Approaching the Golden Years might bring visions of quitting a job, traveling, exploring new hobbies, or spending more time with friends, family or grand kids. For many aging adults, the idea of moving after retirement is exciting. The next phase of life can present many new considerations including location, healthcare options, cost of living, senior living facilities, culture, activities and weather.
It can take a lot of planning, but there is even more to consider for older Americans who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ).
Currently, the national population identifying as LGBTQ is increasing -- among the top 50 metropolitan areas, the LGBTQ population averages 4.5 percent according to recent estimates tracked by Gallup surveys.
For LGBTQ seniors, that percentage can be harder to calculate due to being less forthcoming because older generations of gay people may have been met with hate and resistance in years past. Many U.S. cities have made strides in LGBTQ protections over the past several decades, but not all cities are equally progressive. According to Gallup data, the percentage of baby boomers who identify as LGBTQ has even declined slightly since 2012.
By 2050, the senior population is expected to double to an astonishing 88 million people aged 65 and older. Baby Boomers are largely responsible for this increase in the senior population, as they began turning 65 in 2011. As those numbers grow in the next few decades, more than ever before, older LGBTQ generations are in need of cities where they feel welcome.
The cities were chosen based on multiple factors, including the percentage of LGBTQ population in the area, the city's score according to the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce presence, the number of gay-friendly senior communities, local and state legislation protecting the LGBTQ community, cost of living for the area, the city's SeniorScore and more.
Here are the best cities in America for LGBTQ retirement in 2019:
1. New Orleans, LA
A city rivaling San Francisco with its abundance of gay-inclusiveness and year-round LGBTQ specific events such as the Gay Easter Parade, Southern Decadence, the Saints and Sinners LGBT Literary Festival, and nearly a dozen gay bars sprinkled throughout the Quarter, the history-rich city of New Orleans has been a haven for the LGBTQ crowd since before the Civil War.
Scoring nearly perfect on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index in 2018, about 13 percent of New Orleans is over age 65 and just over 5 percent identify as LGBTQ. The city is one of a handful in Louisiana with an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As advocates for the LGBTQ older adult community, NOAGE was established to ensure that LGBTQ seniors live their best lives with the dignity, respect, and good health. There are several other LGBTQ resource groups throughout the city that are listed on the following websites:
Nicknamed the "Big Easy" for a reason, New Orleans offers an easy, relaxed and affordable way of life. Cultural attractions and festivals, distinctive cuisine, and music provide this port city much to offer both gay visitors and residents. LGBTQ-friendly neighborhoods are nestled on both sides of the great Mississippi River dividing the city.
2. West Palm Beach, FL
Located along Florida's Atlantic coast, West Palm Beach offers year-round sunshine that can't be beat. There are lots of recreational activities and a range of dining, shopping, performances, museums, art, culture and festivals like SunFest. The downtown area is home to four distinct districts, and there are over 40 miles of pristine beaches like the dog-friendly Juno Beach.
As for LGBTQ legislation, West Palm Beach has made significant strides over the last 30 years. The city has blazed a trail for other Florida cities and cities across the nation in their demonstration of support and policies protecting their LGBTQ community. In 2018 West Palm Beach earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. In addition, there are several elected officials in the city and county who are openly gay.
There are several area LGBTQ groups and services in West Palm Beach, including:
- Compass Gay and Lesbian Community Center
- Palm Beach Pride
- Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
- Palm Beach County NOW
- Equality Florida
- Prime Timers
- West Palm Beach LGBT Meetups
- Gay Polo League
The SeniorScore for West Palm Beach is 74 which is higher than the national average. Palm Beach county has a high senior population of nearly 24 percent, and the LGBTQ population is estimated to be about 5 percent in the city.
3. Tucson, AZ
The southern Arizona city of Tucson is one of the fastest growing retirement destinations in the nation with over 13 percent of the city's population aged 65 and older and a general LGBTQ population of 5 percent in the State. An affordable city with year-round warm weather, historic and cultural attractions, not to mention unique dining and retail and the nearby Mount Lemmon trails to explore, Tucson is a good home for LGBTQ seniors.
