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Moving To Gay Wisconsin? How To Find Your Perfect New LGBT Neighborhood! 

Moving To Gay Wisconsin? How To Find Your Perfect New LGBT Neighborhood! 

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

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

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Wisconsin is a state located in the Midwest region of the United States. While it is known for its natural beauty, strong economy, and friendly people, the state has a mixed record when it comes to LGBT rights. Therefore, the life of an LGBT person in Wisconsin may be an assortment of positive and challenging experiences, and it is crucial to be cognizant of the state’s laws and attitudes toward the queer community.

In terms of legal protections, Wisconsin has laws that safeguard against discrimination based on sexual orientation, including those who identify with broader LGBTQ+ identities such as those represented by the questioning pride flag, in areas such as housing, employment, and public accommodations. However, the state does not have laws that protect against discrimination based on gender identity. This lack of comprehensive protection means that transgender individuals and others exploring their gender identity, much like the individuals the questioning pride flag represents, may face discrimination in their daily lives and have limited recourse.

Additionally, Wisconsin has a moderate-sized LGBT community, especially in larger cities such as Milwaukee and Madison, which offer a variety of resources, support groups, and social events for the LGBTQ+ community. However, in some rural areas, it may be more difficult to find a welcoming and inclusive community.

In terms of the social scene, Wisconsin has a variety of LGBTQ-friendly venues and events, particularly in larger cities such as Milwaukee and Madison. These cities offer a variety of gay bars, clubs, and events, such as Pride festivals. As you might expect, many rural areas may not have as many options for the LGBTQ+ community.

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In terms of healthcare, Wisconsin has a wide range of healthcare providers, including hospitals and clinics, but it can be difficult to find LGBTQ+-friendly healthcare providers. It is crucial to research different healthcare options and to find a provider who is knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ health issues and who is sensitive to the needs of queer patients. In general, before moving here, you should have a plan in place for finding the support and resources you need.

To reduce the stress of your relocation, we recommend engaging a gay realtor in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin – they will not only have your best interests at heart but also ensure you are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire process.

You will surely find a loving, supportive community in the state, so read on to learn more about Wisconsin!

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Highlights Of Moving To Gay Wisconsin 

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

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Long LGBT History

Wisconsin has a long history of LGBTQ+ individuals dating back to at least 1894 when an individual known as Frank Blunt, a person who had previously identified as a woman and was married to Gertrude Field, was jailed for a year after stealing $175 from a local business.

There have also been similar cases throughout the state’s history, including the case of Ralph Kerwin, who lived as a man for years and was arrested for his sexual identity and then forced to wear women’s clothes or face jail time.

However, before European colonization, Indigenous tribes in the state had a culture of acceptance towards LGBTQ+ individuals, often referred to as “two-spirit” people. A 1953 study found that the Ho-Chunk tribe had a longstanding culture of acceptance of LGBT individuals, who held many positions of honor.

Natural Beauty

Wisconsin is known for its stunning natural landscapes. The state is home to the Great Lakes, which offer endless opportunities for boating, swimming and fishing.

The state also boasts a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it a popular destination for wildlife viewing and bird watching. The state also has many state parks and forests, such as the Kettle Moraine State Forest, the Devil’s Lake State Park, and the Peninsula State Park, that offer a variety of recreational activities.

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Outdoor Recreational Opportunities

In addition to the lakes, the state is also home to a variety of other recreational opportunities, such as biking, hiking, and hunting.

The state also has a strong tradition of fishing, with many opportunities for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, as well as hunting for big and small game. The state is also home to several rivers, like the Wolf River and the Fox River, which are popular for canoeing and kayaking.

Strong Economy

Wisconsin has a strong and diversified economy that is based on manufacturing, agriculture, and service sectors.

The state is home to many large companies such as Johnson Controls, Kohl’s, and Harley-Davidson, which provide many job opportunities to the residents. Additionally, the state’s low unemployment rate and high median income make it an attractive destination for those looking for a stable job market.

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Education And Culture

Wisconsin is home to many prestigious universities and colleges, such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Marquette University, which provide a variety of educational opportunities to the residents.

Additionally, the state has a rich history and culture, with many museums, art galleries and historical sites to visit, such as the Wisconsin State Capitol, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the EAA AirVenture Museum.

Underappreciated Gay Mecca

In 2016, the LGBTQ magazine- The Advocate- recognized Milwaukee as an important location for the LGBTQ community. The Advocate, established in 1967, is one of the country’s oldest and largest LGBTQ-centered publications.

The organization reviewed the book “LGBT Milwaukee” by historian Michail Takach, which recognized Milwaukee as the country’s most underappreciated gay Mecca. The author Michail Takach said, “People wouldn’t expect Milwaukee to have a long and colorful LGBTQ history, dating back nearly 100 years, but here’s the proof”, referencing his book.

