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Thread: What attracts lesbians to a city or town?

  1. #26
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Will someone please tell me where I can find the Gay Index Lookup??
    Go to http://www.epodunk.com/
    enter name community
    scroll down to

    my fair city
    Gay index: 83
    Gay male index: 82
    Lesbian index: 84
    Oddball
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  2. #27
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Carrboro, NC is about as crunchy as crunchy gets, is a town within Chapel Hill. I once went to a presentation that had a Carrboro alderman giving a presentation on growing local food, bee keeping, etc. Asheville has its crunchy parts too...but its bigger and has a large half-back population. I'd really say its Durham around here...doesn't give a breakdown, but over all is 152?
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  3. #28
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Where I live:

    Gay index: 83
    Gay male index: 64
    Lesbian index: 102


    These people don't refer to themselves as being the buckle of the bible belt for nothing.
    Jamestown has your burg beat, buckle of the Bible Belt or not:

    Gay index: 75
    Gay male index: 52
    Lesbian index: 98

    There are two really false images of New York State among a great many Americans. The first is that the state is just one large city from NYC to Buffalo. The second is that it is a socially progressive state. The NYC metro is socially liberal, but Upstate, especially outside of the cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse, is much more like the rural Midwest or Appalachia in its social attitudes than it is like the East Coast.

    Dan's Ithaca is an island of progressivism in the social backwater that's the Southern Tier (aka Pennsyltucky).

  4. #29
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Jamestown has your burg beat, buckle of the Bible Belt or not:

    Gay index: 75
    Gay male index: 52
    Lesbian index: 98

    There are two really false images of New York State among a great many Americans. The first is that the state is just one large city from NYC to Buffalo. The second is that it is a socially progressive state. The NYC metro is socially liberal, but Upstate, especially outside of the cities like Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and Syracuse, is much more like the rural Midwest or Appalachia in its social attitudes than it is like the East Coast.

    Dan's Ithaca is an island of progressivism in the social backwater that's the Southern Tier (aka Pennsyltucky).
    My current city is still the lowest, with an overall Gay Index of 72. I REALLY find that number hard to believe, though. I live in a smaller college town dominated by a huge university where you can't walk half a block without seeing somebody go by in a Prius, old Volvo, Subaru Outback, recumbent bike, electric car, or unicycle. This place is VERY crunchy. We have a Birkenstock store on Main Street in our downtown! I happen to know a LOT of LGBT people and there are at least three LGBT friendly bars in town with an active scene, which is a good amount for a town this size. My city has two (2) City Council members who happen to be bisexual. My City instituted a policy to extend partner benefits for City employees. I think they messed up the numbers somehow.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  5. #30
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    I think we all missed the obvious answer.

    ....drumroll please....

    and FTW and the new car and all-expense paid trip to Vegas...

    "What attracts lesbians to a city or town?"

    Answer:

    WOMEN!

    thank you very much, I'll be playing at Mohegan Sun all week.

  6. #31
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    There are two really false images of New York State among a great many Americans. The first is that the state is just one large city from NYC to Buffalo.
    Off-topic:

    Really?! You forgot the image that many NYC-centric folks have: everything "upstate" is just one big rural area in the middle of nowhere. One of my favorite stories from college is when one of my roommates, a lifelong resident of Queens, was interviewing me for a sociology assignment. At the time, my home base was Albany (the City of). Jotting down the basic profile of her interview participant, my roommate offhandedly asked, "You live in a rural area, right?"

    Maybe Albany isn't exactly a big city compared to the Big Apple, but it IS a city!

  7. #32
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Pennsyltucky

    Hehe why does this sound like a dirty word to me?

    And I think you're right Rygor, there is no way the index could be that low. For a town so dominated by the college scene? No way... that has to be a mistake
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  8. #33
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Off-topic:

    Really?! You forgot the image that many NYC-centric folks have: everything "upstate" is just one big rural area in the middle of nowhere. One of my favorite stories from college is when one of my roommates, a lifelong resident of Queens, was interviewing me for a sociology assignment. At the time, my home base was Albany (the City of). Jotting down the basic profile of her interview participant, my roommate offhandedly asked, "You live in a rural area, right?"

