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7 Reasons Why LGBTQ Folks Move to Red States

What are the 7 reasons why LGBTQ folks move to red states

What are the 7 reasons why LGBTQ folks move to red states? Find out here on this episode. Then download your FREE Queer Money Kickstarter, a 9-step Guide to Kickstart Your Journey to Financial Independence.

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What are the 7 reasons why LGBTQ folks move to red states?

On this Queer Money®, we’re sharing 7 reasons why LGBTQ folks move to red states on our affordable, LGBTQ+-friendly city series. We are breaking down seven reasons that many LGBTQ+ folks and our allies have decided to either stay in or move to red states. 

Reason #1 is financial privilege. Per Marketwatch, the average cost of moving long distances is between $1,000 and $7,500 for a self-service move. If you plan for a full-service move with professional movers, you can expect to pay between $4,200 and $12,000. Not everyone has the means to be able to move. The cost of going to an out-of-state school is much more expensive. Per, the average cost of in-state tuition in all 50 states plus DC is $10,215, but out-of-state tuition averages $26,589 annually, which is 260% more expensive. 

Reason #2 is family ties. Many have family members or close friends in Republican-leaning states and choose to live there to be close to loved ones. LGBTQ+ folks are more likely to be the ones taking care of an aging parent than their straight counterparts in many cases because we don’t have children and other family members feel they can justify putting these responsibilities on us.

Reason #3 is the cost of living. Per US News & World Report, which ranked all 50 states based on cost of living, all of the top 10 most affordable states were red states and all 10 of the most expensive states were blue states.

Reason #4 is career opportunities. Certain industries or job opportunities may be more prevalent in Republican states, leading individuals to relocate for work regardless of their sexual orientation. Know several gay men, black and white, in oil and gas. More and more companies are relocating to lower cost-of-living areas such as Dallas, Raleigh, and Charlotte with the financial services and banking sectors, and you may not be able just to quit your job and stay.

Reason #5 is fighting for LGBTQ+ and other rights, as David Roth shared on Tuesday’s episode about Project 2025. We don’t want to minimize anyone, but being an LGBTQ activist in places like Idaho, Mississippi and West Virginia is very different from doing the same work in NYC, San Francisco, or Denver. That is partly why we moved to Toledo. Our dollars and time go further in helping here than in blue states. These are the battlegrounds and where the hard work is being done. These are the real heroes of our LGBTQ fight for rights. 

Reason #6 is the general sense of community. Queer youth in these red states desperately need the safe spaces and safe people. If we all leave as soon as we are adults, who’s going to be there for them? Not exclusive to blue states. Our experience and what we’ve seen on social media is that the communities in blue cities in red states are often closer. Supportive and inclusive communities within Republican-leaning states where we can find acceptance, solidarity, and a sense of belonging. See NBC New, ‘Looking for home, some transgender people find community in unexpected places,’ 04/01/24.

Reason #7 is a personal preference. What?! A diversity of preferences within the LGBTQ+ community?! Some prefer the cultural or social atmosphere of certain Republican states, whether it’s the pace of life, local traditions, or community values. Many have created a life they enjoy and love, and the state they live in has shifted to the right; for example, 10 years ago, FL was much more LGBTQ-friendly at the state level. If you moved there to retire, moving now may not be feasible or physically possible, or you love the life you have there now.

If you’d like to see the data for this growing series, get the dynamic list of Affordable LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities in the U.S. here or click the link in your podcast player for a growing analysis.

For the resources and to connect with our guests, get the show notes at: 



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