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Lesbian life in various places (recommendations? warnings?)

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Does anyone know about the gay life in Pittsburgh, PA? Is it a gay friendly city or is it rather conservative?

 

Pittsburgh is very gay friendly. The neighborhood Shadyside has a few gay bars as well as Lawerenceville. I've never felt uncomfortable in the city. It's once you drive 30 minutes outside of it that it gets a little back woods-ish. There's tons to do and the only unsafe neighborhoods are ones that would be still be unsafe regardless of sexuality. 

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Thought I'd bump this up and give some info on Texas for anyone interested. Austin and Dallas are awesome places for lesbians. Tons of events (the Halloween street parade is fantastic), lots of alternative lifestyles of all sorts. Austin is a bit grittier, whereas Dallas is all about the young professionals. My hometown of Lubbock, on the other hand, home to Texas Tech, is one of the most socially conservative cities in the US (only Provo, Utah can compete). My girlfriend and I rarely hold hands in public, and feel acutely vulnerable when we do. Neither of us has ever been threatened or confronted in any way, but we have to deal with looks of disgust and whispers behind our backs. That being said, there are two gay bars in town and a lesbian cafe called Belly's, and there is a large university so you can find queers and queer allies on campus.

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I recommend looking at an online dating site such as OkCupid. I found that perusing the profiles in various areas can give a good clue to what the queer scene there is like.

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I am very glad I found this... This is a great thread! Of course, it's too early to think about anything since I don't even know if I will be accepted anywhere... But I thought I would ask about a few places anyway. I should preface this by saying that I am very much a homebody, and though my husband will not come with me, I will not be going to bars/clubs, etc -- I don't drink (I guess I am old and boring : ). But regardless, I would still like to live in a place where people are accepting of others, and perhaps even has "some sort" of gay life, though I will not be partaking in most of it. And yes... I am older so I wonder about the existence of a gay community for 40+ years old.

 

Any input about the following cities would be greatly appreciated!

 

Amherst, MA

Albuquerque, NM

Williamstown, MA

Riverside, CA

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(Caveat: Straight person's perspective)

While most definitely not a city, Amherst MA (and the nearby town Northampton) are pretty gay-friendly. They are liberal progressive towns in a liberal progressive state. You won't find the same kind of diverse community or nightlife (the night life is very limited, regardless of your orientation) you would find in a city, but you also won't be the only gay couple holding hands in the grocery store, either. Also, on an unrelated note, there are a lot of good restaurants and cafes for a town of its size.

The UMass campus itself may be a slightly different cup of tea - I can't really speak to that as I didn't go there.

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Born and raised in CT, and I can also second that Amherst is going to be very LGBT friendly. You're surrounded by UMass Amherst (liberal) and the sister colleges (including Smith and Mount Holyoak, both of which are known for their high lesbian populations). You should feel comfortable there. You can scoot over to Boston for weekend trips if you want to be in an area with more LGBT night life and networking with older populations.  I haven't been to the Amherst campus (though I did apply there), but from what I understand having friends attending the sister schools, the campus is decently diverse in terms of sexual orientation and gender identity considering it's in small-town New England.

 

Williamstown should be similar. I've never been there, but it's MA on the border of VT, both liberal states. Williams College is also pretty liberal as I understand it. It probably won't be as progressive as Amherst (again considering Amherst's location) or as diverse, but there shouldn't be a lot of homophobia or anything.

 

Edit: I should note that since I'm 23, I really only know about the level of acceptance for 18-25 year olds. I can't quite vouch for how many over-40 LGBT individuals you might encounter.

Edited by shortstack51

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Well, I hear there are these schools that admit girls who are only looking for husbands. I've deduced those wont be good places to find lesbian partners, or atleast at minimum your "pool" of probable co-lesbians is x-1 versus just x at other schools.

Edited by Loric

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Madison is one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the midwest (I have family in the midwest). I haven't been there personally, but a quick google search shows a lot of LGBT centers/clubs and that there is also an LGBT center at UW-Madison. Apparently it has a generally high LGBT population. If you're interested, here's a yahoo thread about it: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090321225805AAJvwY1

 

As for specifically lesbian life there, I'm not certain, but I imagine there will be a decent amount to draw from.

 

Haha I had this open in a tab when my boss came by. Hope she didn't see

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Boulder, CO is great! It’s generally a very accepting area. There’s a facebook group for queer women to get together and hang out in Boulder (PM me if you want the name of it). CU Boulder has a very active LGBTQ resource center with a ton of groups (queer women in community, GSA, queer and trans people of color, etc.) The city also has OUTBoulder, which has fun events and Orange is the New Black screenings and stuff like that.