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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 Wisconsin and what you can expect of LGBT life there.

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Does Wisconsin Embrace The LGBTQ Community?

Wisconsin is generally considered a relatively gay-friendly state, with various resources and organizations available for the LGBTQ community and laws and policies to prevent discrimination. The state also has a significant number of LGBTQ-owned businesses. However, some cities within the state may be more welcoming to LGBTQ individuals than others. 

Cities like Madison and Milwaukee, for example, have large and active LGBTQ communities, with a variety of resources and organizations and annual pride events. However, it’s vital to note that not all parts of Wisconsin may have the same level of acceptance, and it’s important to be aware of the laws and cultural attitudes in a specific area. The acceptance of LGBTQ individuals can vary depending on the location and community. 

In general, larger cities like Madison and Milwaukee tend to have more active and visible LGBTQ communities. They may be more welcoming to LGBTQ individuals compared to rural areas and small towns where attitudes towards the LGBTQ community may be more conservative. 

However, it’s important to note that even in places considered more accepting, LGBTQ individuals may still face discrimination and harassment. It’s always important to be aware of the laws and cultural attitudes in a specific area and take necessary precautions to protect oneself.

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Is Wisconsin An Expensive State To Move To? 

Wisconsin is generally more affordable than the rest of the United States. Wisconsin’s cost of goods and services is 8.1% lower than the national average. This cost of living makes Wisconsin the 20th state with the lowest cost of living in the country. Let’s look at some expenses you will incur while living in Wisconsin.


In terms of housing, the median home value in Wisconsin is $173,600, which is $31,300 lower than the national median home value of $204,900. The median price of an older home in Wisconsin is $131,700, while a newer home is $339,400. Additionally, the average monthly rent in Wisconsin is $835, which is $186 less than the national median monthly rent of $1,020.


When it comes to transportation, the average cost of gas in Wisconsin is $2.08 per gallon, which can add up to $967 per year for the average motorist. Additionally, the average car insurance premium in Wisconsin is $1,359, which is lower than the national average of $1,517.

Food And Groceries

Wisconsin food costs are also lower than the national average. A single adult in Wisconsin spends an average of $2,977 on food annually, and a family of four spends $8,596 on average. For comparison, the nationwide average annual food expenditure is $3,240 for a single adult and $9,354 for a family of four.

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LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Wisconsin

Wherever you grace with your presence, darlings, remember that lending your support to LGBT organizations is not just a gesture, but a vital act of solidarity. These groups extend their loving arms to assist the more vulnerable in our community. Remember, our collective strength shines brightest when we come together, and there might come a time when even you need a bit of that extra sparkle.

In the heart of the Midwest, Wisconsin’s LGBTQ community is a vibrant tapestry of diversity and support, painting the state in ever more inclusive and gay-friendly colors. Leading the charge in this beautiful evolution are the top Wisconsin LGBT organizations, beacons of hope and unity.

These organizations offer an array of resources for community members, allies, friends, and families. Don’t hesitate to delve into these resources or, even better, contribute your own fabulous flair to help keep the momentum of progress and inclusivity in Wisconsin.

And let’s not forget, sweethearts, these organizations are not just resource hubs; they’re the social scene of your dreams! They’re ideal for meeting new friends and finding your queer chosen family in the welcoming embrace of Gay Wisconsin.

Milwaukee LGBT Center

The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center aims to strengthen and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the Milwaukee area to enhance the overall quality of life for all members. The center accomplishes this by leading the way in community building, health promotion, advocacy, and communication.

The center provides a variety of educational, health promotion, and community-building services that cater to the needs of LGBT youth, adults, and their allies in the Greater Milwaukee area, through its primary facility and other locations. The center’s programs are designed with the community’s needs, diversity, inclusivity, community development, resource availability, and the center’s mission and vision in mind.

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is on a mission to create a more inclusive society by fostering economic growth and opportunities for LGBT-owned and allied businesses, corporations, and professionals in Wisconsin. The chamber advocates for its members, acting as a liaison between businesses and government to promote fairness and equality.

Diverse and Resilient

Diverse & Resilient’s mission is to create communities that are supportive of the safety and well-being of LGBT people. Through its resources, the organization promotes the fact that LGBTQ+ people lead meaningful lives and contribute to the welfare of each other and the broader community.

Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition

The goal of the Wisconsin Transgender Health Coalition (WTHC) is to establish conditions in Wisconsin that ensure fair access to healthcare for transgender, intersex, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming individuals. To achieve this, WTHC is working to provide TING people in Wisconsin with the following:

  • Improved access to knowledgeable and supportive healthcare providers and resources.
  • State violence and eliminating discrimination in all aspects of life and society.
LGBTQ+ Community Organizations

Most Gay-Friendly Cities In Wisconsin

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

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

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Madison, Wisconsin, is often considered one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the United States, with various sources, such as The Advocate, recognizing it as one of the state’s most gay-friendly cities.