The Institute for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, one of the first of its kind, is offered at the University of Arizona in Tucson, setting the bar for other U.S. universities.
In 1999, Tucson became the first Arizona city to pass an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents and city workers. The city has scored 100 for the last several years on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index.
Seniors will find that Tucson is one of the most LGBTQ friendly places on our list, offering the following resources:
- Southern Arizona Senior Pride
- Tucson Pride
- Elder Circles
- LGBTQ Integrated Health Coalition of Southern Arizona
- Living Out Loud Health and Wellness Center
- Desert Voices
- Gay Tucson
The SeniorScore for Tucson is higher than the national average. There are more than 25 retirement communities in the area and over a dozen senior community centers, each offering a variety of services, activities and resources for older adults.
4. Toledo, OH
Sprawled along the mouth of the Maumee River, Toledo's long history in glass-making has earned it the title of "Glass City". Home to an array of activities including unique dining, art and musical performances, museums, a variety of sports attractions, and thousands of acres of Metroparks, Toledo is a diverse city with lots to offer older LGBTQ adults.
Almost 14 percent of the population in Toledo is over the age of 65 and the LGBT population makes up 4.3 percent in the State of Ohio.
Scoring a 70 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index back in 2013, the city has made strides in LGBTQ protections since and received a perfect score in 2018. In fact, 6 of 8 Ohio cities on the list scored perfectly. Toledo has a ban on Conversion Therapy, a domestic partner registry, anti-discrimination protections, and many employers offer same-sex partner benefits. Officials, not only in the city, but in the State of Ohio continue efforts to foster and embrace diversity.
Other area resources and groups supporting the LGBTQ senior community in Toledo include:
According to Sperling's reporting, the average home prices in Toledo are just under $70,000 and life in the city costs less when compared to other major cities in Ohio and the U.S. This and many other factors make Toledo an ideal location for LGBTQ seniors to thrive in their golden years.
5. Alexandria, VA
Just a few miles from the nation's capital, Alexandria has more to offer than hustle bustle and politics. Locals can enjoy several trails and parks including Mount Vernon, waterfront areas, historic neighborhoods, over 100 golf courses and convenient access to major airports. The city is known for its excellent transit system with easy access to attractions, entertainment and retail shops.
Considered the cultural center of the U.S., the Alexandria metro area, which includes DC and Arlington, has a LGBTQ population of about 4 percent and a senior population of 13 percent which is average among other major cities in the nation. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) recognized Alexandria as a top LGBTQ city due to practices such as local non-discrimination laws, providing transgender-inclusive health benefits for city employees and offering LGBTQ-inclusive services.
Scoring well above average on the annual HRC Municipal Equality Index in 2018, Alexandria is increasingly supportive of its LGBTQ community, demonstrated by the following organizations:
- Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Community Organization
- The DC Center for the LGBT Community -- Older Adults
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Veteran Care
- Iona Organization
A diverse population makes up Alexandria that is reflected in the different cultures, cultural activities and wide selection of ethnic restaurants and retail in the city. There are over 175 senior living facilities in the area and over 8 specialized senior wellness centers in the area.
6. Tempe, AZ
Located in one of the largest suburban areas in the nation and sitting just east of Phoenix, Tempe is an ideal home for LGBTQ seniors who want to take advantage of a full spectrum of big city and small town offerings including museums, festivals, concerts, fine art galleries and performances. Including a plethora of outdoor activities among its Mountains and desert terrain.
Tempe is one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in Arizona, scoring a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index each year from 2014 through 2018. The Tempe Convention & Visitors Bureau has received accolades for its efforts in promoting the LGBTQ friendly city.
In 2014, the Tempe City Council established protections for LGBTQ individuals from discrimination at home, work and in public spaces.
