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Old 04-12-2018, 05:46 PM
 
Location: West Los Angeles
8 posts, read 10,606 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi. My spouse will likely be offered a job at the University of Wisconsin any day now. We are from
Los Angeles and never considered leaving LA until this job opportunity came up. I've never been to Wisconsin, and have no ties there whatsoever. The thought of leaving SoCal is absolutely terrifying to me. I fear finding a comparable job (I manage an high-end gym/spa in Santa Monica), I fear the cold and snow/ice. I fear that we won't feel comfortable being same-sex married in the midwest. There are numerous fears, but I can't really think of any reason to move other than my husband wants the job. Part of me feels he is very selfish for asking me to pack up and move across the country to a place I've never been. Another part of me is ready to let him go and maybe live apart and see what happens. We bought our house only 8 months ago after living in a small, cramped 1 BR apartment for 12 years, and I'm not ready to give the house up.

I was hoping that some transplants (especially SoCal transplants) could give me some advice. Should I move? Are you happy there? How's the LGBT "scene"? Is the cold unbearable? Are there jobs in the fitness industry readily available?

If he is offered the job, he would likely be moving within 2 months. If I do end up moving out there, it wouldn't be until at least the end of the year.
I'm so unsure about what to do...
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:52 PM
 
2,903 posts, read 8,586,156 times
Reputation: 2497
Definantly go visit and see for yourself. It doesn't sound like you want to move so it's best if you visit for yourself.

You can adjust to anything but if you work at a gym like Equinox for examply, there won't be anything similar to that in Madison. There is a LGBT scene but nothing like LA. You would basically be moving to a small nice quiet Midwest city despite it being nicer than other places in the region it still is what it is.

I would advise you to stay put.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:34 AM
 
32,716 posts, read 22,656,169 times
Reputation: 29772
You'll be perfectly fine as a same sex couple in Madison. No problems there.


If you can't hang with snow and cold though, it is not for you.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
2,122 posts, read 1,441,893 times
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People moved from Wisconsin to Los Angeles and back... Each place has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some people are just fine in either place life throws at them, other people would like one or another place better.


It is not easy to advice you one way or another. We don't know your income level, level of emotional attachment to each other, or many other things about you...


a) Can get an offer is not "got an offer and accepted it". No need to think too hard about possibilities that aren't yet materialized.


b) When an offer is present, if there's a window of opportunity to travel to Madison together for a weekend, it might be a good option. Take a look, let your partner show you nice places (or discover the new places together), make it a vacation or an adventure... Maybe you'll fall in love with it? Or maybe your partner changes his mind?


c) Distance relations can work. If you travel to him at each possibility, and he travels back. So - you actually can make it last for a year or two. At some point, one of you got tired of it though.


d) Madison at its core is very progressive (but surrounded with suburbs that are less so). And I don't think a gay couple would have any issues anywhere in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is not Bible belt. Most people here came from German, Polish, or Irish families and learned some tolerance a couple centuries ago. The state as a whole is split about 50-50 between liberal and conservative, but conservatives are more so on fiscal issues, not southern style "moral" values.


e) You can look for job before making a move (when you visit your partner). There is a number of fitness clubs around and if you're a fit person - you'll definitely find something. If not, start specializing in something, such as combat sports, or preparation for whatever events (Mud Runner, Marathon) you got. Madison is more fitness-and-outdoors oriented than let's say Milwaukee.
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
2,122 posts, read 1,441,893 times
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Real Estate is much cheaper in Midwest. Cost of living... - food and services are more expensive though. Salaries on average are 30% lower. Overall, because real estate (either to rent or to buy) is so much more affordable here than in Los Angeles, 30% drop in salary will probably give you similar level of fiscal comfort as you enjoyed. There are websites that monitor those things. And at any rate, even a 50% drop in your salary is better than 100% loss of your partner's income...
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Old 04-17-2018, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee, WI
2,122 posts, read 1,441,893 times
Reputation: 2325
> Are you happy there?


