We are everywhereEditorial Thursday, November 17th, 2011
Everybody knows that there is a concentrated LGBT community in the Hillcrest and surrounding metropolitan area. But what you may not know is that the LGBT community is scattered throughout San Diego and beyond. There are more of us than you may realize, living outside of the gay hub; we are simply everywhere.
San Diego has a very large LGBT community, who live all over the county. When I first moved to San Diego, sixteen years ago, I fell in love with Hillcrest and decided to make it my home. Although I explored and liked many other areas of San Diego, I still felt the most comfortable in Hillcrest, where most of my peeps were. But things have changed over the last couple of decades with regard to people’s attitudes toward our community, and I have had the opportunity to represent many buyer clients in our LGBT community over the years, who have bought homes in areas that they would not have typically considered in the past.
About five years ago I worked with a wonderful gay couple, Fred and Tom, who wanted to buy a house in the metro area. But due to their price constraints, they either had to settle for a much smaller home or look outside of the metro area. Well, they decided to look outside of the Hillcrest area and wound up buying a house in El Cajon; a spacious three bedroom, two bathroom, beautifully landscaped home with a pool, two car garage and a family room in a nice neighborhood. When they first started telling people they bought a property in El Cajon some of the comments they received were less than favorable; I am unable to quote them in this article. Nevertheless, they have been in their home for more than five years now and are living happily ever after. Their neighbors have been warm, friendly and have welcomed them into their community.
Then there was Mia and Carole, who faced the same challenge of wanting to buy a home in the metro area of San Diego. But due to their budget they started to look at other areas all over San Diego. After a thorough search, they finally purchased a newer, beautiful three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom townhome in Chula Vista, with a two car garage and a large balcony with gorgeous park views. They have been made to feel at home in Chula Vista since they moved there two-and-a-half years ago, where they have found other wonderful local LGBT neighbors.
Over the years I have seen a change in how our LGBT community is favorably accepted in the different neighborhoods throughout the county. As a result the comfort level of our community has changed, so that we are more relaxed moving into most areas of the county. Today, I have LGBT clients and friends living in places outside of the gay hub that they may not have considered just a decade or two ago; areas like Scripps Ranch, Campo, San Carlos, Tierrasanta, Spring Valley, Bay Park, the College area and City Heights, just to name a few locations.
Now that I have been in San Diego 16 years, I have found that our LGBT community is very large and lives all over the county. Most people today are very accepting of our LGBT community moving into what used to be “their” neighborhoods. In fact, there is the popular belief and stereotype that we make a community better by beautifying our homes, businesses and the neighborhood as a whole. I have actually found this stereotype to have a lot of truth to it. There have been many examples, throughout the nation, where the LGBT community have gone into deteriorated neighborhoods and have slowly transformed them by purchasing and fixing up the homes and businesses. This has resulted in a revitalized and vibrant neighborhood. This is basically what happened in Hillcrest over the last twenty plus years, resulting in a very desirable and electric community. The same thing happened in University Heights’ residential and business district, which used to be a rundown area. Bourbon Street was one of the first establishments to go into that business district and start fixing up a property. Bourbon Street is now a very popular, well known meeting place and watering hole. After Bourbon Street was fixed up and opened, other businesses started to slowly follow, resulting in the creation of a very hip and happening area. On a larger scale, West Hollywood is another great example of where we have gone in and totally revitalized a deteriorated community. These examples are just a few of what has happened all over the nation. Most people realize the LGBT community is a great asset to any neighborhood.
I have sold properties all over San Diego County to our LGBT community over the years, from the South Bay to North County. It is comforting to know that we are everywhere and that for the most part we can move into any neighborhood today and be welcomed like any newcomer should be. After all, we are an important part of the melting pot that makes up our nation.
Trent St. Louis is a licensed Real Estate Agent
and a member of the National, California and
San Diego Association of Realtors. You can reach Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org or at his office in Hillcrest, The Metropolitan Group. DRE#01273643.
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