Currently, the senior population is almost 10 percent of the city's population, with a LGBTQ population of about 5 percent in the State of Arizona.
An inclusive city, Tempe (and the greater Phoenix area) is home to several supportive groups for LGBTQ seniors including:
In addition, there are 3 senior centers in Tempe offering resources and connections specifically for older adults in the city.
7. Fort Lauderdale, FL
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 SeniorScore of 76 which is above the national average.
8. Austin, TX
The vibe in Austin is a welcoming one no matter if you are gay, straight, young or old. With its friendly residents, low-crime rate, warm weather, array of dining and entertainment options, arts, recreational activities, lush greenbelt, lakes, and gay-owned businesses, Austin is an oasis for LGBTQ seniors who make up just over 5 percent of the city's population.
Scoring a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index in 2018, Austin continues to prioritize its advocacy for the LGBTQ community. In 2017 the Austin city council formed the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Quality of Life Advisory Commission to advise on issues regarding the LGBTQ community and work to enhance government accountability.
What began in 1976, as a Gay Pride Week, has turned into a Gay Pride Festival which draws over 25,000 attendees each summer. There is a strong support network for the LGBTQ crowd living in Austin as indicated by the local resources below:
- Austin Prime Timers
- Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging
- Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- AustinUP Resources
- All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF)
- Austin LGBT Meetups
The overall cost of living in Austin is average compared to the national average and Texas has no state income tax which is an attractive perk. The senior population in Austin is 8.4 percent and growing.
9. Dayton, OH
Located in Western Ohio, Dayton has a lot to offer its senior LGBTQ residents. Referred to as "Little Detroit" due to its prominence in manufacturing, the cost of living in Dayton is low compared to similar cities, and it is a good location for older adults who enjoy a variety of parks and trails, and dozens of golf courses. In addition, there are over 300 miles of paved trails and a plethora of metro parks in the city. Several historic neighborhoods attract residents of all backgrounds to Dayton.
A non-discrimination ordinance on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment, housing, and public accommodations has been in place in Dayton for several years. It is one of only 6 cities in Ohio with a ban on Conversion Therapy. Dayton is one of several Ohio cities which scored perfectly on the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index.
Currently, the senior population is just over 12.5 percent of the city's population and the LGBTQ population in Ohio is just over 4 percent.
There are a number of community programs and services in the city specifically for the benefit of its LGBTQ citizens:
- Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton
- Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit
- Senior Resource Connection
- Dayton Medical Center - Equitas Health
- The Greater Dayton LGBT Center
There are over 100 senior living facilities in the Dayton area and half a dozen community and senior centers with fun social activities and events for older crowds to enjoy and participate in.
10. Tampa, FL
The sprawling Tampa Bay metro area is a diverse, inclusive, senior-dense region. One of four Florida cities scoring perfectly on the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, Tampa has been a warm and welcoming place for LGBTQ seniors for years.
The beaches in Tampa are some of the best in the country and the city is easy to navigate. There are several ethnic neighborhoods which is a sign of the diversity of the area. Since there is no state income tax and the city offers very affordable assisted living costs and a low overall cost of living, it is a good option for an older LGBTQ crowd.
In an effort to protect its LGBTQ population, Tampa, along with several other cities in Florida, enacted anti-discrimination ordinances and banned Conversion therapy within the last few decades. In addition to its ongoing legislation efforts, the city of Tampa offers many events, services and resources for LGBTQ adults including:
- Equality Florida
- Tampa Pride
- Vista Tampa LGBT
- Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
- Tampa LGBT Meetup Groups
The LGBTQ population in Tampa is estimated to be just over 6 percent while the senior population of the city is just over 12 percent. A perfect population mix for LGBTQ retirees to settle in and enjoy their golden years.
