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Old 07-14-2013, 11:07 PM
 
Location: Shaconaqe
187 posts, read 297,662 times
Reputation: 151

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Hello all! My wife and I are are wanting to relocate to a state/area that has a more tolerant attitude towards the LBGT community. We would like to live in a state where our marriage would be recognized by the state that we live in, unlike where we live now, in Tennessee. We would like to have the same job benefits that straight married couples have (insurance, etc...) and everything else that comes with being legally recognized by the state you live in.

We have researched and even visited a few states/cities that are LGBT friendly and we would like to look into Maine. Both of us grew up in the south (I in Texas, she in Tennessee), so northern living would probably be an adjustment for us.

Could you tell me some things to expect when visiting/or relocating to Maine? I hear that the job market and economy in Maine are some of the worst in the country. Is this true? What types of jobs are available in Maine? My degree is in Environmental Science. My. Wife's degree is in Biochemistry.

All people have their own opinions and beliefs, but is there anywhere in Maine that gays and lesbians should completely avoid or be afraid of? There are some small towns in the south where you have to be very careful and very private about who your significant other is. Are there any towns like that in Maine?

Now, to the good stuff. I enjoy riding my bike and being outdoors. Are there any towns/areas in Maine where you can get around on foot or by bike...and where it is safe to do so?

I'm not sure I could handle the cold. Can you give me the pros and cons on weather in Maine?

Can normal working folk afford to live in Maine or is it just a place where authors and retired people live? Lol!

What is the dominant attitude in Maine? Are people friendly, warm, and welcoming or are people pretty standoffish and not eager to make friends?

Any other information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:23 AM
 
506 posts, read 548,377 times
Reputation: 702
Lots of questions........where to start........

First off, there are good and bad people everywhere and everyone's life experience can/will be different no matter what anyone tells you. That being said........

Maine in general is a "live and let live" state. You will generally be treated the same way that you treat others. People are VERY kind and generous here.........Mainers help people in need much more than other places (I have lived in NH, MA, TN and CA). In short.......Mainers care. Don't expect most of them to have that "fake" Southern smile and charm though........it may take a while for some to warm up to you until they get to know you.

I would start with the Portland area as far as finding jobs and a place to live. Southern Maine is very LBGT friendly. There are other areas that you may feel comfortable living as well. Central Maine (Augusta/Waterville) and surrounding areas are nice if you want a more "rural" feel. In particular, Hallowell is a very well known LBGT friendly community. The further North and East that you go, the harder it might be to "fit in" as well as find good jobs. I probably wouldn't venture too far East of Belfast/Bucksport (Belfast is another area to check out!) or North of Bangor/Orono.

I'll let others give you their 2 cents.........but the last thing that I would suggest as far as making friends......don't search them out, but rather put yourselves out there by participating in hobbies, events and organizations that interest you. Then you will meet people with similar interests........when it comes to friends, quality over quantity.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Dade City, Fl.
885 posts, read 1,234,906 times
Reputation: 528
I know in my neck of the woods, nobody would blink an eye. Certainly wouldn't put you down.
As long as you appreciate their privacy, they will do the same. People around here just want to be left alone, to do what they want on their property.
I too have lived here, NH, Florida, Texas and California. Florida seems to be still a VERY racist state. Maine and California, not so much. Folks in Maine have too many other issues to be concerned with, like jobs, and the economy to give two hoots about who you sleep with!
Just remember........it gets ass freezing cold here at times, and PLEASE don't bring your old state ideas with you........we like it here just as it is!!! (well, mostly....LOL)
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
1,472 posts, read 2,695,861 times
Reputation: 1276
There are at least 100 threads concerning the toleration of virtually everything. Please review any one (or more) of those for a complete rundown.

Maine is a very poor state. We have very few jobs in Maine which is why most of our kids have to leave it to find work, and why we are one of the oldest states in the country. Please find work BEFORE coming to Maine. Most of the people I know from away find Maine people aloof, but friendly once you get to know them. Since you don't like the cold, I'd advise you to think about southern Maine (Portland south). Keep in mind that Maine has real winters, even in southern Maine, and below zero temperatures are not uncommon, though not frequent, in southern Maine. As far as bicycle friendly towns, again the more south the better.

This reminds me of a situation that happened last summer. We had both just finished backpacking in the Bigelow Mt. area and began talking at the trailhead. He was from New Jersey and had fallen in love with Maine during this trip. I advised him to visit for a year before committing. Maine is a great state, but not for everyone... that's why there are so few of us here. I'd give the same advice to anyone thinking about relocating.
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,650 posts, read 49,332,625 times
Reputation: 19075
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexKnox View Post
... Both of us grew up in the south (I in Texas, she in Tennessee), so northern living would probably be an adjustment for us.
I grew-up in California, and I adjusted to Maine easily.


Quote:
... I hear that the job market and economy in Maine are some of the worst in the country. Is this true?
Yes.

I hear of a few places [DC, Houston] where the economy is thriving. I am not sure if Maine's is the worst in the nation. However Maine's economy is very depressed, and it has been depressed for many decades.

The current 24% total unemployment nationwide, is affecting folks everywhere. For most parts of the nation this is a temporary thing, hopefully. Maine has seen high employment for a long time, long before the current recession.



Quote:
... What types of jobs are available in Maine? My degree is in Environmental Science. My. Wife's degree is in Biochemistry.
Universities here offer those majors, so there must be some level of need.



Quote:
... All people have their own opinions and beliefs, but is there anywhere in Maine that gays and lesbians should completely avoid or be afraid of? There are some small towns in the south where you have to be very careful and very private about who your significant other is. Are there any towns like that in Maine?
Not that I am aware of.



