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Moving To LGBT Charleston, South Carolina? How To Find Your Perfect Gay Neighborhood!

Moving To LGBT Charleston, South Carolina? How To Find Your Perfect Gay Neighborhood!

Charleston is a queer-loving city that has been well-known as a seaside city that offers the perfect weekend getaway for lesbian and gay couples. Even though Charleston doesn’t have a major gay nightlife scene, the city is welcoming, and accepting, and has a good number of restaurants, bars, and lounges that you can explore. 

While most of these nighttime hangouts aren’t really LGBTQ-focused, the crowd here is as diverse as it can get, and everyone is welcome to a piece of the pie. Whether you want to catch up with some friends, enjoy a night out on the dance floor, or watch a drag cabaret show, there’s something for everyone. 

Charleston has much to offer the LGBTQ community in terms of LGBT organizations that focus on empowering, educating, and advocating for the community. Regardless of how you identify, you will enjoy living in Charleston.

Gay Charleston South Carolina USA

Not many cities can say they have the same charm as Charleston. Charleston is a city with a rich history seen in its innovation, growth, and people. Charleston is popular with tourists, and thousands of them flock here every year to enjoy the various recreational options and sightseeing.

Thousands of people move to Charleston every year, mainly due to the abundance of welcoming neighborhoods, exceptional dining, and a vibrant arts community. What they find upon relocating here is a truly fabulous city that welcomes everyone looking for a progressive and inclusive place to work, play, and raise a family. If you’re contemplating relocating to LGBT Charleston, you might just discover the accepting surroundings you or your family require to prosper.

There is even a quirky gay scene in Charleston, but like Durham, Manchester, Norfolk, Fargo, and other mid-sized cities in the United States, it is rather low-key, especially when compared to Chicago or Houston. This is why a gay realtor in Charleston is priceless, as they can assist you in finding your new perfect home in the gaybourhood most suited to you.

Gay Real Estate USA

Despite the relatively hidden LGBT culture of Charleston, moving here should not make you feel uneasy. The majority of people in Charleston are accepting of the LGBTQ community, and you will quickly discover that the majority of businesses, shops, and services will serve you with pride.

We’ll go over what you should expect when moving to LGBT Charleston, as well as how you can make the transition easier on yourself (or with your family) and make sure you’re prepared to enjoy every minute of your new life here!

Check your preconceptions at the door because moving to LGBT Charleston is not what you expect…

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Highlights Of Moving To LGBTQ Charleston

Residents of Charleston are well aware that their underappreciated city is brimming with hidden gems. Once you move here, you’ll be able to quickly befriend locals and spend your free time discovering that Charleston is overflowing with culture and captivating sights…  

On top of this, thanks to an offbeat yet deeply engaged LGBT community, which congregates at a few fabulous queer hot spots in the city’s most popular neighborhoods, securing a relocation here will allow you to meet queer people with similar interests.

Almost anything your heart desires is available here. When relocating to LGBT Charleston, there are numerous things to look forwards to, such as distinctive architecture, endearing coffee shops, and boozy brunch haunts.

Let’s take a closer look at a few of the aspects that make up this incredible city before we get into the details.

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The People

Those who live within the city limits make the city what it is.  When a community brings its personality, charm, and energy to the city, it has no choice but to function for them. It’s no surprise, then, that when you move to Charleston, you’ll be talking about the people you meet every day – whether in a coffee shop, on the streets, or at the market; Charleston has incredible people. 

Their enthusiasm is contagious, and once you’ve established yourself as a local, you’ll appreciate their friendliness even more. This is one of the things that makes a living in Charleston so unique. 


The foodie scene in Charleston is to die for. Whether you want to indulge in something casual, enjoy an exquisite dinner, or chill out during Sunday brunch, any spot you choose in Charleston will not disappoint you. The food scene in Charleston consists of fresh southern comfort delicacies with a modern twist. 

It ranges from Michelin-star menus to casual fare. If you favor seafood, Charleston is no stranger to fresh, out-of-the-ocean oysters, fish, shrimp, and much more. There aren’t many dinner menus in Charleston that don’t have at least one seafood dish.

The Weather

Charleston’s weather is one of the reasons why you should move to this city. If you aren’t from the south, you might want to know that you will experience all four seasons here. Sometimes, it’ll be all in one day but primarily throughout the year.