    Maybe Albany isn't exactly a big city compared to the Big Apple, but it IS a city!
    It's metro population is larger than several states' populations, and would definitely make it one of the larger metros in many more.

  9. #34
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by HomerJ9139 View post
    Hehe why does this sound like a dirty word to me?

    And I think you're right Rygor, there is no way the index could be that low. For a town so dominated by the college scene? No way... that has to be a mistake
    Must have us confused with Urbana, Ohio.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  10. #35
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    Interesting question. What is really needed is an 'Ask a Lesbian' forum.


    Back in the 1980s, lesbians started moving out of the Fenway district of Boston - on the edge of the downtown district - and into residential Jamaica Plain. At the time, for the rent they were paying for crappy walk-ups, they could buy a house or condo on a leafy, flower-lined street. Jamaica Plain is now known as a LGBT-friendly district, but I suspect it's still weighted towards the L.

  11. #36
    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Go to http://www.epodunk.com/
    enter name community
    scroll down to

    my fair city
    Gay index: 83
    Gay male index: 82
    Lesbian index: 84
    thanx for the link! Such an interesting information!

    Btw, I'm from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. And I think here is a good place for both gay and lesbian for one reason:

    A good place to live - HCM city is a multi-culture city so gay or les is not really something too terrible. Moreover, the economy of the city make it a good place to live not only to gay/les but to all people. Another explanation is that the city locates in the south of the country, so the weather make the citizens here more relaxing and easy-going than in the north and the middle.

    There are many gay bars and clubs. But i dont know much about lesbian places. I just saw them a lot in daily life, especially now in places for teenage.

  12. #37
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    My fair town doesn't have a listing for the Gay Index on epodunk. The only neighboring city that does is New Brunswick which is home to Rutgers;

    Gay index: 140
    Gay male index: 158
    Lesbian index: 121

    Other locations I have lived in...

    Portland, Oregon

    Gay index: 239
    Gay male index: 209
    Lesbian index: 270

    No surprises here as it's a pretty tolerant place and I am glad I had the opportunity to grow up there.

    Greenville, South Carolina
    Gay index: 94
    Gay male index: 115
    Lesbian index: 72

    Slightly better than I thought but it tends to have the greatest socio-economic diversity in the Upstate region.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  13. #38
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    My city was probably a bit too small to get gay indexed, but it is near Austin and exhibits many of the same traits as Austin.

    Austin
    Gay index: 169
    Gay male index: 172
    Lesbian index: 166

    I think the attraction is similar to what attracts any knowledge/creative worker to a city--lots of stuff to do, recreational opportunities, cultural arts, creative/academic jobs, etc.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #39
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Still can't find the gay index on epodunk, but I don't need it to say that Northampton, Ma. is the ultimate Lesbian community. Whatever they have done to attract lesbians is working. Of course, Northampton is such an awesome, livable, one-of-a-kind small city that it attracts all sorts of people

  15. #40
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    I'd be curious to see if/how demographics have changed with changes in state legislation regarding civil unions and same-sex marriage. I wonder if that is enough to attract couples to move? Or maybe its more of a chicken-egg thing: those states have already established a more tolerant position because the same sex couples are already there?

    I think at least where I live, its very difficult to assess the prevalence of same-sex couples. If you see two women in a restaurant or the movies, how do you know if they are simply friends or are in a committed relationship?

    My metro area was listed already in this thread as having a high "gay index." But honestly, I can't say I ever really saw any outward signs of this until I started frequenting the fertility clinic and saw so many female couples trying to grow their family.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    Still can't find the gay index on epodunk, but I don't need it to say that Northampton, Ma. is the ultimate Lesbian community. Whatever they have done to attract lesbians is working. Of course, Northampton is such an awesome, livable, one-of-a-kind small city that it attracts all sorts of people

    I suspect that Smith College has something to do with it. Where New York girls go for their first kiss. Far enough away that no one from home knows what you're doing, and close enough to bring home your laundry to Mom.

