The millennial generation has been called “the gayest generation,” with over seven percent of young adults between 18 and 35 identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Wider understanding and acceptance of a range of gender identities and sexual orientations, along with the ability to easily connect with peers locally or through social media, have made young adults more forthcoming about sexuality and gender, and more likely to proudly identify as LGBT.
Millennials have also gained a reputation for settling in top-tier urban areas like Denver, San Francisco, and Portland, drawn to these cities by their walkability, amenities, and social offerings. There’s been less focus, however, on where these statistics overlap: are LGBT millennials flocking to the same cities, or pushing into new territories, building communities in gentrifying neighborhoods in less expected placed across the country?
In a recent study of census and demographic data, Smart Gay Life found some surprising trends. Increasingly, LGBT millennials are transforming cities in places that may not be known for their acceptance and tolerance, and Norfolk was identified as one of the top cities who embrace the diversity millennials require.
“Another surprising inclusion, Norfolk shares Los Angeles’ proximity to the beach, along with a booming millennial population and the amenities to support it,” according to the report. “The city is making big strides to be millennial and LGBT friendly, even while the surrounding area is often less than inclusive.”
Two other second-tier cities ranking high in preference are Salt Lake City and Houston. The report goes on to note that the intolerance of the surrounding areas are simply not a factor for many LGBT millennials choosing to live in these areas.
“Millennials are set to overtake baby boomers in the coming years, and LGBT millennials will have a huge part to play in determining the places where young people will settle and how the LGBT community will affect these areas,” the report concluded.