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Old 08-10-2010, 10:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,864 times
Reputation: 13

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I am interviewing in southern Oregon and I have heard mixed reviews about Grants Pass being conservative. I am a woman (mid 30's) with a wife and a son who will be attending middle school. We definitely do not fit any stereo-type. No one's gaydar ever goes off! No rainbow flags, no bumper stickers. Just a woman and a woman trying to raise a family.

If I were to take (and be offered) this job in Grants Pass, does anyone have any advice on where my family should live? Would we thrive in Grants Pass and if so, what part of town? Should we live in Medford and commute? I don't NEED a huge gay community; just open-minded people that won't hate us and my child would be safe at school.

The hard part is this is my dream job. Oh and PS-I am living in a VERY conservative state (Idaho), so I wonder how conservative can this part of the state be compared to Idaho?

Thank you for any input!
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Stumptown
2,224 posts, read 4,551,705 times
Reputation: 1461
Quote:
Originally Posted by lissamagissa View Post
I am interviewing in southern Oregon and I have heard mixed reviews about Grants Pass being conservative. I am a woman (mid 30's) with a wife and a son who will be attending middle school. We definitely do not fit any stereo-type. No one's gaydar ever goes off! No rainbow flags, no bumper stickers. Just a woman and a woman trying to raise a family.

If I were to take (and be offered) this job in Grants Pass, does anyone have any advice on where my family should live? Would we thrive in Grants Pass and if so, what part of town? Should we live in Medford and commute? I don't NEED a huge gay community; just open-minded people that won't hate us and my child would be safe at school.

The hard part is this is my dream job. Oh and PS-I am living in a VERY conservative state (Idaho), so I wonder how conservative can this part of the state be compared to Idaho?

Thank you for any input!
Having grown up in Grants Pass and lived there for 20 years or so, and being the radical, liberal, lefty, que*er, quasi-spiritual UU, environmentalist wonk that I am, I feel I am qualified to make a fair assessment.

Grants Pass is a growing place that is getting more liberal each year, though on a whole would best be considered "live and let live" and "moderately conservative" to "moderate."

For example, there are 3 dedicated natural/health food stores that are thriving, plus the largest Farmer's Market in Southern Oregon. There is, however, also a Wal-Mart Supercenter. There are two (maybe three) metaphysical bookstores in town, and one is owned by two openly gay men (who are partners or married) and last time I heard they hadn't had any problems. On the other hand, there is also a fairly large, conservative Christian bookstore downtown. There are amazing new restaurants opening up that have not only vegetarian options, but vegan and gluten-free options as well. There is also McDonalds and Burger King. There is a very active arts, crafts, and theatre scene in town, but there are also monster truck events at the fair sometimes.

I have gay friends who live happily there. And, importantly, one of my friends was raised by a gay woman and her wife who, unlike you, do have bumper stickers and fly rainbow flags. There is an active PFLAG group in Grants Pass, and they march in the annual Boatnik parade (a big deal in GP) and this year they received TONS of support, with people cheering, and lots of people leaving the crowd to join them.

That said, there is still the element of hillbilliness, redneckness, blind and ignorant conservatism, Evangelical Christianity, big trucks, guns, Nobama stickers, and small town Wal-Mart culture, etc, that you find across America. It's a pretty diverse place, ideologically, overall. If you are good people, you may still be judged by other peoples' morals, but you will find tolerance and people who are respectful of you if you're respectful of them. If you're doing fine in Idaho, you'll do fine in Southern Oregon, maybe even better, depending. It is also worthy of saying that Oregon's domestic partnership laws, while sadly not full marriage recognition, still offer you "everything but marriage." Oregon also has strong anti-discrimination laws for sexual minorities that Idaho doesn't, including "safe schools" legislation. So, legally anyway, you and your family would have much more peace of mind than in Idaho, I think.