  17. #42
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    My current city is still the lowest, with an overall Gay Index of 72. I REALLY find that number hard to believe, though. I live in a smaller college town dominated by a huge university where you can't walk half a block without seeing somebody go by in a Prius, old Volvo, Subaru Outback, recumbent bike, electric car, or unicycle. This place is VERY crunchy. We have a Birkenstock store on Main Street in our downtown! I happen to know a LOT of LGBT people and there are at least three LGBT friendly bars in town with an active scene, which is a good amount for a town this size. My city has two (2) City Council members who happen to be bisexual. My City instituted a policy to extend partner benefits for City employees. I think they messed up the numbers somehow.
    Similar situation with DeKalb. The gay index there is 77. Gay male is 64, lesbian is 91. I figured it would be a lot higher than it is, considering the presence of the state's 2nd largest university, the crunchy neighborhoods populated with professors, the neighborhoods filled with hipsters who never leave, the town's nightlife and social scene, its proximity to Chicago, and so on and so forth. However, it should be worth pointing out that it has a much higher lesbian index than gay male index, yet the 91 figure is still below the 100 threshold. I suppose when Chicago is only 1.5 hours away, many people who are gay or lesbian just choose to settle there, where there is a much larger mainstream LGBT culture.

    Chicago's gay index is 157, with 186 for gay males, and 128 for lesbians. Chicago is pretty much the opposite of DeKalb, since the gay male index is much higher than the lesbian index.

    Evanston actually has a higher overall gay index, at 159, but with a more balanced gay/lesbian mix, with the gay male index at 156 and the lesbian index at 161.

    And west suburban Oak Park has them both beat. Oak Park's gay index is 196, with a gay male index of 203 and a lesbian index of 189.

    In the suburbs, the only other cities I found that had gay indexes over 100 were Cicero (130), Elgin (109), Waukegan (106) and Berwyn (105), and they had fairly balanced gay male/lesbian index scores. Berwyn's lesbian index was only 95, so I wouldn't count that. And Cicero is a cesspool of corruption. Aurora, at 98, was just shy of the 100 mark.
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  18. #43
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ThePinkPlanner View post
    I'd be curious to see if/how demographics have changed with changes in state legislation regarding civil unions and same-sex marriage. I wonder if that is enough to attract couples to move? ....
    I can answer that for you. Yes. Yes it is a major incentive that has already influenced - and will continue to influence - where many LGBT people choose to live. There are very serious benefits to a legal marriage. The ability to adopt without a costly and lengthy process. Tax incentives. Respect. Though civil unions will be legal in Hawaii after Jan 3rd of next year, my wife and I are seriously discussing moving to a state where we would have "full" marriage equality. Of course, until DOMA is overturned, no LBGT couple in the US will ever have full marriage equality because we are still prevented from receiving ANY federal benefits that are exclusively given to married couples, regardless of your state's marriage policy. So, if we moved to any of the six states or DC where same sex couples are allowed to marry, we would still have to file our federal taxes as single people.

    Once DOMA is overturned, all states will be required to recognize a same sex union that is performed in another state, just like they are required to honor an opposite sex marriage, and the federal government will be forced to stop denying benefits to same sex couples. So, after DOMA falls, you will probably see a lot less migration within the US from couples trying to find shelter from discriminatory policies. It. Is. All. About. Federal. Legislation. Though, I do support and encourage all state-level equality policies.

  19. #44
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    Once DOMA is overturned, all states will be required to recognize a same sex union that is performed in another state, just like they are required to honor an opposite sex marriage, and the federal government will be forced to stop denying benefits to same sex couples. So, after DOMA falls, you will probably see a lot less migration within the US from couples trying to find shelter from discriminatory policies. It. Is. All. About. Federal. Legislation. Though, I do support and encourage all state-level equality policies.
    What about the states that have constitutional amendments stating marriage is between a man and a woman, and that SSM from other states is not recognized? Would they still be binding in those states, or nullified?

