SeniorAdvice.com one of the nation's top senior housing referral services, released their annual list of America's top cities for gay-friendly retirement in 2019. This is the third annual list of best cities for LGBTQ seniors by SeniorAdvice.com and compared to the previous lists, there were many additions as well as several repeats that were identified.
For the 2019 list, SeniorAdvice.com considered multiple factors, including the following: percentage of LGBTQ population in the area, available social activities, festivals, weather, LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce presence, presence of gay-friendly senior communities, quality of healthcare, number of hospitals and pharmacies, local and state legislation protecting the LGBTQ community, cost of living, the city's score according to the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, and the city's SeniorScore™. SeniorScore™ is the first comprehensive un-biased scoring system specifically designed to identify and measure the livability for seniors, and was created by SeniorAdvice.com. The SeniorScore™ ranking is calculated by compiling and factoring over 100 variables, including access to health care and number of senior residents, to help determine how well a specific location accommodates the comfort and needs of senior citizens.
Multiple cities in Florida made the list, including West Palm Beach, for its numerous LGBTQ groups and services, Ft. Lauderdale, mainly for its high senior population, and Tampa, for its affordable living and beautiful beaches. Arizona and Ohio also had several cities make the list. Tucson has year-round warm weather and many retirement communities, and Tempe established protections for LGBTQ individuals from discrimination at home, work and in public spaces in 2014. Toledo boasts continued efforts to foster and embrace diversity and has low housing prices, and Dayton has a number of community programs and services in the city specifically benefitting its LGBTQ citizens.
Previously, the list of top cities for LGBTQ seniors predominately focused on larger U.S. cities. However, this year there was no limit on the size range of cities included. The 2019 list highlights small, medium, and large-sized cities in the United States. SeniorAdvice.com defined small cities as those having 10,000-50,000 residents, medium-sized cities as those ranging in population size of 50,000-500,000 residents, and large cities as having over 500,000 residents. A total of 6 cities were repeats from last year's list and 14 cities were new additions.
Why Fort Lauderdale? #7 In the Nation
With its warm weather, Fort Lauderdale also offers a warm welcome for those in the LGBTQ community. The year-round sunny weather, city parks, gay-specific beaches, cultural attractions, art districts, and no income tax are a few of the reasons why the senior population is almost 17 percent of the city's population. Just minutes north of the city is Wilton Manors, a community of nearly 12,000 with a 14 percent LGBTQ population, a dense senior population, and many gay-friendly businesses, bars and restaurants.
Pride Center Florida was established over 25 years ago to meet the distinct health, social, educational, socioeconomic and safety needs of the LGBTQ community and its allies. Broward County enforces local ordinances protecting LGBTQ rights involving housing, employment, services, and other discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. The city's nearly perfect score on the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index reflects these ongoing efforts for LGBTQ rights.
- SAGE (Senior Action in a Gay Environment) of South Florida
- LGBTQ City Events
- Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- South Florida Gay News (SFGN)
- Fort Lauderdale LGBT Meetup Groups
The 10th largest city in Florida, and its "Gay Capital City", Fort Lauderdale has lots to offer its senior LGBTQ residents as indicated by the city's Senior Score of 76 which is above the national average.