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Same-Sex Couples Don’t Want To Settle Down In The Castro

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Some new numbers have come in regarding where same-sex couples are settling down these days and it’s not necessarily San Francisco, West Hollywood, or even New York City. A growing number of same-sex couples are living in smaller towns — not huge meccas.

The New York Times reports that West Hollywood didn’t even make it into the top five this year. New cities on the rise include:

Pleasant Ridge, Mich., a suburb of Detroit; New Hope, Pa.; and this beach town in southern Delaware. All three have been popular destinations for gay people locally but had never ranked in the top 10.

The No. 1-ranked town is Provincetown, Mass., at the tip of Cape Cod.

Gary Gates, a demographer at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, speculates that the change in  geography has a lot to do with our aging baby boomer population who are retiring in areas conducive to — well — retiring. The Times reports:

The reordering reflects a growing influence of baby boomers, who became adults in the 1960s and 1970s, when the social stigma was starting to ease, and are more willing than previous generations to stand up and be counted, Mr. Gates said.

Now that generation, arguably the first in history with such a large contingent that is out, is beginning to retire, and its life transition is showing up in the data, with older cities as the new popular choices.

It’s not really shocking to me that older same-sex couples are seeking our more quiet spaces for their autumn years. Traditional gay meccas like the Castro district in San Francisco or West Hollywood in Los Angeles are ideal if you’re an LGBTQ twenty-something looking for some a community and a dance floor. But queer-friendly cities like those often prioritize youth in their efforts to bring the community together which can leave older gay adults, or even gay couples, feeling rather left out.

While these older gay baby boomers are admirable for putting down their roots in more “farther flung areas of the country,” their desires to seek out a more simple life away from the party culture are to be expected.