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

Moving To Gay South Carolina? 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 South Carolina, we have put together this guide from experts on the ground, considering the pros and cons of life here, discussing LGBT rights in South Carolina and whether South Carolina embraces our community.

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

A southern state with beautiful trails, sunny beaches, and charming cities – if you are looking for a life upgrade, this might just be the state for you. However, the first thing to know (if you haven’t guessed already) is that state that has a conservative culture, and some people in the state may hold views that are not supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.

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

Nevertheless, there are also some cities in South Carolina, such as Charleston, Columbia, and Myrtle Beach, that have a more accepting and diverse culture and have active LGBTQ+ communities and resources available. The sad inverse of this, however, is that a queer person moving elsewhere in South Carolina may experience some challenges and discrimination, particularly in rural areas.

Things have been getting better, and in 2017, South Carolina first elected the state’s first openly-gay lawmaker, but disappointingly, this election at the time did not result in a load of bills protecting the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination. Worse still, in 2019, the state introduced a bill that made it illegal for transgender children to have access to identity-affirming care. 

While the situation might not be as bleak as it seems, the truth is that there’s a vibrant and growing LGBTQ+ community in the state that is thriving amidst everything that’s been thrown at them.

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

It’s hard not to get enthusiastic about the unique and tempting proposition that moving to South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina’s newest denizen.

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

Affordable Cost of Living

South Carolina 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.

Growing Cities

South Carolina is home to several growing and vibrant cities, such as Columbia and Greenville, that offer a wide range of job opportunities, cultural activities, and entertainment. These cities are known for their diverse population, excellent dining and nightlife, and a growing tech scene.

Educational Opportunities

South Carolina is home to several reputable universities and colleges, such as the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and College of Charleston. Additionally, the state is home to several excellent public school systems, making it a great place to raise a family and secure a quality education.

South Carolina Pride

We all have to celebrate who we are and what our community represents, right? Living in South Carolina means you have the chance to take part in the activities of the SC Pride Parade and Festival, also known by the locals as Famously Hot South Carolina Pride.

The event takes place in Columbia, the state capital, and parties during the Pride celebration go on till late in the night. SC Pride is amongst the largest outdoor festivals in Columbia and is the largest queer event in South Carolina, with more than 90,000 visitors attending.

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LGBT-friendly Cities

Just because it’s South Carolina doesn’t mean that there aren’t any LGBT-friendly cities or enclaves in the state. Columbia, for instance, has an active queer nightlife scene, and many of the city’s LGBTQ+ bars are located near the capitol building. There are also a number of gay-friendly hangouts around the city.

While Charleston’s nightlife isn’t comparable to that of Columbia, the people here are pretty welcoming and non-judgmental. The city is quite laid-back, and local LGBT residents are free to express their affection for each other in non-LGBT designated locations.

Beautiful Coastline and Outdoor Activities

South Carolina is known for its beautiful coastline, with many miles of beaches and coastal towns to explore. The state is home to several state parks and recreational areas, such as Huntington Beach State Park and Congaree National Park, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts.

Additionally, the state offers a wide variety of outdoor activities such as fishing, boating and golfing, making it an ideal place to enjoy the great outdoors.

It’s Rich In History

Other than the general history of the state, there’s much to learn about the LGBTQ history in SC. The Real Rainbow Row is an initiative that was launched in 2018. Its aim is to collect photographs, institutional records, memoirs, diaries, and other mementos related to Charleston’s LGBTQ history. The initiative collects suggestions and input from locals regarding oral histories.

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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 South Carolina and what you can expect of LGBT life there.

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Does South Carolina Embrace The LGBTQ Community?

Unfortunately, civil rights laws in SC don’t include gender identity or sexual orientation. As a result, LGBTQ+ people living in the state may be subject to discrimination. Notably, it doesn’t cost much to add these protections to existing laws and allow LGBT people in the state to feel as comfortable and welcomed as others.

Evidence of discrimination against LGBT people in the state has been documented in court cases, surveys, and even in the media. Thanks to the discrimination that LGBT people in SC face, a significant number of them are not economically stable. 

More positively, SC residents support the passage of protections against discrimination against LGBT people in the state. Recently, Henry McMaster, SC Governor, made unfortunate remarks that showed his unwillingness to support the LGBT community. During the gubernatorial debate, the governor said that he would support making same-sex marriage illegal in South Carolina.

In 2015, a Supreme Court ruling made gay marriage legal in SC. He went on to say that the constitution of the country did not allow gay marriage and that neither did state law encourage it. This commentary earned him lots of criticism from local LGBT people as well as activists. There is quite a lot of stigma in the Bible Belt and the South surrounding LGBT issues.

Even then, the LGBTQ+ community here hasn’t given up and is more determined than ever to ensure SC is a queer-loving state. You will find a number of LGBTQ-friendly hotels on the coast of SC, and whether you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodations or luxury resorts, there’s something for everyone in the LGBTQ community to enjoy.

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Is South Carolina An Expensive State To Move To?

Compared to the U.S. average, the cost of living in South Carolina is 11.5% lower. Living in SC is affordable, and costs such as housing and food are low. Overall, living in SC means that you will be able to save money.


A single-family home in the state of SC would cost an average of $170,000. Rent, on the other hand, is not as affordable as owning a home in the state. The average rent for an apartment in the state is $1,130, while the average market price for a condo is $265,900. The amount of rent you pay in the state is, however, dependent on where you choose to live and the unit type.


