roles and the increasing support in schools for LGBTQ+ students are testaments to this. In cities like Reading and New Hope, you’ll find a microcosm of this progress, a reminder that even if you encounter a conservative glance while holding your partner’s hand, you are part of a broader, ever-growing community committed to fostering acceptance and visibility.
Of course, as with any place, there are areas within the state where attitudes may be more conservative. However, Pennsylvania’s trajectory is one of progress and inclusion, with LGBTQ+ individuals increasingly taking on leadership roles and schools fostering a supportive environment for LGBTQ+ students. Remember, even if you encounter an occasional conservative gaze while holding your partner’s hand, you’re part of a community that’s making strides in acceptance and visibility, and cities like Reading are at the forefront of this positive change.
What’s more, it’s not unheard of for people in the LGBTQ+ community to experience discrimination or judgment in some instances. So then, what makes Pennsylvania a good state to move to? Apart from the high quality of life, the chocolate factories that Philadelphia is famous for, and affordable living, what’s in store here for members of the LGBTQ+ community? And where should you choose to settle down?
To reduce the stress of your relocation, we recommend engaging a gay realtor in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania – they will not only have your best interests at heart but also ensure you are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire process.
In this article we will cover...
- Highlights Of Moving To Gay Pennsylvania
- LGBTQ+ Rights In The USA
- Does Pennsylvania Embrace The LGBTQ Community?
- Is Pennsylvania An Expensive State To Move To?
- LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Pennsylvania
- Most Gay-Friendly Cities In Pennsylvania
- Finding Gay Realtors In Pennsylvania
Highlights Of Moving To Gay Pennsylvania
It’s hard not to get enthusiastic about the unique and tempting proposition that moving to Pennsylvania presents – especially once you get chatting with residents and long-time locals in the know about all their state’s hidden gems and best-kept secrets. After all, this is why many chose to live here.
Once you move here, you should quickly befriend locals, let them ‘spill the tea’ and then spend your free time discovering the best sights, food, nature and culture Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania should allow you to meet local queer people with similar interests.
We are certain locals will have many more to add, but to get you excited, here are just a few highlights to look forward to as you become Pennsylvania’s newest denizen.
It’s a nice thing to know that you could potentially be living in a neighborhood that’s dominated by people in your community. Philly is rich in LGBTQ+ history and has some of the best LGBTQ+ events in the state, such as Pride March & Festival and Outfest.
The Gayborhood has been the hub of all gay culture, life, and history in the city since World War II. The area was named the “Gayborhood” during the 1995 Outfest event, and then-Mayor John Street directed the erection of 36 rainbow street signs all over the neighborhood. The rainbows have since grown in number and are visible all over businesses and homes.
Pennsylvania has a diverse economy, with major industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and agriculture. The state is home to several major companies, such as DuPont, Hershey’s, and PNC Financial Services, and is also becoming an important center for startups and innovation.
On top of this, Pennsylvania has a low unemployment rate and is consistently ranked among the top states for job growth, making it a great place to start or further your career.
Rich History and Culture
Pennsylvania is known for its rich history and culture, with many historical sites and landmarks to explore. The state is home to several colonial-era towns, such as Lancaster and York, as well as several museums and art galleries that showcase the state’s history and culture. Additionally, Pennsylvania is known for its diverse cuisine, such as the famous Philly cheesesteak and the Amish-style cooking, and its vibrant arts and culture scene, making it a great place to experience different cultures.
Pennsylvania is known for its beautiful landscapes, from the rolling hills of the Appalachians to the lush forests of the Poconos. The state is home to several national and state parks, such as the Delaware Water Gap and the Allegheny National Forest, as well as many other outdoor recreational areas, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.
Additionally, the state offers a wide variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and fishing, making it an ideal place to enjoy the great outdoors.
Affordable LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities
Pennsylvania has a relatively low cost of living compared to other states, making it an affordable place to live. The state has a relatively low housing cost, which makes it an attractive place to buy or rent a home. Additionally, the state’s smaller cities and towns offer a great quality of life with a more relaxed pace and a strong sense of community.
The city of Allentown has recently been named one of the most attractive cities for the LGBTQ community in terms of affordability. The city’s median listing is $250,000, making it affordable for same-sex couples. In fact, the area between Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton is home to the state’s 3rd largest gay population.