I moved from Milwaukee to Los Angeles and back (with an option to move back to Madison that I decided against). I was perfectly happy in Milwaukee before moving to Los Angeles. It took me some time to get used to LA, but I enjoyed a bigger community of friends and many other things Los Angeles has to offer. Yet, I wasn't happy with hot weather and traffic. Salaries in Los Angeles in my field of expertise aren't stellar (because there are so many young graduates knowing fresher technologies and willing to work longer hours for less money), than in Wisconsin (nearly lack of competition) - so I got initially 20% drop and in 2 months I got back to salary parity - I have same salary in WI as I would have in LA (see my previous post about 30% drop being normal).




> How's the LGBT "scene"?


It exists. I cannot comment much about it in Madison. But Madison is a progressive city and you're definitely safe as much as any hetero couple. I wouldn't say it's better than LA in terms of tolerance, but the whole Wisconsin is not much behind. Well, I don't know about little rural towns where everyone knows everyone and they are suspicious to all strangers, but cities are fairly safe, Madison tries to position itself as a leader, but I would say anything around Milwaukee, Appleton, Green Bay, Eau Clair... you shouldn't have any major issue.


> Is the cold unbearable?


There's no bad weather, only improper clothing. But if you have cold weather, you can always dress warmer. And if it's over 100F hot, you cannot dress less to chill out. It's all about attitude and finding hobbies that interest you.


> Are there jobs in the fitness industry readily available?


There are fitness clubs. There are many fitness clubs. They get instructors all the time. Would they offer you salary comparable to "exclusive fitness club" salary? I don't know - maybe your fitness is amazing, or maybe you possess absolutely awesome rare skills. Generally, Wisconsin has a certain gaga effect on anything coming from LA... so - if you has any special Los Angeles certification, or know any LA training system, or anything LA... you might actually get similar salary. But you'll have to sell yourself well and shake your money maker a lot to get where you already are in LA.
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:03 PM
 
391 posts, read 176,296 times
Reputation: 252
I would only worry the money you guys would loose selling an 8mo old home. If you can afford to live close to the university it would be very accepting.
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Old 04-17-2018, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,071 posts, read 4,001,371 times
Reputation: 2482
I'm originally from California and lived in a variety of places before coming to Wisconsin. It's a beautiful state, and most of the people have a liberal or libertarian approach to LGBT people. You'll be fine as a same-sex married couple in most places in Wisconsin, but especially in places such as Madison and Milwaukee. The cold and snowy weather is real, though. Don't rule Madison out (it's really a nice place), but try to visit and see for yourself.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:23 AM
 
Location: WI
3,805 posts, read 8,508,451 times
Reputation: 2219
OP, i would say based on your initial post, that in Madison the LGBT concern would be at the bottom of the list. Sounds like there are far more 'issues' listed that you'll need to look into, discuss, and even check out (in person visit here) to be able to answer all your questions.

Many of those concerns are the same for anyone moving across country; money, jobs, climate affect everyone. Same for relationships and how they handle a major move.

So as others have stated, if Madison is truly an option then head up for a few days to get a true feel what it has to offer. And if you do make the move and find on occasion you both need a little more to do, Chicago and Milwaukee are a couple hours away, and Minneapolis is under a 5 hour drive.

good luck
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:15 PM
 
2,768 posts, read 1,494,078 times
Reputation: 2172
Quote:
Originally Posted by brrabbit View Post
Real Estate is much cheaper in Midwest. Cost of living... - food and services are more expensive though. Salaries on average are 30% lower. Overall, because real estate (either to rent or to buy) is so much more affordable here than in Los Angeles, 30% drop in salary will probably give you similar level of fiscal comfort as you enjoyed. There are websites that monitor those things. And at any rate, even a 50% drop in your salary is better than 100% loss of your partner's income...
LA food and services cheaper than Madison? Not IME. Maybe if you only eat from food trucks.

Even without RE in the equation, still cheaper in Madison.
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