 

There aren’t any gay bars here, if that’s your scene, but I’ve heard that’s because of weird city zoning laws that haven’t allowed construction of any new bars. Prop Gay is a monthly LGBTQ bar crashing party, though. There’s also gay and lesbian bars in Denver (Tracks is Denver’s most famous gay nightclub, Blush is a lesbian bar I think).

 

Since we have a huge hippie population here, the stereotypical "lesbian" look is really mainstream. Lots of women with short hair, androgynous clothes, hairy armpits and legs, etc. One of my friends told me she had a hard time when she first moved to Boulder because she kept asking out straight women. She said back east, if you had short hair and dressed more androgynous, you were basically wearing a sign saying you were queer. But in Boulder, everyone looks like that. On the flip side, there's also more erasure of femme lesbians here because the "butch" look is so prominent.

 

Still, it is relatively uncommon to see queer couples out in public, and depending on what part of town you’re in, you might get some nasty looks. Boulder is one of those places where everyone want to say they’re progressive and liberal, but they don’t necessarily act like it.

 

Fun fact: Boulder’s clerk and reporter, Hillary Hall, starting issuing same sex marriage licenses last year, even though same sex marriage wasn’t yet legal in Colorado. She was ordered to stop by the attorney general, but she refused. The issue went to court. Although same sex marriage is legal in all of Colorado now, it was a huge deal here for a while! You can google “Boulder marriage Hillary Hall” to read about it, if you’re interested.

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Davis and Fort Collins are both conservative. That doesn't mean bad things will necessarily happen -- it just means you might get some funny looks if you're one of those sickening people of any sexual preference who insist on excessive public displays. =)

I am from Sacramento and have spent a lot of time in Davis.  Davis itself only exists because of the university and Davis in general is very hippy-dippy.  It is not as Liberal as say SF, Berkeley, or Oakland are, but it definitely falls into the more-Liberal side of the fence. To say that it is a Conservative place is laughable but there is a decent-sized Conservative base (the cost of living in Davis is higher than both the California and National averages but crime is far below both the California and National indexes.  Because of the university home prices will always remain high.  Because of both (crime and housing), Davis is attractive to Conservatives who would otherwise live in Sacramento).   Davis is tied into the larger farming community in the area (hence the mascot and emphasis on agricultural sciences) which does have a tendency to lean more Conservative, too.  Sacramento, in particular Midtown/"The Grid" is very much GLBT friendly, too.  

 

In Boston Jamaica Plains has a gay-friendly rep and the South End used to be where it was at, but now it's just expensive, from what I hear.

Provincetown is awesome in the summer if you like crowds and beaches. The dunes and the Atlantic side of the Cape are beautiful. It's definitely worth a trip, but completely dead in the winter. (The year-round population is around 3000 vs 60000 in the summer.)

I lived in JP when I went to school in Boston.  The area was definitely LBGT friendly when I was living there.  The student population was growing fast, but so was the Hispanic population in the neighborhood.   My roommate in JP was/is gay and I have been to P-Town with him on a few occasions.  It is definitely the gay/lesbian destination on the East Coast (and Verizon is pretty much the only cell provider with towers that far up the Cape).  

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Wow, I am so glad I found this thread! Does anyone have any insights into queer/lesbian life in College Park MD (University of Maryland) or New Brunswick NJ (Rutgers)?

 

Went to Rutgers for undergrad, identify as pansexual. New Brunz has a pretty strong queer community, my female friends who date women didn't have a problem. Plus, you're pretty close to NYC so you can include that dating pool as well! Thanks to the school, there's a lot of social events and organizations; I used to attend LLEGO, which is the LGBT people of color group, awesome folks!

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^ I can sort of speak to Toronto. It's extremely gay (male) friendly, and there is also a pretty active lesbian community. I only go there every few months for a lesbian or queer lady night, and it's always packed. The few times I've visited U of T, I've instantly spotted queer women. A pansexual female friend of mine went to U of T for undergrad and she quickly developed an extended queer community.

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^ I can sort of speak to Toronto. It's extremely gay (male) friendly, and there is also a pretty active lesbian community. I only go there every few months for a lesbian or queer lady night, and it's always packed. The few times I've visited U of T, I've instantly spotted queer women. A pansexual female friend of mine went to U of T for undergrad and she quickly developed an extended queer community.

 

That sounds pretty positive. Thanks!

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Does anyone have some ideas about the following ones around Boston?

  • Bentley University
  • WPI, Worcester MA
Edited by uniquegino

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I will most likely be attending Penn State in the fall (waiting on other offers but the likelihood of a positive outcome is waning) and was wondering if anyone knew anything about State College, PA? I saw someone had asked earlier, but no response was given. I'm very nervous as I feel Central PA may be very conservative :\

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