There are a lot of culture, art, and dining options to enjoy here, and add that to affordability, and you’ve got a winner. Real estate agents are seeing a rise in the number of LGBTQ+ singles and families moving here from New Jersey and New York.
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 Pennsylvania and what you can expect of LGBT life there.
Does Pennsylvania Embrace The LGBTQ Community?
While there are areas in Pennsylvania, such as Philadelphia, Erie, and Pittsburgh, that are open-minded and welcoming to LGBTQ+ communities, not every location is the same. As a whole, the state recently ranked 24/50 for LGBTQ legal protections and support of LGBTQ rights by the public.
Pennsylvania has banned discrimination based on gender identity and sexuality in employment, so that’s one thing to be thankful for. While you cannot compare Pennsylvania to other more progressive states, this doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the epicenter of discrimination. The truth is that there are very many gaps left open that encourage the possibility of discrimination.
There have also been reported incidences of discrimination in housing where a landlord would deny an LGBTQ+ person housing because of their animosity towards the community or their religious biases. On a more positive note, cities such as Erie are the center of LGBTQ+ lifestyle and camaraderie, with lots of LGBT-owned restaurants, bars, and businesses.
While Erie is a progressive and welcoming city, it is also one of the few such locations in one of the most conservative locations in the state. The city is popular for passing nondiscrimination ordinances that protect the transgender community.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is quite liberal and is known as one of the most liberal cities in the state, so you should be comfortable if you choose to live here, particularly in neighborhoods like East Liberty and Shadyside.
Is Pennsylvania An Expensive State To Move To?
Obviously, the cost of living in Pennsylvania varies from city to city and where you choose to live. However, the overall cost of living in the state is 2.5% less than the national average. Compared to other states, Pennsylvania is rated with the 20th highest cost of living overall. Let’s take a look at some of the costs you will have to consider while living here.
The median home value in the state is around $243,000 compared to the national value of $359,600. The average rent for a studio apartment in the state is $760, while that o a one-bedroom apartment is $800. The average prices for a two-bedroom apartment, a three-bedroom apartment, and a four-bedroom apartment are $970, $1,075, and $1,154, respectively.
Food and Groceries
If you’re a single adult with no dependents, expect your average cost of food and groceries to cost around $3,890 or around $320 per month. A family of five would expect to spend around $13,930 per year on food. Bear in mind that these costs do not include the cost of eating out at restaurants.
The average healthcare costs in the state for each household are around $650 per month or $7,890 each year.
Expect to spend an average of $830 on gas alone each month in Pennsylvania.
LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Pennsylvania
Wherever you live, it is essential that you support LGBT organizations in any way you can 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, Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania.
The William Way Community center offers networking events, social groups, and counseling and support services to the LGBTQIA+ community. The center aims to uplift the community throughout the whole of Philadelphia through community connections, empowerment programs, and arts and culture.
Their mission is to ensure that all LGBTQIA+ people in the region feel safe and connected by becoming a community center that reflects the diverse and vibrant community they serve.
The Central PA LGBT Center is focused on inspiring LGBTQ+ people to enhance inclusive communities. They encourage the holistic well-being of the community through social engagement and educational and social programs.
The organization stands for movements that seek inclusion and justice for immigrants, both documented and undocumented, refugees, people of color, people from all faiths, women, older adults, and those coming from low-income households.
They support the inclusion of all people who are marginalized and oppressed and their attainment of justice.
The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center offers an inclusive space for the state’s LGBTQ+ residents. The center also offers learning programs for LGBTQ+ community-building programs and culture.
They also offer programs targeting LGBT youth each day after school and ensure that the community has access to vital support services. Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community center serves as a community advocate and also organizes the Lehigh Valley Pride Festival.
Most Gay-Friendly Cities In Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, there are many wonderful areas to live in, but when relocating to LGBTQ Pennsylvania, 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, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise queer person seeking a welcoming neighborhood with facilities you’ll cherish, start with these top gay and gay-friendly Pennsylvania cities to discover your perfect new home, each with its distinct personality.
Give yourself enough time to acquaint yourself with Pennsylvania’s diverse personalities, and remember that there is no one perfect answer when it comes to the most gay-friendly places in Pennsylvania… 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 Pennsylvania are and why you might want to consider them!