Quote:
... Now, to the good stuff. I enjoy riding my bike and being outdoors. Are there any towns/areas in Maine where you can get around on foot or by bike ... and where it is safe to do so?
Maine is all about the outdoors.

One year I was a vendor in a Farmer's Market setup along side a river. They have customers who kayak to market for their local produce.

In my small town, we have one road, which is 20-miles long, between intersections. [there is a smaller non-maintained road which may become maintained in the future] Every day we see bicyclists going back and forth on our one paved road, doing the 20-mile stretch. I do not know how many of them do the full length, turn around and return. Or if they have a vehicle waiting at the other end. Bicycling is fairly popular.



Quote:
... I'm not sure I could handle the cold. Can you give me the pros and cons on weather in Maine?
Dress warm, and you become acclimatized to the temps.



Quote:
... Can normal working folk afford to live in Maine or is it just a place where authors and retired people live? Lol!
We see many families here, where both adults work p/t jobs for minimum-wage. A lot of these jobs are seasonal. It is common for each adult to work 2 or 3 p/t jobs. In so doing, they earn enough to support families, raising children.

I moved here after I retired. My pension is about even with minimum-wage. I also know a lot of other retirees who have moved here.



Quote:
... What is the dominant attitude in Maine? Are people friendly, warm, and welcoming or are people pretty standoffish and not eager to make friends?
The biggest sector of non-friendly Mainers I have met have been here on this forum.

In real life, Mainers I have met have generally been very friendly.

Standoffish-ness is unusual.



Welcome
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:18 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 5,053,716 times
Reputation: 1519
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
The biggest sector of non-friendly Mainers I have met have been here on this forum.

In real life, Mainers I have met have generally been very friendly.

Standoffish-ness is unusual.



Welcome
I take everything on the forum with a grain of salt. When your writing something its lacking and can lead to misinterpretations even slight ones. On the other hand people might be more aggressive because they don't have to face you.. Oh well
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Shaconaqe
187 posts, read 297,662 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by namder1 View Post
and PLEASE don't bring your old state ideas with you........we like it here just as it is!!! (well, mostly....LOL)
Lol! All of my "old state ideas". Lol! If they listened to MY ideas here, I wouldn't be as interested in moving up north. Lol!
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Shaconaqe
187 posts, read 297,662 times
Reputation: 151
Extremely helpful info, guys.

I do have to say, I am concerned about the job opportunities. Are there any better job opportunities in surrounding New England areas? Maine seems pretty expensive. Especially the areas around Portland. Are there less expensive surrounding areas with the same vibe and welcoming attitude as Maine? Another reason I like Maine is that while it's nice to get to know people, I don't want to live in the middle of a million people squeezed into one square mile. Seems like the population in Maine is very comfortable. However, that's probably because only a few people can handle the cold. Lol!

How does upstate NY compare to Maine? Just doing basic Internet job searches, I seem to see a lot more opportunity in the upstate NY area and it looks like there are some pretty affordable towns and cities. Can y'all speak to the vibe of upstate NY? Do most New Englanders share the same values and ideas? I can drive all over the south and find the same basic ideas and values with very few pockets of more liberal thinking folks. I was wondering if it is the other way around up north, seeing as y'all appear to be opposite of the demographics of the south.

I think Vermont and NH look to be a bit too expensive for housing for us. I think Boston looks like a cool place, but not sure I would want to live in the city.

We have been saving for awhile, and we own a house here that we will be selling. We would like to find a home with a good portion of land and from everything I've looked at, Maine and New York seem to have the most land available with houses. However, everything I keep finding in Maine seems to be in areas where jobs are hard to come by...and winters seem a bit more harsh than in Portland.

Portland seems ideal, with the exception of affordability maybe?

Does anyone know if upstate NYers are as warm as Mainers...and as live and let live?
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:37 AM
 
482 posts, read 624,764 times
Reputation: 1009
Quote:
Originally Posted by IHeartMaine View Post

First off, there are good and bad people everywhere and everyone's life experience can/will be different no matter what anyone tells you. That being said........

Maine in general is a "live and let live" state. You will generally be treated the same way that you treat others. People are VERY kind and generous here.........Mainers help people in need much more than other places (I have lived in NH, MA, TN and CA). In short.......Mainers care. Don't expect most of them to have that "fake" Southern smile and charm though........it may take a while for some to warm up to you until they get to know you.
I don't live in Maine, altho I've done tons of visiting, & house-hunting there, mainly in the Portland area, & York County, Kennebunkport, etc. I'm not gay, so I can't speak to that, but I've noticed that local people in the Kennebunk area are very "normal", & friendly. Just going into a bar, & encountering locals, they're likely to at least say hello & maybe strike up a conversation.

Portland's a great city, but almost too trafficky, & hectic, for some. Last time I was there, I saw a guy walking down the street in a dress (?) (he looked like Corporal Klinger, seriously). Not to my taste at all, but nobody was bugging him.

For the OP: are you sure gay marriage is recognized in Maine? You mentioned Mass.--Northhampton would seem an obvious choice. Vermont is beautiful--Brattleboro (I think) is known for a LGBT friendly environment. Then there are property taxes, & health insurance cost........that could narrow down your choices......

I live in E. Mass. myself, & can't seem to get over the idea of moving to Maine. Be aware tho, the cost of private health insurance in Maine is insane. Unless you get it thru your job, or have Medicare......
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Shaconaqe
187 posts, read 297,662 times
Reputation: 151
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodyWW View Post
For the OP: are you sure gay marriage is recognized in Maine?
Lol!!! Yes, I'm sure.

City-data is a virtual pandemic of people who don't research things at all before they ask the locals, isn't it? Lol!

I know. I've run into my share on Texas forums.
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