I would highly recommend living in the Grants Pass School District #7. Mostly, this school district lines up with the city limits or the Urban Growth Boundary, but not exactly. South Middle School is probably preferable to North, but I can't really speak to that as much anymore. Either way, your son would be attending Grants Pass High School, which is a great school. And in any case, there aren't really distinct neighborhoods that are "bad" or "good." Every time I go home to visit my parents, I'm amazed at how orderly and clean and picturesque Grants Pass is--all of it--and more than I remember each time. You'll likely have a view of mountains no matter where you are. It's just a matter of finding a home you like and in your price range. It's a beautiful area, and be sure to take advantage of the rivers (Rogue, Illinois, and Applegate), the parks, the hiking trails, and so on.

If you get an offer for your *dream* job in Grants Pass, I'd take it. It's beautiful, and if the economy ever rebounds, I see Grants Pass as the next "big" place in Oregon.

When are you going for your interview? And if you get an offer and end up moving, do come back and let us know how it went!
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:52 PM
 
Location: State of Jefferson coast
965 posts, read 1,624,359 times
Reputation: 1196
Quote:
Originally Posted by lissamagissa View Post
Should we live in Medford and commute?
Living in Medford would buy you nothing in terms of increased tolerance. Living in Ashland would, but the COL and commute are not practical. One of the advantages of GP is its relatively affordable real estate. If you're not actually going to live there, or in the immediate surrounding area, then you'd be missing one of the advantages of Grants Pass. GP is probably big enough that you can find an affinity group no matter who you are. "Gay-friendly" might be a bit of a stretch. "Gay-tolerant" you should be able to find. It sounds like you already know how to deal with the redneck factor. It's definitely present in GP, but it's just a factor, not a feature of the land. The main thing, really, is that the demographic profile in GP tends toward older residents. The right-wing zealots are slowly dying off in southwestern Oregon and things will continue to improve in the future, but they'll be around for a while yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lissamagissa View Post
I am living in a VERY conservative state (Idaho), so I wonder how conservative can this part of the state be compared to Idaho?
Well...that would depend on exactly where in Idaho the point of comparison is. Josephine County is probably the most conservative county west of the Cascades. I'm sure it's comparable to many rural counties in Idaho.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:19 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,864 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you so much for your input Brenda and Backdrifter. I really appreciate it. I will let you know what happens. The pictures I have seen of GP look beautiful. I am excited to see it in person. I was reading very high reviews of Fleming Middle School. I'm not sure where this school is in proximity to old downtown.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Oregon
65 posts, read 106,208 times
Reputation: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
Having grown up in Grants Pass and lived there for 20 years or so, and being the radical, liberal, lefty, que*er, quasi-spiritual UU, environmentalist wonk that I am, I feel I am qualified to make a fair assessment.

Grants Pass is a growing place that is getting more liberal each year, though on a whole would best be considered "live and let live" and "moderately conservative" to "moderate."

For example, there are 3 dedicated natural/health food stores that are thriving, plus the largest Farmer's Market in Southern Oregon. There is, however, also a Wal-Mart Supercenter. There are two (maybe three) metaphysical bookstores in town, and one is owned by two openly gay men (who are partners or married) and last time I heard they hadn't had any problems. On the other hand, there is also a fairly large, conservative Christian bookstore downtown. There are amazing new restaurants opening up that have not only vegetarian options, but vegan and gluten-free options as well. There is also McDonalds and Burger King. There is a very active arts, crafts, and theatre scene in town, but there are also monster truck events at the fair sometimes.

I have gay friends who live happily there. And, importantly, one of my friends was raised by a gay woman and her wife who, unlike you, do have bumper stickers and fly rainbow flags. There is an active PFLAG group in Grants Pass, and they march in the annual Boatnik parade (a big deal in GP) and this year they received TONS of support, with people cheering, and lots of people leaving the crowd to join them.

That said, there is still the element of hillbilliness, redneckness, blind and ignorant conservatism, Evangelical Christianity, big trucks, guns, Nobama stickers, and small town Wal-Mart culture, etc, that you find across America. It's a pretty diverse place, ideologically, overall. If you are good people, you may still be judged by other peoples' morals, but you will find tolerance and people who are respectful of you if you're respectful of them. If you're doing fine in Idaho, you'll do fine in Southern Oregon, maybe even better, depending. It is also worthy of saying that Oregon's domestic partnership laws, while sadly not full marriage recognition, still offer you "everything but marriage." Oregon also has strong anti-discrimination laws for sexual minorities that Idaho doesn't, including "safe schools" legislation. So, legally anyway, you and your family would have much more peace of mind than in Idaho, I think.