Philadelphia could possibly be the most LGBTQ+ friendly city in Pennsylvania, and the city continues to be the hub of all queer activity in the state, as well as welcoming to LGBT travelers. The city was home to the first significant demonstration for LGBTQ rights that was held at Independence Hall.
Philly was also home to Barbara Gittings, who is revered as the mother of the LGBTQ rights movement. The city was also the first in the country to launch “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay®” as a means to usher in LGBTQ tourism.
The city is full of ethnic diversity, culinary experiences, and art. You will love the nightlife here as well as the annual pride celebrations and frequent parties. Philadelphia is also home to the Gayborhood, which is a unique neighborhood featuring lots of rainbow street signs, bars, and restaurants owned and operated by LGBTQ people.
Philadelphia’s Gayborhood also offers a variety of nightlife and entertainment options that offer many opportunities for the community to come together and enjoy burlesque cabaret, and so much more! Shopping here is also top-notch, as there are many independent boutiques that call the neighborhood home.
Music lovers will be happy to see a mural of music star Lil Nas X who is an excellent representative of queer and black culture. Philadelphia also hosts the Equality Forum each year, which is one of the reasons why the city has increasingly become one of the top choices for LGBTQ+ people.
The Pride Day LGBT Parade and Festival also happens in Philly each year, attracting thousands of participants. Any artsy gay person would be happy to live in Philadelphia, a city that has more public art than any other in the country. Philadelphia is home to an impressive number of museums, musical venues, and galleries.
Erie has previously been ranked as one of the gayest cities in the country. While it is a progressive and gay-friendly city in a conservative area, the city has adopted ordinances that allow discrimination. Transgender people will also be glad to hear that the city has trans-inclusive non-discrimination laws.
Everyone is welcome in Erie, which has also made efforts to be welcoming to LGBT tourists. While the nightlife here isn’t comparable to that of Philadelphia, the LGBT scene is vibrant and growing, with several LGBT-friendly restaurants and bars coming into the scene to ensure everyone is well-catered to.
The community in Erie, Pennsylvania, is inclusive, equitable, and welcoming to a diverse range of cultures where different perspectives, skills, gender identities, and sexual orientations are welcome. The city of Erie hosts plenty of LGBT events all year round, including Erie Pride Fest and Parade, Erie Pride Picnic, and Erie Pride Day at Waldameer Park and Water World.
One of the most gay-friendly neighborhoods in the city is Glenwood Heights, which is a scenic location. Living here means you’ve got access to Presque Isle State Park, which is also one of Erie’s best attractions. The homes in this neighborhood are gorgeous and affordable Victorian houses. While this neighborhood’s nightlife isn’t over the top, there are a few gay bars where you can meet friends and have a fun night out!
If you’re looking for resources for the LGBTQ+ community, you will be happy to know that Erie is home to quite a few national, regional, and local organizations that act as advocates for the queer community and offer a range of services such as educational programs and health services that cater to the LGBTQ community.
While the city of Pittsburgh isn’t too big, it is home to a pretty vibrant gay scene. The city is also home to a major LGBT tourist attraction, the Andy Warhol Museum. The museum is also the biggest museum in the country dedicated to one artist. Pittsburgh is an affordable city and is an awesome location with a lot to see and do.
Pittsburgh is home to several gay clubs and bars. Unlike Philadelphia, this city doesn’t have a gay district, but that doesn’t mean that LGBTQ+ people aren’t friendly here. The city’s local gay clubs and bars are located all over the city, and there are many gay-friendly and gay-owned businesses all over the city, with plenty found around the Strip District.
You will also find a gay population in Mexican War Streets, which is a neighborhood featuring tree-lined streets, beautiful gardens, and restored row houses. Liberty Avenue also has a good number of gay clubs. Pittsburgh hosts a couple of gay events, including Pride Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh’s annual Pride parade and festival that features 45+ events hosted throughout June.
The event is hosted by a variety of organizations and clubs. It features lots of entertainers, food, and music, all in an effort to celebrate inclusivity and diversity. The University of Pittsburgh was ranked no.20 for being one of the best schools in the country for LGBTQIA+ students.
Pittsburgh is truly a friendly and welcoming city that anyone would be happy to live in. All you need to do is have an open mind and be ready to receive all that the city has to offer with open arms.
Finding Gay Realtors In Pennsylvania
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 Pennsylvania 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.
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 Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania 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!