11. Pittsburgh, PA
The accolades keep coming in for this Northeastern U.S. city. In a recent report from George Washington University, Pittsburgh ranks number 9 on the list of the most walk-able U.S. cities. In 2018, the city was also named the second most livable city in the nation, according to the Global Livability Index. Whether listening to music at a local jazz club, watching a live performance, relaxing at a ballgame or enjoying Mount Washington's overlooks, Pittsburgh offers the perfect mix of activities for any senior to enjoy their later years. The gay-friendly city of Pittsburgh has it all.
Called the "City of Bridges" due to its over 400 bridges, the city of Pittsburgh is also bridging the equality gap for its LGBTQ community. For the past 3 years in a row, Pittsburgh received perfect scores on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index annual assessment of LGBTQ-friendly laws. About 3 percent of the city's population identify as LGBTQ and growing. Resources, support and activities to further grow the Pittsburgh LGBTQ community can be found here:
- PGH Equality Center
- SAGE Western Pennsylvania at Persad Center
- Proud Haven Resources
- Pittsburgh LGBT Meetups
- Pittsburgh Pride
Pittsburgh is an attractive location for LGBTQ seniors due to the low cost of living, low assisted living costs, above average SeniorScore, and a thriving senior population currently at just over 14 percent.
12. Boulder, CO
Not only a college town, Boulder has much to offer residents in any stage of life, especially for outdoor enthusiasts who don't mind a little snow in the winters. The Boulder community is nestled in the base of the Rocky Mountains and is big on environmental conservation and known for its liberal vibe.
The county of Boulder was 2nd in the nation to grant same-sex marriage licenses. In 1974, Boulder became the first city in the state to offer municipal protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and years later, protecting gender identity. About a decade ago, these LGBTQ protections were extended to employment, housing and public accommodation.
Boulder's Area On Aging began offering training specifically geared toward caregivers of older LGBTQ individuals in 2003 through a program called Project Visibility which is one of the first of its kind in the nation. Boulder has also scored very high on the HRC Municipal Equality Index in 2018. In addition, there are several other LGBTQ groups and resources in the area for seniors such as:
Boulder residents enjoy all four seasons and there are over 40 senior living facilities nearby. The city's senior population is 10 percent, it has an average cost of living, and lower sales and property tax than in other cities which make Boulder a smart choice for LGBTQ retirees.
13. Albuquerque, NM
The rainbow colored hot air balloons fly high in the skies each Fall during its famous International Hot Air Balloon Festival, but the rainbow flags fly high all year long in the LGBTQ-friendly city of Albuquerque. Whether it is the stunning sunsets, the popular green chili breakfast burritos, the beautiful Bosque trails and Sandia Mountains, the city where the multi-Emmy award winning show Breaking Bad was filmed is the perfect backdrop for outdoorsy seniors who enjoy a diverse city with ideal weather.
Albuquerque has a city-sponsored Human Rights Commission which demonstrates the city's dedication to protecting its LGBTQ community. In addition, New Mexico has provided benefits to State employee same-sex partners since 2003. The State repealed its anti-sodomy law in 1975, making it one of the first in the nation to do so, and more progress has been made since. Organizations and resources favoring the LGBTQ population in Albuquerque include:
- Equality NM
- PrideFest (40+ years strong)
- New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus
- The Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico
- American Veterans for Equal Rights NM Chapter
- LGBTQ Survivors of Violence Helpline
The LGBTQ population in the state is 4.5 percent and seniors make up slightly over 14 percent of the city's population. With an average cost of living and low property taxes, Albuquerque is a solid choice for older LGBTQ adults desiring a relaxed and affordable place to call home.
14. Asheville, NC
An affordable city with a relaxed vibe, Asheville has a thriving art community and is perfect for outdoorsy seniors who enjoy nature and hiking trails including the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the views along the popular Blue Ridge Parkway.
Although there is still room for some progress when it comes to advocacy and protections for the LGBTQ community in North Carolina, Asheville, located in the far west part of the state, is blazing the path. With a nickname "Beer City USA" due to its abundance of breweries, Asheville also boasts a high number of same-sex couples and a senior population of over 17 percent.