The winters here are mild, and there’s the possibility of enjoying some time at the beach. Consider your heads-up to invest more in sunglasses, sandals, and shorts than in jackets and coats. Charleston is famous for its hot summers, crisp fall, and pleasant springs. 

Charleston Parks

Charleston is home to some beautiful green spaces. The most popular park, Battery Park, is located at the top of the city’s peninsula and offers views of the water, shade, and sun. Whether you want to relax in a quiet spot is up to you, but we recommend packing a picnic bag or enjoying an early morning stroll.

Once you feel like exploring, you can choose one of the 119 parks that call the city home. There are many things to do in Charleston so feel free to explore a public garden near the river or whatever else that comes to mind.

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Does Charleston Embrace The LGBTQ Community?

If you’re single and looking for a partner, you might find them. Gay marriage in Charleston has been legal since 2014, and marriage to a same-sex spouse has become the new normal.

While the city’s many districts are certainly is attractive, the support of the LGBTQ community sure to win you over. One of the organizations responsible for assisting the LGBTQ community in Charleston in coming out and growing is the Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA).

AFFA works with the city council of Charleston, Folly Beach, and North Charleston to adopt legislation protecting LGBT individuals from housing and employment discrimination. While the LGBT community in the city is still small, it is growing.

Charleston may not be comparable to more prominent, more queer-established places like New York or San Francisco, but the LGBTQ community does have a community they consider home.

 “Holy City” received an 82 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index2 in 2019. It is expected to attract even more LGBTQ focus over the next few years: Patti O’Furniture, a comic queen who can be seen flaunting her sass at the city’s drag brunches and shows, appears in season 2 of the drag reality show “We’re Here.”

Charleston, established in 1670, has many commonalities to Savannah, GA, a famous LGBTQ-friendly coastal city, and even has branches of businesses born in Savannah.

Same-sex married couples in South Carolina are entitled to the same protections as married opposite-sex couples. However, there is no prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

As a varied city that attracts individuals from all sorts of backgrounds, Charleston has a laid-back attitude, and LGBT visitors and residents will feel welcomed and embraced most of the time.

The South is a profoundly religious area, and Charleston is no exception, with its many churches. Among these churches are several gay-friendly congregations, such as the Circular Congregational Church.

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Is Charleston An Expensive City To Move To?

The cost of living in Charleston is 111.5, 11.5 percent higher than the country’s average.  The most significant contributor to Charleston’s high cost of living is housing. Utility costs are also a contributing factor, as do grocery costs. Transportation costs are cheaper than the national average.


The cost of housing index in Charleston is around 136.9, which is 36.9% higher than the country’s average. In Charleston, the median price for a property is about $380,000. The housing market in the city has grown by 7.1 percent in the last year. The median list price for a single-family home in the city is around $340,000, while a condo’s market price is about $295,000 and steadily increasing.


With a cost index of 101.6, utilities in the city are slightly higher than the national average. Utilities account for around 5.3 percent of monthly earnings in the city. The cost of utilities for a 915 sq. ft apartment is about $191 per month, including heating, water, electricity, cooling, and garbage.


Charleston’s grocery prices are 5% more than the U.S. average. A typical resident will spend $324 each month on groceries.


Charleston’s transport index is 94.1, which is lower than the U.S. average and more than the state’s 86.8.

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The Best Gay Neighborhoods In Charleston

While all the media today seems to this that gayborhood is dead or on the verge of extinction. We have news for them – it’s not! Instead, gayborhoods across the USA are growing in number and diversity; they might look slightly different.

Instead of being the main street serving mostly-exclusive LGBT clients (something we now think of as a gay village), gayborhoods have evolved into cultural archipelagos, a collection of queer islands coalesced by sexuality and gender and liberal allies. And cities frequently have more than one.

Today, it turns out not all LGBT people in Charleston want to live in the relative chaos of downtown Charleston – and thankfully, they (and you!) have options.

However, when choosing where to live in Charleston, remember that some areas are more conveniently located for all the fun queer events and activities. By being aware of them in advance, you can arrive at your new residence in the gay-friendly neighborhood that best suits your needs.

Discover your ideal new home in one of these prominent gay and LGBT-friendly gaybourhoods in Charleston. Each one has its own distinct personality, a friendly vibe, and amenities you’ll love and soon wonder how you ever did without.