I would highly recommend living in the Grants Pass School District #7. Mostly, this school district lines up with the city limits or the Urban Growth Boundary, but not exactly. South Middle School is probably preferable to North, but I can't really speak to that as much anymore. Either way, your son would be attending Grants Pass High School, which is a great school. And in any case, there aren't really distinct neighborhoods that are "bad" or "good." Every time I go home to visit my parents, I'm amazed at how orderly and clean and picturesque Grants Pass is--all of it--and more than I remember each time. You'll likely have a view of mountains no matter where you are. It's just a matter of finding a home you like and in your price range. It's a beautiful area, and be sure to take advantage of the rivers (Rogue, Illinois, and Applegate), the parks, the hiking trails, and so on.

If you get an offer for your *dream* job in Grants Pass, I'd take it. It's beautiful, and if the economy ever rebounds, I see Grants Pass as the next "big" place in Oregon.

When are you going for your interview? And if you get an offer and end up moving, do come back and let us know how it went!
I'm a little concerned that this post paints the picture that gays and liberals are the only ones who enjoy natural foods and naturopathic medicine. I'm a republican Christian (though the republican party is starting to get crazy, leaving me to be neither democrat or republican). I love reading, vegetarian dishes, vitamins, whole foods, organic products, and homeopathic remedies, as well as alternative medicine. I think the "live-and-let-live" quote was the closest to accurate. I may not agree with, or understand your sexuality, but that really doesn't have anything to do with how well we can get along. I personally don't mind lifestyles that differ from my own until people try to tell me there's something wrong with me for not promoting it. You do your thing, I'll do mine. As a Christian, I can say I'm pretty sure that's how Jesus wanted it. Christians who judge people are just sinners like everyone else. We're all the same. So I, and everyone I know (with the exception of a few radicals, but who cares about them anyway? They're crazy!) would be happy to have you and your wife join our community. The only thing that would change that is if you disrespected the area, but you don't seem like that type based on your writings. I hope this helps.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:45 AM
 
5 posts, read 10,952 times
Reputation: 12
I grew up outside of Grants Pass, and if you do choose to live there, I definitely recommend, as another user stated, making sure you live in District 7. The schools are FAR better there. The other schools in the area (with the exception of a couple) are pretty bad and getting worse, unfortunately.

Grants Pass is pretty, I wouldn't recommend living in Medford, it's flatter, more "city-like," much hotter in the summer, and it's only a half-hour or less away from Grants Pass if you do end up having to commute.

Just to warn you, we do have a bit of a "Dutch Bros" culture here. I'm not quite sure how to explain it...I wouldn't say the quality of the people here are...err...tip-top. To avoid sounding just plain mean.

I'm not too familiar with the LGBT culture in Grants Pass but the dislike for those who aren't Christian is pretty high here. I've run into quite a few problems with people who virulently hate me 'cause I don't go to church. But the subject doesn't come up often, and usually not with strangers. Christianity and anti-LGBT often go hand in hand, so I'd be careful, but I wouldn't worry too much. Probably no more than you would basically anywhere else. Everywhere has its problems.

Grants Pass is a little suffocating to young people. I'm getting out of here come fall. Most middle aged or older folk seem to be content though.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
9,187 posts, read 6,010,992 times
Reputation: 4703
Family friendly: Yes

Gay friendly: not so much

Not terrible, but not the greatest either. But I really don't think most folks in S. Oregon are rabidly antigay, but probably not terribly supportive. Ashland is the exception.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:07 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,705 times
Reputation: 11
Default How about non-Christian spirituality and diversity?

I have been feeling a small calling to move down there from Seattle for a few years now. I am shamanic practitioner and would love to teach and support clients as well. How is earth-based spiritual community there? Pagans?

Also, it is pretty much entirely white?
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