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The Top 8 LGBTQ+ Friendly Cities in the United States to Raise a Family


Rainbow bridge

You’ve decided to finally start down your family, or maybe you already have, and you’re looking for the perfect, safe place to raise your kiddos. Finding the right city for your family takes time, patience and a little bit of knowledge — especially given the current climate.


In the U.S., if you’re an LGBTQ+ American — where a “state of emergency” was declared for LGBTQ+ Americans and research shows that 38 percent of Americans still oppose same-sex marriage — it can feel even harder to find a place to settle down.


But fear not: even though things can seem dark at times, there are still rays of light and community throughout the country. According to one Gallup study, support for same-sex marriage holds at 71 percent and there are many cities that are both welcoming and supportive to queer mxms and families alike.


Here are the top eight LGBTQ+ friendly cities in the U.S. to consider raising you family in, according to Clever’s List, below.


Cities To Raise Your Family In — Study-Backed


1. San Francisco, CA 


Rainbow Families! According to Clever’s List, San Francisco need not prove why it's the number one most LGBTQ-friendly city. Of course, it’s known for it’s huge support of the community, with a remarkable 0.63 gay bars per 100,000 residents, but the average San Franciscian also is much more inclusive than the average person. 


While it’s already a popular destination for LGBTQ tourists, it’s a great place to raise your family as a lesbian or queer mxm, too. The Bay Area’s queer community makes up 6 percent of it’s population — surpassing the average proportion of 5.1 percent.


You can expect that if you choose the Golden Gate city, you’ll also choose a life of inclusion, joy and freedom to live proudly, too.


2. Hartford, CT


This next one might surprise you. Hartford represents Connecticut's state equality tally score of 39 — which is 134% higher than the average state's tally score of 16.7.


It is ranked as being one of the most supportive, inclusive communities that accept folks from all walks of life. Only 11 percent of Hartford residents oppose same-sex marriage, which is the lowest percentage in the study, making way for LGBTQ+ folks to start their families and raise them, with a friendly and active community by their sides.


3. Las Vegas, NV


Sin City is so much more than gambling, parties and fun vibes. In fact, it is ranked the third most inclusive and friendly LGBTQ+ in the U.S. with just 19% of its residents opposing same-sex marriage (and same-sex families.) That's 30% fewer than the average city in our study (27%). We get it: it might seem like not the most practical for choosing to bring children into the world. But outside of The Strip, there are many smaller knit communities, parks, outdoor reserves and fun activities, meant just for kids. If you need to take a job there, or you’re looking to try out desert life, it may be worth giving it a try.


4. Portland, OR


If you decide to settle down in Portland, OR than you’ll be in good company. Portland is the state with the largest percentage of LGBTQ residents — with the LGBTQ population being 8 percent, which is is 57 percent more than the national proportion of 5.1 percent.


It is complete with a thriving community, an impressive (and needed!) 3.07 LGBTQ-affirming health care providers per 100,000 residents, a full roster of other queer or gay families to become friends with and more.


Plus, how could you beat being so close to beautiful waterfalls, hikes, camping, the Oregon Coast and more? You and your kids will have so much fun. 


5. Denver, CO


Did you know that Denver, CO is a city that truly embraces love? It’s true! As a progressive and beautiful state, with it’s allure to the LGBTQ community, their state equality tally score is 42.5 — 154 percent higher than the average state's tally score of 16.7.


Whether you love a good hike, camping or you want to experience a city that loves love, Denver could be the right fit for you, too. 


6. Los Angeles, CA


At first glance, you might wonder why Los Angeles, CA is listed as number six on this list. While it may not be number one, it has nevertheless, made its mark on the LGBTQ+ community.


You can trust that, if you choose to call LA home for you and your little (or big) ones, they’ll be able to live a life full of boldness and in celebration of Pride. After all, the number of annual pride events in Los Angeles is tied with the national average at 0.07 per 100,000 residents. The L.A. Pride Festival & Parade is one of the most well-attended pride events in the country, with an estimated 146,000 attending in 2023 alone.


According to the study, “Los Angeles is slightly more tolerant than other U.S. cities. Just 15% oppose non-discrimination laws, a noteworthy 21% less than the national average of 19%. Moreover, when it comes to same-sex marriage, the city stands out with only 25% opposing, a commendable 7% below the national average of 27%.”


If you’re in the mood for sunshine, access to the mountains and beaches in the same day, or you just want to experience the West Coast, making a like in California may be it for you and your family.


7. San Diego, CA


San Diego, CA isn’t just a place to enjoy sunshine, the best weather in the country, and of course, beautiful beaches. It’s also a city with a vibrant and fulfilling LGBTQ+ community — with small pockets like Hillcrest hosting SD Pride every year.


Known as "America's Finest City," the pride truly shines through, boasting an impressive 0.12 pride events per 100,000 residents annually, a spirited 71 percent above the average in the study. San Diego has always been a hot-spot for LGBTQ+ folks. Now, there is even a lesbian bar and grill called Gossip Grill downtown, where you could meet other queer mxms, too.


Plus, it is very kid-friendly. With places like The San Diego Zoo, museums, Seaworld, beaches and more, there is no shortage of fun for your entire family. If you’ve ever visited, it’s one of those places that can feel like home, immediately.


8. Sacramento, CA


Did you know that Sacramento, CA is the highest city in the U.S. with an open commitment to protecting the rights of LGBTQ residents? It has a perfect municipal equality score of 100.


It is also a city that actively fosters LGBTQ+ inclusivity and community. It is their hope that you, and your family, will feel like you truly belong and are cared for. With a National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the Sacramento LGBT Community Center, this community tries to bring in powerful resources and opportunities to lesbian mxms and queer folks alike.


This could be the place where you, and your family, can make a difference for the LGBTQ+ community in other places that are less accepting, through participating in legislation acts and standing up for what you believe in. What better way to lead by example for your kids than that?


 

Support LGBTQ+ Small Business! Join the Gay Moms Club and champion small business while celebrating LGBTQ+ motherhood.


By signing up for a Club Membership, you’re not just supporting a vibrant and growing community; you’re also empowering small business within the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Embrace diversity, support local entrepreneurs, and be a part of a movement that fosters inclusivity, one membership at a time.


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