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

It isn’t a gay Mecca, but one thing is for sure- Columbia loves its LGBTQ community. Even though Columbia isn’t a large city, you will love quickly fall in love with the vibrant gay scene that’s synonymous with the city. 

Most of Columbia’s LGBTQ bars are located near the capitol building, and there are plenty of gay-friendly hangouts located in the Five Points neighborhood that’s close to the University of South Carolina. Columbia is one of the most LGBT-welcoming cities in the state and hosts the South Carolina Gay Pride celebration each year. 

The city is home to plenty of gay-friendly places where anyone can enjoy music, dine, or drink to their heart’s content. For a city in the Bible belt, Columbia is pretty supportive and welcoming of gay culture with plenty of hip locations and home to a visible and active LGBTQ community you will be happy to call your own.

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When you think about LGBT South Carolina, you’re probably thinking about Charleston, but don’t sleep on Columbia. It is one of the most overlooked cities in the county and is certainly worth considering moving to. While the city is known for high summer temperatures, there’s much more to it.

The state capital has undergone a revitalization over the last two decades and can be the city you call home. If you’re considering moving to this beautiful city, consider this the ultimate guide to what life is like in LGBT Columbia.

Columbia in South Carolina 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 Columbia, you might just discover the accepting surroundings you or your family require to prosper.

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

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Despite the relatively hidden LGBT culture of Columbia, moving here should not make you feel uneasy. The majority of people in Columbia 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 Columbia, 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 Columbia is not what you expect…

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Highlights Of Moving To LGBTQ Columbia

Columbia certainly has a lot to offer, and no one is more aware of this than residents who will quickly tell you their underappreciated city is brimming with hidden gems. Once you move here, you’ll be able to befriend locals and spend your free time discovering that Columbia is, as promised, 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 Columbia, 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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Exceptional Food

Columbia has, in recent years, carved out a unique culinary niche for itself, and you will enjoy dining here. Columbia has it all with plenty of hip bars, spots to grab lunch or authentic international cuisine. 

Warm Climates

If you’re moving from a northern location, remember to leave your snow boots and bulky coats behind because you won’t need them here. Columbia has a fantastic subtropical climate with superb, mild winters and humid summers. Columbia experiences hot weather thanks to its distance from the Atlantic Ocean, so there’s no surprise why the city’s slogan is ‘Famously Hot.’

Green Spaces

Columbia is home to plenty of beautiful green spaces. The Three Rivers Greenway, located at the convergence of the Congaree, Broad, and Saluda rivers, has more than 12 miles of winding riverfront pathways and is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.

The Three Rivers Greenway is home to various wildlife and hardwood forests. When the weather is too hot to bear, you can go fishing or tubing. Nearby, you will find Congaree National Park, chockful of creeks for canoeing and fishing. 

Rich Arts And Culture Scene

If you love the fine arts and culture, you will enjoy living in Columbia. The city hosts live performances and art films, and there’s also a vast public art collection everywhere in the city that will keep you busy all year round. If you love theater, you will love Columbia.

Trust is a theater company that has been in the city since 1985, and you can enjoy sophisticated and thought-provoking productions for each season. The Columbia Children’s Theatre and Columbia Marionette Theater will provide fun for the entire family.

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Does Columbia Embrace The LGBTQ Community?

Columbia has a population of 133,000 and is known for being accepting. The city is famous for its diverse neighborhoods and one of the most prominent LGBTQ+ festivals in the South. The goal of Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride is to raise awareness about civil rights, and the event includes parades, festivals, and pageants.

Columbia is one of the best cities in the south for LGBT families and has supported the community for more than 20 years. The city prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in employment.

Columbia is a progressive city when it comes to LGBT equality. The city has adopted gay-friendly policies that grant a wide range of rights to LGBT people:

Columbia’s Constitutional Court rules that LGBT people be granted marriage equality, and gays and lesbians have the freedom to marry. In 2015, the courts gave gays and lesbians the right to adopt, reasoning that preventing gay people from adopting was depriving children of the right to be part of a family.

Columbia prohibits discrimination in public accommodations and the workplace. The act of kissing in Columbia is a protected right. 

Students and residents of the city are involved in different kinds of political, social justice, and environmental organizations. It is the only city in mid-Missouri granting protection against discrimination in housing and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The city also has a domestic partnership registry that offers local benefits to couples. 

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Is Columbia An Expensive City To Move To?

Columbia is the second-largest South Carolina city and will offer you a high quality of life without running you dry. The cost of living in the city is 84.3, which is 15% lower than the country’s average.

While living here, you will have to factor in the cost of healthcare, food, housing, and transportation. Here’s what you need to know about these costs and how much money you will need to live in this city comfortably.


As a newcomer, you will find that housing costs here are much lower than in other cities in the country. Renting and buying costs in Columbia are 40% less than the country’s average. The median price of a home in the town is $136,700. A studio apartment in Columbia will set you back around $748, depending on its location, while a one-bedroom apartment costs $923.


The cost of utilities is slightly higher than the country’s average. Expect to pay 8.9% more for gas, electricity, cable, water, and internet. If you live in a 915 sq. ft. apartment, expect to pay up to $140 each month.


Groceries in Columbia cost 4% less than the national average. Expect to pay around $257- $303 monthly on individual groceries or $894- %1,068 per month for a larger household.


The cost of transport in Columbia is less than the national average.

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The Best Gay Neighborhoods In Columbia

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 Columbia want to live in the relative chaos of downtown Columbia – and thankfully, they (and you!) have options.

However, when choosing where to live in Columbia, 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 Columbia. 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 Columbia, 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 Columbia are and talk about the Columbia 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.

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

Main Street

Downtown Main Street is the center of the city and is ideal for families and individuals who want to experience city life. The neighborhood is walkable and offers access to a vast selection of entertainment, shopping, and dining. Downtown is also seeing many developments giving rise to a wide selection of options.