Give yourself lots of time to get to know the diverse areas of Charleston, and bear in mind that this city has plenty to offer everyone – queer or otherwise!

Now let’s take a look at where the handful of marvelous gay areas in Charleston are and talk about the Charleston gayborhood where you might feel most at home! Or speak to a local LGBT real estate agent for a more detailed understanding of the best options today.

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James Island

Charleston is structured around the water. However, no other neighborhood enjoys this advantage more than James Island. This neighborhood, located southwest of Charleston downtown, is characterized by a laid-back surfer culture. In this inviting Charleston neighborhood, you have the opportunity to get away from the busy city life, enjoy a day of fishing, or chill out and enjoy the atmosphere of Folly Beach.

Thanks to the neighborhood’s vast multi-bedroom residences and magnificent Southern-style properties, housing can be more expensive than in other suburbs in the city. However, it’s a perfect location for young professionals and singles looking to buy homes and get into the neighborhood’s booming housing market.

James Island is also famous because it’s right outside Charleston, which means a trip to Folly Beach for some sun and fun is only 15 minutes away! Fort Sumter, a historic site where the American Civil War’s first battle took place, is only a short boat trip away. Alternatively, you’d like to unwind with a few margaritas, pastor tacos, and nachos from Zia Taqueria.

James Island is a neighborhood with a small-town feel. As a result, there aren’t many apartments available. However, based on what you’re hunting for, units are available and range from ranging from around $1,300 to $3,000. 

Downtown Charleston

In Charleston, the shoreline offers a diverse range of residential areas. Various architectural periods are represented in the historic downtown neighborhoods. The settlement and history of the district impact the personality of each community.

You can find international and local artists’ work in the galleries around the French Quarter. Many local museums exhibit Charleston’s exciting history, portrayed through cultural folklore and artifacts. The peninsula is peppered with top-notch restaurants and tiny neighborhood restaurants.

Downtown Charleston has several parks where friends and family may relax and enjoy the warm weather.  There are various walking districts downtown. Downtown is perfect for professionals working in the city and retirees who want to enjoy various events and eating options. 

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Harleston Village

Colonial Lake, The College of Charleston, and the magnificent Wentworth Mansion call Harleston Village home. Harleston is everyone’s dream neighborhood, with plenty of bars and restaurants interspersed among peaceful residential lanes.

King Street, the Ashley River, Calhoun Street, and Broad Street are all physical locations and prominent street names you will become particularly familiar with once you move to Charleston.

Harleston Village is ideal for professionals, college students, and families who want to enjoy the amenities of city living combined with the suburban streets, energy, and family-friendly events, of a college community.  Head over to King Street or wander down Broad Street for the best shopping in the city for a relaxing afternoon walk.

This suburb has a wide range of real estate offerings, including student condos and rentals and single or multi-family homes. While this area strives to maintain Charleston’s distinctive appeal, it isn’t afraid to forge its own identity, thanks to the student population.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach, a laid-back surf village, is the next community on our list.   Thanks to the warm, salty air, it’s nearly hard not to feel at ease in Folly Beach. Folly Beach is noted for several reasons, including its paradise lifestyle, fantastic surf, community, and pier.

Residents of the neighborhood are kept company by Charleston residents and tourists each summer, giving the typically tranquil beach town a bustling summer flair.

Folly’s population includes young professionals, college students, families, and retirees because this locale appeals to everyone, and not just one or two age groups. Plus, compared to neighboring districts’ million-dollar housing markets, it’s the more inexpensive alternative for waterfront property in the city, with median home prices of about $560K.

Folly Beach residents have a range of dining alternatives and can also take a 20-minute trip downtown to sample a new bar or restaurant. The nightlife here isn’t as vibrant as downtown Charleston’s, but Folly Beach residents have several options.

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LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Charleston

The LGBTQ community in Charleston provides a wealth of resources to its members. Once you move here, it will be easy to locate your community and get all the help you need from the different organizations in the region.

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

Charleston has a supportive and diverse LGBTQ community, which has helped the city 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 city moving forwards! They are also a place to meet new people and find your queer chosen family in Charleston.

We Are Family

We Are Family is a Charleston-based youth LGBTQ community center dedicated to offering services, support, and resources to the city’s LGBTQ youth up to the age of 24. The community center aims to provide a secure and welcoming environment for the city’s LGBTQ adolescents and education, encouragement, and opportunities to connect with the LGBTQ community in the Charleston area.