It is known for its liberal and progressive culture, a strong LGBT population, and support for gay rights. Madison offers a variety of social programs for its LGBT residents, including OutReach, an LGBT community support center. 

The city also boasts several gay bars that are popular with the LGBT community. The state capital, Madison, is also a great place for LGBT individuals interested in politics. The city is a college town with an ever-changing and lively gay community, making it a fun place to live or visit.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison greatly impacts the city’s culture and most of Madison’s activities center around the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods. 

The city is also walkable and easy to navigate, which allows you to save on transportation costs and spend more on local food, drinks, and attractions. The LGBT community in Wisconsin is known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere. One of the main events for the community is the Wisconsin Capitol Pride, organized by the OutReach LGBT Community Center and takes place in August. 

The event features a parade around Capitol Square and a rally with entertainment on the top of State Street. The Bartell Theatre, a theater company, also presents several plays of interest to the gay community on two stages throughout the season, including an annual Queer Shorts Festival of short plays in June.

Additionally, the Madison Ballet Company stages productions locally and at the Overture Center, which is also home to the Madison Symphony Orchestra. 

Those interested in the performing arts will find a variety of shows that cater to their interests. The presence of these different companies and events implies that Madison is a city that caters to people interested in the performing arts and the LGBTQ+ community.

best gay-friendly cities in Wisconsin – Madison


In addition to Madison, Milwaukee is another major metropolitan area in Wisconsin known for its friendly and welcoming attitude toward the LGBT community. Milwaukee is a strongly liberal-leaning city with a significant LGBT population and numerous gay-friendly establishments and programs.

One of the main events for the community is the annual “PrideFest Milwaukee” celebration, the largest LGBT music showcase in North America.

Aside from its strong LGBT-friendliness, Milwaukee also has a thriving business sector and a strong housing market. Recently, the city has undergone gentrification, leading to an increase in home values and the revitalization of downtown shops and businesses. 

The LGBT community in Milwaukee is centered around Walker’s Point and Downtown areas, where many gay bars are. There is a wide variety of establishments to choose from, ranging from upscale martini lounges to down-home, beer-swillin’ sports bars. Many clubs in Milwaukee have been around for several years, and the community has grown to support them.

Milwaukee prides itself on being a city that welcomes all people. Whether interested in outdoor activities, cultural events, or nightlife, Milwaukee has something for everyone. Whatever you’re looking for in Milwaukee, you can find it. The city has everything, whether it’s sipping beer with a friend or enjoying the booths at the Juneteenth Day Festival. 

The Walker’s Point neighborhood in Milwaukee is home to beautifully restored houses. It is a gathering place for a diverse group of artists, photographers, and musicians who appreciate the area’s industrial-chic ambiance and history.

The neighborhood offers a mix of leather/Levi’s meeting places, upscale establishments, mixed crowd hangouts, and dance clubs, giving those looking to experience Milwaukee’s club scene plenty of options.

Other Milwaukee neighborhoods with a large gay population include Riverwest and Bayview. In Bay View, the main strip along South Kinnickinnic Avenue has many gay-friendly cafes and shops. In Riverwest, it’s Humboldt Blvd.

The Historic Third Ward is a growing district undergoing an urban renaissance. The turn-of-the-century buildings that once housed the city’s most prominent manufacturers are now home to many of the city’s posh boutiques and eateries.

The brick facades and large awnings add a sense of history to Milwaukee’s fashion district, which boasts the largest concentration of art galleries in the city, trendy clothing boutiques, and hip home décor retailers.

Overall, Milwaukee is a city that offers a wide range of neighborhoods, each with its unique character and atmosphere, catering to the different preferences and interests of the people who live there.

best gay-friendly cities in Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Green Bay

Green Bay, Wisconsin, is recognized as one of the most accepting and supportive cities for the LGBTQ community in the United States. The city is known to be open and welcoming to the LGBTQ community. Its residents are known for their inclusiveness and support for all individuals.

Green Bay was one of the first cities in the country to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that protected LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. 

Additionally, the city is home to several LGBTQ-friendly businesses and organizations, such as the Rainbow Resource Center, which provides resources and support for the LGBTQ community.

Green Bay is an ideal place to live, work, and play for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, thanks to the city’s commitment to inclusion and diversity. 

The city’s efforts to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone make it a great place for LGBTQ people to call home. Green Bay, WI, has a significant gay presence and is generally accepting of the LGBTQ community.

The city offers a variety of gay-friendly bars, clubs, and events, such as Pridefest. The Old Downtown District is a hub for queer nightlife, with nearby options for accommodation. The city also has a variety of social clubs and organizations that support the LGBT community, so you can be sure that you will find a welcoming community here.

best gay-friendly cities in Wisconsin – Green Bay

Finding Gay Realtors In Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin 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 that 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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