More than a third of all LGBTQ Americans live in the South, but many still lack basic legal protections while facing health and income inequities, not to mention political attacks. The Campaign for Southern Equality which is headquartered in Asheville is working to change that. A number of resources in Asheville exist to help support equality, safety, and quality of life for its LGBTQ community, including:
Buncombe County, where Asheville is located, elected its first openly lesbian county commissioner, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara in 2016 and in 2015 Lesbian Tammy Hooper became the first female Asheville police chief. O. Henry's, one of the oldest gay bars in the country, was established in 1976 in Asheville.
Asheville has moderate year-round weather and there are over 50 senior living facilities nearby. The costs for senior living and assistance is low to average in the city which makes it a great place for LGBTQ seniors to call home.
15. Eugene, OR
Oregon's 3rd largest city, and home to the University of Oregon, Eugene is also known for it's growing LGBTQ support. With the Williamette river winding through the city and the McKenzie river on the outskirts, Eugene has plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature on the water or on foot, including wilderness trails and golf courses. The city is also known for its museums, performing arts and festivals.
Eugene and the State of Oregon have made strides in their efforts to be a LGBTQ friendly place. In 2002, all non-federal employers in Oregon were required to offer equal benefits for same-sex domestic partners. The State's Governor, Kate Brown who has served since 2015, was the first open LGBTQ person elected governor in the nation. Kate signed into law a ban on Conversion Therapy for minors.
Eugene scored high on the HRC Municipal Equality Index in 2018. There are several organizations in Oregon and the city of Eugene advocating for rights, social activities and resources for the LGBTQ population, such as:
- Basic Rights Oregon
- Community Alliance of Lane County
- LGBT Eugene Facebook Community Page
- Eugene Queer Ladies (LGBTQ+) Social Group
Eugene residents enjoy easy access to the West Coast and all four seasons and there are nearly 60 senior living facilities nearby. The city's senior population is about 15 percent, with an estimated LGBTQ population in Oregon of nearly 5 percent which ranks the state number 4 in the U.S.
16. Salt Lake City, UT
Salt Lake City, Utah's capital city, has nationally ranked healthcare and all four seasons providing a great setting for all ages. The city has a variety of outdoor activities, including the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains and well-kept city parks like Liberty Park, and the International Peace Gardens. In addition, Salt Lake City has professional sports teams, museums, a variety of events and excellent restaurants making it the perfect playground for active LGBTQ seniors who enjoy a vibrant city.
The first openly Lesbian Bishop in the United Methodist Church conducted services in Salt Lake City for the first time in 2019. Despite Utah's reputation as a socially conservative city, rights for LGBTQ people have become increasingly supported in recent years, a recent example is the attempt to ban Conversion Therapy in 2019.
Bills prohibiting employment and housing discrimination and requiring LGBTQ sensitivity training for the local Police are two of the successful actions that have been implemented to benefit the LGBTQ community. In 2015, the city elected it first openly gay mayor and lawmakers have since repealed a Utah law that prohibited the "advocacy of homosexuality" in public schools. As Salt Lake City grows its programs and legislation in favor of gays, it already has these to offer:
Slightly fewer than 5 percent of the metro area's population identify as LGBTQ and the senior population is 6.7 percent and growing.
17. Boise, ID
The "City of Trees" and the capital city of Idaho, Boise is part of a 5-county metropolitan area known as Treasure Valley, and the city truly is a gem. Boise has big city offerings similar to places like Seattle but with a lower cost of living -- a draw for those in their retirement years.
Although Boise is in a very conservative State, the city is one of only 12 Idaho cities that has managed to make some progress toward LGBTQ protections with an ordinance in place prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Nicole LeFavour, the first open LGBTQ member of the Idaho legislature has been at the forefront of the initiative for many years up to the present day.
There are several organizations in Boise advocating for rights, social activities and resources for the LGBTQ population, such as:
Compared to other states in the area, Idaho has lower crime rates and lower property taxes. There are nearly 90 senior living facilities in the Boise area. With lots to see and do and a senior population of 16 percent and an average LGBTQ population, Boise is a growing city with lots to offer LGBT seniors.
