Welcome to the LGBTQborhood

 In LGBTQ Real Estate Blog

Question: What do you call a community with a significant number of LGBTQ residents? Over the years, the names applied to those neighborhoods shifted as the LGBTQ community redefined itself.

The history is unique and it is important to highlight that since 2007 the LGBTQ Real Estate agents of LGBTQRealEstatePros.com have successfully assisted the LGBTQ community to buy and sell real estate in a safe space without prejudice or discrimination.

According to a 2013 article in the Washington Post, the Schöneberg section of Berlin was “arguably the world’s first gay neighborhood” thanks to “well over a hundred establishments catering to not-so-straight hedonists” in the 1920s. In the USA, the resort towns of Fire Island and Provincetown attracted LGBTQ residents since the mid-20th century, albeit mostly on a seasonal basis.

The 1969 Stonewall Uprising gave the community a new social visibility, and during the 1970s sections of major cities with businesses catering specifically to gay men and lesbians also became the residential centers for these clients. Many of these areas were economically rundown before an influx of gay and lesbian residents began to quietly spark a revitalization with new businesses and improved residential properties. Among the most notable areas were the West Village and Chelsea in New York City, the Castro District in San Francisco, DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C., Midtown in Atlanta, and Washington Square West in Philadelphia.

But giving the proper name to this real estate trend resulted in monikers that were either demeaning (“gay ghetto”), too cute (“gayborhood”) or bland (“gay village”). Over time, these names failed to reflect how this demographic viewed itself – the term “gay” only covered one part of a wide and diverse cross-section, failing to acknowledge the presence of lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.

The acronym LGBT began to be used by the community in the late 1980s as a self-identification that ensured full representations. That expanded over time and people began using the acronyms LGBTQ, LGBTQ+ and LGBTQIA to reflect the wider demographic. However, not everyone has been in favor of the longer acronyms – the Wikipedia website, for example, insists on using LGBT and its editors revert efforts to add more letters to the acronym.

For many people outside of the LGBTQ community, there is the mistaken belief that every non-heterosexual residing therein is wealthy (or at least upper middle class) and together they have created a gentrification that resulted in higher housing costs – so high that many not-wealthy longtime residents were forced to move out because they couldn’t afford living there anymore.

In reality, the LGBTQ community has faced a long and bitter history of discrimination in both homebuying and rental housing. There is no federal protection that specifically prohibits housing discrimination against this demographic, and 18 states and five U.S. territories offer no legal protection for an LGBTQ household that faces bias from a home seller, appraiser or landlord.

Also, the concept that LGBTQ residents are solely interested in urban housing ignores the fact that there has been a quiet migration of LGBTQ households who have moved to the suburbs in search of a better quality of life – including better schools for their children. And that offers a major change to this picture – The Family Equality Council estimates that between 2 million and 3.7 million children under age 18 have an LGBTQ parent and approximately 191,000 children are being raised by two same-sex parents. It is estimated that 29% of LGBTQ adults are now raising a child who is under the age of 18.

Furthermore, the stereotype of smaller towns being hostile to LGBTQ residents is being erased – in many areas, LGBTQhouseholds have been accepted without question, with rainbow flags outside businesses, churches and government offices to offer evidence of being welcomed.

But whether LGBTQ households are looking into urban or suburban settings, there is always the challenge of finding the right home in the right neighborhood. Indeed, the challenge might be greater than some might imagine – the LGBTQ homeownership rate is 49%, far below the 66% national average.

And this is where an LGBTQ realtor associated with LGBTQRealEstatePros.com can be an important ally to homebuyers and sellers. These professionals understand the areas they serve and distinctive concerns that many LGBTQ buyers and sellers have when it comes to real estate transactions – and, of course, they are highly cognizant of the ups and downs facing the wider housing market.

Whether a client is looking for a home in the – dare we say it? – LGBTQborhood or is seeking a community with a diverse range of residents, LGBTQRealEstatePros.com can be the first step to helping these worthy people achieve the American Dream of homeownership.

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