    The economic development benefit of SSM hasn't been mentioned much, but I see it as helping to keep young gay men and lesbians in the state, where they might have left in the past. Why move to North Carolina like all of your heterosexual peers if you're only going to be considered a second-class citizen upon arrival? When I worked in the Cleveland area, after the Ohio constitution was amended to ban SSM, one of my interns, a young gay man, left the state almost immediately after he graduated. He cited the amendment as one reason for leaving. If Ohio had SSM, or even didn't have such a hostile constitutional amendment prohibiting it, he might have stayed.

    Also, I'm using SSM as an argument to promote traditional neighborhood development. With the area having such a large GLBT population, and same sex couples still less likely to have children than opposite sex couples, they're part of a growing market for smaller houses in a more urban setting.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  20. #45
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    What about the states that have constitutional amendments stating marriage is between a man and a woman, and that SSM from other states is not recognized? Would they still be binding in those states, or nullified?
    I think that the federal provisions of DOMA will get thrown out on the Fourteenth Amendment, the equal protection clause. The federal government cannot arbitrarily decide that some married couples can file their tax returns as married couples and other married couples cannot. The state provisions will get dumped by Article IV, Section 1: full faith and credit. The federal government cannot exempt some states from recognizing the laws of other states when the Constitution says that they have to.

    That's why NYS legalizing SSM is such a milestone: the new law will create a much larger pool of people to complain about unfair treatment by the feds and some other states.

  21. #46
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Linda_D nailed it. Back in the 1970s the U.S. went through an extremely similar process with interracial marriage. Some states "progressively" legalized it while the usual suspects dragged their feet through the mud, screamed, and yelled about how their rights were being infringed upon and how it was against their religion to marry interracial couples. Once the federal government prohibits an act of discrimination, no state constitution can deny those rights.

    DOMA is already facing the firing squad and has received a few hefty blows. Once it is revoked, there isn't a state in the U.S. that can deny an SSM that was performed in another state. However, simply revoking DOMA does not mean that states who have constitutional amendments to discriminate against LGBT couples are forced to perform SSMs. We need new legislation to deal with that.

    Dan, your research sounds a lot like work I did for my master's thesis. I really need to find my books. Let me know if you are missing any crucial data and I will see if I can hunt something down for you.

  22. #47
    Cyburbian ThePinkPlanner's avatar
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    TerraSapient- what did your Master's thesis focus on? I love demographics and trying to understand why people move. My own Master's thesis was concentrated on young people, and what attracts them from place to place (or doesn't, as the case turned out). I struggled a bit with quantifying what I eventually called a diversity factor- race, gender, sexual preference, and even age to some degree. Its been a few years, but I recall that this diversity factor was actually one of the few that actually did have statistical significance in the movement of younger people (defined as <35 in my study).

    While same-sex couples may move in order to live in a place which grants them their legal rights, are other people also drawn to those states/communities? While I am not pursuing same sex marriage for myself, would I still be comfortable living in a place where tolerance (legislative and otherwise) is low or non-existent?

  23. #48
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Wasn't sure where to post this... I guess this thread is appropriate.

    Interesting piece from the NY Times about communities* with the highest rate of same-sex couples based on Census data. I've lived in one of these places.

    I don't see Ithaca on there.

    * The title reads "cities," but not all of the listed places are cities - some are towns or villages.

  24. #49
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ThePinkPlanner View post
    TerraSapient- what did your Master's thesis focus on? I love demographics and trying to understand why people move.
    Sorry Pink, I totally missed this. My thesis work was similar to what you described and what Dan was talking about. I developed an economic development program for my hometown. During my research I was exploring issues like SSM, civil rights, other demographic factors, etc. I ended up focusing on housing and commercial space redevelopment in the CBD. I did, however, write a few papers discussing urban space, development, and the LGBT community.

    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post

    Interesting piece from the NY Times about communities* with the highest rate of same-sex couples based on Census data. I've lived in one of these places.
    Is anyone else completely shocked about Georgia? Crazy. Also, the Michigan town in 2010.
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  25. #50
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    Is anyone else completely shocked about Georgia? Crazy.
    What, exactly, is shocking about those numbers in regards to Georgia?
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

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