Alliance for Full Acceptance

AFFA is dedicated to ensuring that queer Americans have full civil and social rights. They have two programs that meet regularly: ADORASO, a religious outreach program, and a parenting group.   Sexual identity and gender orientation, Spirituality, and coming out are among the subjects covered in their workshops.


Charleston Area Transgender Support (CATS) is a non-profit organization that welcomes females who identify as crossdressers, genetic males, transgenderists, and transsexuals, whether straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual as well as their partners, significant others, spouses, and friends. 

LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In

LGBTQ+ Community Events in Charleston

After moving to a new city, you will likely want to create new connections, meet new people, and network. Thankfully, LGBT Charleston plays host to a variety of annual events for lesbians, transgender persons, gays, and anyone else who wants to have a good time.

While there are many queer events in the city, the ones listed here are the largest and greatest and are all worth marking in your calendar as you won’t want to miss them.

LGBT events
Shop Pride @

LGBT-Owned Businesses In Charleston

It’s only normal to want to support queer businesses after relocating to LGBT Charleston. Making a safe space where individuals can relax, shop, eat, and meet without fear is one way to build a safer and more accepting society – and LGBT businesses are frequently doing the heavy lifting to achieve this goal.

It is crucial to support these projects wherever you reside to ensure the survival and development of the queer community. When you shop local, you are personally investing in your city and community – a small step that can be transformational when people do it en masse.

Here are just a few of our favorite LGBTQ+-owned companies in Charleston that you can support with your pink dollars…

Sugar Bakeshop 

Sugar Bakeshop offers some of the city’s best cupcakes. The bakery also offers delicious cookies, tarts, and the most delicious almond cupcakes you will ever taste.

A lovely gay couple owns the shop, Kathryn Christensen Palmisano, who worked at Sugar for more than four years, took over management of the store, with help from undisclosed partners who know and love the Cannonborough-Elliotborough community, feel that Sugar should maintain a presence in the city.

Shop LGBTQ+ Pride Designs @

Final Thoughts On Moving To LGBTQ Charleston

If you want to live close to the ocean, and historical architecture and enjoy being part of a city with a vibrant arts scene yet a country experience, you will love being in Charleston. What’s more, the LGBT community is welcoming and will allow you to be who you are to feel right at home!

We hope you receive the freedom and security you deserve if you decide to start your new chapter in LGBT Charleston. However, please remember that life is what you make of it. The best ways to learn more about LGBT Charleston are to live in a gay-friendly neighborhood, support local queer businesses and events, and join LGBT community clubs, organizations and teams.

We promise that if you go by these suggestions, moving to LGBT Charleston will be less challenging for you and that you’ll meet like-minded individuals and build up that all-important support network quickly.

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Finding Gay Realtors In Charleston

Why would you consider someone’s sexuality when hunting for the ideal realtor? This may appear strange at first, but there are numerous reasons why contacting a gay realtor in Charleston is a good way to discover your dream house.

After all, it’s not unrealistic to expect fair, equal, and honest representation from someone who comprehends the queer community’s specific needs and desires when engaging in one of life’s most important transactions.

Further to that, sadly many people (up to one-third of Americans) still genuinely think that our community does not deserve protection and dignity in areas such as housing, adoption, employment, and other aspects of life.

As a result, it’s not surprising that LGBT people who use mainstream realtors frequently express discomfort, unnecessary trouble, unenthusiastic representation, or even antagonism or outright contempt.

Everyone deserves a pleasurable, stress-free home buying or selling experience while being adequately represented, which is why we believe you should hire a gay realtor to assist you in uncovering your ideal future home.

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When looking for a home, LGBTQ realtors are more likely to be informed about the diverse communities in their area and fully comprehend which ones may be particularly well suited to you. This isn’t to say heterosexual realtors aren’t competent; they’ve just never had to deal with many of the challenges that LGBT people face.

Gay realtors conduct thorough research into the neighborhoods in which they sell homes to make sure their customers are safe, rather than just being concerned with how thriving, trendy, or up-and-coming a neighborhood is (or appears to be).

It used to be challenging to uncover professional LGBT-friendly real estate agents in Charleston – 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.

Thankfully, 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 Charleston 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, tradesmen, and more.

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

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

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