The Challenge for Transgender & LGBTQ Real Estate Buyers
In the pursuit of the American Dream of homeownership, it is not unusual for transgender and LGBTQ real estate buyers or the spouse or parent of a transgender individual to seek specific assistance from a real estate broker in finding the right property in the right community.
One recent home buyer email sent to LGBTQRealEstatePros.com was from a parent whose transgender daughter and family were experiencing difficulties renting due to their nontraditional family composition. The LGBTQ realtor being contacted was asked if they could offer assistance in finding a home to purchase.
Another email from a home buyer to LGBTQRealEstatePros.com was from a parent with an adult transgender daughter living with her. They were thinking of relocating to a particular area in the South but knew little to nothing of how tolerant the local communities were to LGBTQ residents, and thus needed input in deciding on that relocation.
And yet another email sent to the website was from parents of a teenage transgender girl who were planning a relocation in the Orlando area, but were uncertain if the local schools would be welcoming of the young girl’s arrival. These parents sought the input of an LGBTQ realtor who had a distinctive understanding of the market and its LGBTQ environment – and could also recommend a lender who could facilitate a mortgage.
The transgender community has a strong reason to feel concerned when home buying, especially in markets where they might not have friends or family. And this relocation can be particularly traumatic at multiple levels for transgender youth.
A recent survey published by The Trevor Project found 86% of transgender and nonbinary youth reporting that recent debates around anti-trans legislation negatively impacted their mental health – and because of these policies and debates in the last year, 45% of trans youth experienced cyberbullying and nearly one in three reported not feeling safe to go to the doctor or hospital when they were sick or injured.
The Trevor Project also determined that more than 220 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced across the country in 2022, a new record, with most of them specifically targeting transgender people. And more than more than 150 anti-LGBTQ bills have been pre-filed or introduced across 23 states in the first two weeks of 2023.
The situation is also precarious for transgender seniors. A 2022 survey by AARP of LGBTQ seniors found that nearly nine in 10 transgender or nonbinary seniors were concerned about gender-based discrimination when seeking a home.
A sense of hostility towards the transgender community is becoming more ominous in certain parts of the country. Last June, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton demanded that his Department of Public Safety compile a list of residents who changed their gender on their driver’s license since 2020 – no official reason was given for this request. Earlier this month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis demanded that the state’s universities turn over personal details of trans students, including the “number of encounters for sex-reassignment treatment or where such treatment was sought.”
For transgender individuals and their families, one can understand the concerns of going into new communities where they might be faced with the potential for harassment and violence. And this could be where LGTBQ realtors can provide a distinctive level of assistance.
The full LGBTQ community is no stranger to hostility from the wider society, and real estate professionals from this community have a double duty to ensure that their LGBTQ clients secure the best property availability while also guaranteeing they will not be treated as pariahs or targets in their new neighborhoods. Today, the transgender section of the LGBTQ population is being singled out in many areas, and it is incumbent on LGBTQ realtors to work in bringing transgender adults and youth to neighborhoods where they are welcomed.
Of course, there are many straight men and women who share the outrage of the LGBTQ community over the targeting of transgender adults and children, and the boldness of these allied individuals to stand up and push back against such discrimination in the schools and the statehouses deserves commendation. And on the flip side, a gay realtor or a lesbian realtor would be just as capable in offering professional support to straight men and women.
Nonetheless, a platform like LGBTQRealEstatePros.com receives multiple requests from transgender buyers and parents of transgender children for help in finding the right home. And at a time when some people want to make life difficult for the transgender community, the LGBTQ real estate community is taking the opposite approach to ensure this community has access to the American Dream of homeownership within an environment where they can enjoy the pursuit of happiness.