Gay retirement communities are growing in popularity across the nation and are being developed in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Ft. Lauderdale and other cities. Gay retirement communities, though, are more than just a market — they’re part of a movement and are a hedge against future discrimination, although some people worry that they could be a bigger target for ugly homophobic violence. Older gays and lesbians are ready to come out, though, and surveys find that older gays and lesbians seeking community express high interest in GLBT-specific retirement communities. Because many gays have grappled with discrimination throughout their lives, they worry that the problem will be even worse when they retire and grow more dependent on others. Now with aging an undeniable reality, gays are determined to put their own stamp on it.
Some gay retirement communities, such as the Palms, are restricted to people 55+, but others, like RainbowVision, are marketed more broadly to people wanting to plan ahead. Stonewall Communities, a 14,000-square-foot, 55-unit apartment building planned for Boston’s Fenway neighborhood, will also be for mixed ages; one- and two-bedroom units will be priced between $400,000 and $600,000. With the steady increase of openly gay baby boomers in the market for housing, retirement communities catering to their needs are suddenly trendy and will continue to pop up around the country.