Main Street is within walking distance from the University of South Carolina, Columbia’s Historic District, and the Columbia Museum of Art. Main Street is centrally located and gives its residents access to the city and much of what it offers.

Recent developments have increased the area’s attractiveness, home to apartments, condominiums, and lofts. Downtown attracts students, professionals, and couples who want premium access to Columbia’s amenities.

Main Street is ideal for those who like being at the center of everything. Some of the city’s best shops and eateries are in this neighborhood. The neighborhood hosts several cultural events, festivals, events, and concerts throughout the year. One of the most popular highlights of the district includes the Nickelodeon Theatre and Soda City Market.


Earlwood neighborhood is a historic neighborhood in Columbia. The neighborhood is bordered by Elmwood Park, Cottontown, Main Street, and Broad River. Earlewood is a residential neighborhood popularly known for its practical two and three-bedroom homes. 

At the dawn of the 21st century, there was a real estate boom, and many homes got an upgrade. They were renovated from basic three-bed- 1 bath plans to accommodate upcoming housing trends. Many of them are 3-4 bedroom houses with two baths.

However, it isn’t uncommon to find homes that aren’t unchanged on every street block. Most of the homes in the area are Bungalows, which is a popular element in different neighborhoods in Columbia. This is mainly a result of the warm climate and homeowners wanting to feel comfortable outdoors. 

Earlewood is home to one of the city’s largest parks, encompassing almost 50 acres of forestry and rolling hills. Earlewood Park has typical park amenities such as tennis courts, playgrounds, walking trails, and ball fields.

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Some of the best features of the Rosewood neighborhood include well-maintained biking and walking paths, eight parks, and a disc golf course. In the past, the district was primarily residential. The community has been revitalized and redeveloped over the years. 

Today, it is home to restaurants, shops, and neighborhood amenities attractive to people of all lifestyles and ages. Homes in this neighborhood are well-maintained, with several parks and schools. The area is home to many unique businesses, such as Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Alehouse, located on a 3.5-acre farm that’s open to the public. 

The City Roots urban farm plays a vital part in the local dining and business landscape, with many restaurants featuring meals made with produce from the farm. Rosewood also hosts some of the city’s best festivals, such as the Palmetto Tasty Tomato Festival and the Rosewood Crawfish Festival.

Elmwood Park

Elmwood Park neighborhood offers easy access to Main Street. The neighborhood is home to several churches and neighborhood parks, such as Roy Lynch Park. This neighborhood features shaded streets, wraparound porches, mature gardens, and kids riding their bikes on the sidewalks. 

It is a friendly, picturesque community that feels like it is stuck in a time of its own where there’s no rush, yet it’s only a few minutes away from busy Main Street. Some of the cultural attractions in this neighborhood include the nearby Columbia Museum of Art and State Museum. The Elmwood Park Historic District got official designation on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. 

Most of the homes in this neighborhood were built more than a century ago and have undergone restoration. Many homes still retain some of their original elements of design. Various architectural styles characterize the neighborhood. The residents of Elmwood Park take pride in their community, and many of them are involved in the monthly town hall meetings. 

Elmwood Park is an upscale and cute neighborhood, and you will find many historic homes here at different price points. Since the homes in this neighborhood have different colors and features, it isn’t easy to classify the style of homes.

When you get to Park Street, you will be able to see the housing style that’s synonymous with the area. Homes in this neighborhood range from Charleston style, Bungalow, Colonial, and Victorian.

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LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In Columbia

For any community to thrive, there have to be organizations and resources that are committed to supporting it. The LGBTQ community of Columbia is lucky to have such organizations.

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.

Columbia 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 Columbia.


PrimeTimers Columbia is a noncommercial nonprofit for bi/gay mature men and men who are 21 years and older that subscribe to the group’s goal for socialization. The purpose of the group is to offer events and social activities that enhance the lives of SC Midlands older gay and bi men.

Some of the events and activities include dining out, movie outings, arranging guest speakers for monthly meetings, day trips, and much more.

Harriet Hancock LGBT Center

The Harriet Hancock Center is located at the heart of the city and is the hut for LGBT activity in the South Carolina Midlands. The facility offers many resources, including meeting spaces for other LGBT groups.

The center also maintains a directory of LGBT- friendly counselors, organizations, and businesses while serving as the South Carolina Pride Movement headquarters. The Harriet Hancock Center provides free resources to everyone during its operating hours. Their availability varies depending on the availability of volunteers and center staff.

South Carolina Pride Movement

South Carolina Pride Movement has been at the forefront of fighting for LGBT rights to celebrate, work, live, and love honestly and openly for more than thirty years. SC Pride is dedicated to meeting the needs of the LGBT community and partners through entertainment, educational events, celebrations of diversity, and community outreach throughout the year.

SC Pride hosts Get Lit Nighttime Parade, OutFest Columbia, and the Famously Hot SC Pride Festival. The organization’s mission is to support the LGBT community of SC and celebrate the diversity and richness of LGBT lives.

LGBTQ+ Community Organizations In
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Final Thoughts On Moving To LGBTQ Columbia

Columbia isn’t the hottest gay enclave in the country. Even so, one thing that’s for sure is that as long as you keep an open mind to all possibilities, you’re likely to settle into a friendly neighborhood with welcoming and accepting neighbors that will love you for who you are. The city has much to offer and as long as you’re willing to explore, you will have a fun time here!

We hope you receive the freedom and security you deserve if you decide to start your new chapter in LGBT Columbia. However, please remember that life is what you make of it.

The best ways to learn more about LGBT Columbia 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 Columbia 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 Columbia

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 Columbia 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 Columbia – 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 Columbia 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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