The average electric bill in the state is $140, and gas prices would cost you about $100. Water and sewer costs in South Carolina would set you back a little over $30 and $35 each month. If you live in cities such as Columbia, expect the utility prices to be a little higher than in remote areas.

Food Costs

In South Carolina, food and grocery costs are 5% less than the national average. 


The cost of transportation will vary depending on where you live in South Carolina. Even so, expect to pay around $1,280 for your transportation costs each year in SC. This figure doesn’t include the cost of car insurance, which you should expect to pay $100 for if you’re driving.

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LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In South Carolina

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, South Carolina 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 South Carolina.

SC Equality

SC Equality is a collection of state and local political, state, and religious organizations and allies that seek to secure human and civil rights in the state of South Carolina.

South Carolina Black Pride

South Carolina Black Pride is on a mission to bring together and celebrate the state’s lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, queer, and non-gender-conforming people of color. The organization also seeks to recognize and celebrate its diversity while seeking to empower and promote the human rights of the LGBTQ+ community and their families in the state.

SC PrimeTimers

SC PrimeTimers is a non-profit for gay and bisexual mature men over 21 years of age. The group also includes other men that are aligned with its goal of socialization.

The goal of the group is to come together and enjoy social activities or events that bring meaning to the lives of older gay and bisexual men in Columbia and the Midlands. The organization caters to events such as movie outings, educational programs, and guest speakers.

SC Pride

SC Pride is on a mission to offer support to the LGBT community and celebrate the diversity that comes with the community. The organization also helps to educate locals about LGBT issues and seeks to enhance inclusion and equality in the community.

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Most Gay-Friendly Cities In South Carolina

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

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

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Myrtle Beach

Welcome to gay Myrtle Beach. This city in South Carolina is perfect for those who love the outdoors, with plenty of attractions and exceptional views of the Atlantic. Myrtle Beach is home to many beach towns and is ideal for people who love water sports, swimming, and fishing. 

While the city doesn’t have a gayborhood, there’s an active nightlife here, and you will find most of the gay clubs around the 5 Points neighborhood. Even though Myrtle Beach is a small city, compared to other cities in the state, it has a lot of visitors during the summer, and the gay population here is thriving! The truth is that there’s no official gay scene to be found in Myrtle Beach. 

However, what the city has is a gay beach near 82nd Avenue North. Myrtle Beach is the ideal vacation location, and you will also find beachside cafes, amusement parks, and ice cream shacks in the city. One of the most popular attractions in the city is The SkyWheel, a 187-foot high observation wheel, and North America’s 2nd tallest Ferris wheel. 

Myrtle Beach is one of the top-rated cities in the state for LGBT singles and families and celebrates a Pride festival each year. The city also loves its LGBT residents and prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in employment.

Myrtle Beach’s economy is mostly driven by the tourist industry, and with more than one hundred golf courses, there’s every sign of the city growing into a more progressive gay enclave.

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The truth is that South Carolina isn’t the first state you would think about when it comes to LGBT-friendliness. However, cities such as Charleston have become a safe haven for the queer community. 

Charleston hosts LGBTQ celebrations all year round, such as the yearly LGBTQ Wedding Expo, where you and your partner can meet wedding professionals. The historic city is home to a vibrant gay community that is supported by a variety of resources. The city also has many LGBT-friendly businesses and is one of the best places to be here in the downtown area. 

Charleston has an excellent restaurant city, so you don’t have to be stuck wondering where else you can go to explore different tastes. Charleston is a diverse city that is home to people from different backgrounds. The locals are quite laid-back, and even travelers will feel welcome here. 

Even though South Carolina is viewed as mostly religious, Charleston has a number of gay-friendly houses of worship, like the Circular Congregational Church. You don’t want to miss the city’s annual Charleston Pride Week that takes place at the beginning of fall. Here, you will find a welcoming community and neighborhoods that will be happy to welcome you to your new home.

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The city of Columbia is South Carolina’s hub for shopping and art. There’s much to love about this city, and whether it’s the beach, excellent weather, or the mountains, there’s something for both locals and tourists. For a city located in the Bible Belt, Columbia is a city that is very supportive and welcoming of the LGBT community. 

Columbia isn’t a very big city, but it has an active queer nightlife. A number of the city’s gay bars are located near the capitol building, and you will also find some gay-friendly hangouts and bars around this location and near the University of South Carolina. While you can’t compare Columbia to Miami, this city is one of the most gay-friendly in the state and hosts the South Carolina Gay Pride celebration. 

Columbia doesn’t have too many exclusively gay clubs or bars. However, those that are there do have drag shows, karaoke, and other activities and events that you can enjoy. Some of the mixed-crowd establishments are also very welcoming so that you can visit the too. The LGBT community here has been growing steadily over the last few years, with the city’s first Pride march held in 1989. 

The event is now city-sponsored and has received a lot of support from the local community. While Columbia is a college town, there’s also a vibrant art scene here, and if you love college sports, you will love it here. Some of the neighborhoods here, like the Five Points neighborhood near USC, are overflowing with restaurants, shops, and bars that are very popular with the younger crown. 

Art lovers will enjoy the art-centered neighborhoods and galleries all around the city, especially around Main Street and the Vista.

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Finding Gay Realtors In South Carolina

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 South Carolina 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 South Carolina, 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 South Carolina 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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