18. Buffalo, NY
Located in West New York just miles from the Canadian border, Buffalo is a great home for seniors who enjoy a northeast setting with much to offer. Though it may get its share of cold weather, snow and an occasional ice storm, the city has mild summer months. Residents can choose from over 60 golf courses, water activities on Lake Erie or Lake Ontario, strolling in the various nature preserves or walking along the Niagara River, not to mention basking on the beautiful beaches of Lake Erie.
New York State has one of the oldest populations in the nation -- 3.7 million people age 60 and over -- after California, Florida and Texas. According to Census data, the senior population in Buffalo is slightly over 12 percent and a LGBTQ population of just under 4 percent.
Scoring high on the HRC Municipal Equality Index in 2018, Buffalo has a number of supportive services for aging LGBT adults in the community, including:
There is a lot to see and do in Buffalo year-round. Additionally, there are over 80 senior living facilities in the area and dozens of senior centers with fun social activities and events for the older crowds to enjoy and participate in.
19. Bridgeport, CT
Connecticut's largest city and its most diverse, a place where one-third of residents are immigrants, Bridgeport is a cultural gem for many different lifestyles and generations to thrive. A perfect spot for LGBTQ seniors, it has over 300 acres of grasslands, as well as trails and beaches like Jennings Beach with its 27 acres of coastline. The history-rich seaport city also offers an abundance of art, golf courses, museums, performances, dining and shopping.
Shortly after Bridgeport resident and State Legislator Joe Grabarz came out as gay, a comprehensive law banning LGBTQ discrimination was passed in 1991, with gender identity included in 2011. Recently, a law banning Conversion Therapy for minors was passed. Although Connecticut was early to repeal the sodomy law in 1971 and same-sex marriage in 2008, the city of Bridgeport still has progress to make for LGBTQ rights.
Bridgeport Hospital was recognized as a "Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality" in 2016 by the Human Rights Campaign. Other leaders for LGBTQ services and support, including senior centers in or near Bridgeport, include:
- Fairfield County Pride Festival
- Triangle Community Center
- LGBT Bridgeport Meetup Groups
- New Haven Pride Center
- Circle Care Center
- Bridgeport Senior Centers
- Southwestern CT Area on Aging
Seniors in Bridgeport make up about 11 percent and the LGBTQ population is about 4 percent in the State. With a median home price in Bridgeport of just over $150,000 currently, it is an affordable place for LGBTQ retirees to dwell.
20. Santa Ana, CA
Part of the greater Los Angeles metro area, the city of Santa Ana has the highest population in Orange County. In 2010, Forbes ranked Santa Ana as the fourth-safest city (of over 250,000 people) in the nation. The area is also ranked high for is year-round warm and mild weather. Offering a wide range of dining, shopping, walk-able neighborhoods, a good transit system, and culture, Santa Ana's lifestyle diversities create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ population entering their golden years.
Though there is still progress to be made with LGBTQ Legislation in Santa Ana, the LGBT Center OC was established in Orange County in 1971 and is one of the oldest gay and lesbian community centers in the U.S. Another local organization with the LGBTQ demographic in mind includes the Brad Brafford LGBT Center on 4th. Earning a perfect score in 2018 from Human Rights Campaign Healthcare Equality Index, was the nearby Kaiser Permanente, Irvine Medical Center.
The Orange County gay pride festival, OC Pride, first began in Santa Ana in 1989 and has grown over the years -- over 25,000 visitors are expected at the event this summer. Santa Ana has a vibrant downtown area complete with several historic districts and coastal communities like Huntington Beach and Newport Beach are a short 20-minute drive.
Those aged 65 and older make up just over 8 percent of the population in Santa Ana and the LGBTQ population in California is just over 5 percent. Santa Ana has two senior centers offering a range of resources and services to the area's senior residents.