17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 9, 2015 8:54 AM by jkom51

    Gay & Lesbian Retirees

      My partner same-sex domestic partner and now husband of over 20 years and I are considering retirement to Hilo, HI.   We have chosen it partly for its tropical location and partly for the fact that it is just about the only part of that state that is anywhere near affordable.  We also have relatives in the administration of the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  We have visited there several times from our life-long home in Pittsburgh.  While there is a GLBT community there it is rather weakly organized and barely present as compared to even medium-sized mainland cities.

      We are also considering looking into one of the GLBT retirement communities on the US mainland, but have been finding them rather expensive.

      Any thoughts?

        • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees
          The "traditional" GLBT places on the mainland have always inclued P-Town, MA, New Hope, PA, Key West, FL, Rehobath Beach, DE and Cape May, NJ. Of late, however, I have found more and more places (and people) being accepting of the GLBT folks without being "designated" destinations. Thus, you might want to explore many places to retire, using the same criteria as others (cost of living, local taxes, public transportation, climate). and then visit to see if the natives are friendly. Thankfully, especially with younger folks, we are no longer limited as to where we choose to live in peace as full members of society. (Just one person's opinion).
            • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees
              We live in the San Francisco Bay Area which is one of the most expensive in the world, although one of the best for the GLBT community. The inland communities and rural (extreme north or south outside the metropolitan LA/SF cities) are certainly more...let us be tactful and say conservative. You might want to try Oregon and Washington, especially the college towns which are much more liberal than the suburban/rural areas, but much less expensive than in CA. Winters are real there, very damp and stormy, but much milder than you're accustomed to.
              • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees
                This is what my partner and I are finding as well.  We have essentially "ditched" the GLBT enclaves as we have found them to be cost prohibitive.  What we have done instead have researched where we would prefer to live with regard to climate, taxes and resources and what we can do politically.  We have chosen to take the position of creating our oasis where we can afford to and work to create change from within that environment.
              • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees
                There was an article in the NYTimes a while back about Asheville NC becoming populated with gay and lesbian people.  The weather is certainly better than in Pittsburgh!
                • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees

                  I think Portland, Oregon has a progressive gay community. I belong to First Unitarian Church which is proud to be a Welcoming Congregation. Portland would be a great place for LGBT people: lots of public transportation and cultural events. Co-housing is also a god alternative. There are at least five co-housing communities in Portland, and all are welcoming of LGBT persons. Naturally, I would recommend the co-housing group I am a member of: Daybreak Cohousing.



                  • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees
                    Interesting you have roots in Pittsburgh and ties to Hilo. I grew up in North Hills, work in downtown Pgh for years and now own a home outside Hilo, near Pahoa. I work for UH Manoa which is rare since high tech jobs are scarce. I've never known why Hawaii island has such a non connected gay community. It was somewhat improved in 2003 - 2006 when I owned a gay bar in Pahoa town. But even then, there where those 'proud' that they never went to the gay bar. Possibly they left the mainland due to alcohol problems, but it seemed odd.
                    I loved the suggestion of group housing for older gays & lesbians. One of my biggest fears is to be alone. I have a son in LA but as plane fares rise and heath declines I fear a time when I will be totally alone. I've always been impressed with the  the Israeli model of community living and think it could work. I wish it would work here, but doubt it since life here is so different, especially for gays. Somehow I think it would work better in communities where there is a strong younger gay community to provide the energy and events to keep gay life interesting. The older members provide support by attendance (and money in the form of admission, tickets,etc), possibly rental housing for other gays, and the younger folk provide new ideas and energy.  Both are required, I think, for a happy gay existence. Unfortunately, Hilo lacks such a vibrant connected gay community, possibly because most gays here leave for Honolulu or the mainland if they can.
                    Just my $.02. 
                    tom kane
                    • Re: Gay & Lesbian Retirees

                      I can sympathize that it's alluring to yearn for both a better climate and a welcoming social community. But of the two, the social community is a lot more important than the climate. As good as it feels to find others you can relate to, finding a mix of people of all ages and cultures is incredibly energizing.


                      I'm always reminded of one of my elderly friends who has grown old the way we all want to. He likes to say that so many of their friends have sadly died over the years. His and his wife's reaction was, "So we went out and found younger friends!"


                      It's a great philosophy, I think. We watched our MIL get increasingly depressed as her tight social circle fell apart. People moved away, divorced, fell ill, or died. She was exactly the same age as the elderly friend I mentioned above, but what a difference in the way they approached life!