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Old 01-25-2011, 08:18 PM
3 posts, read 15,374 times
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sorry i did this two times befor i am new....anyways me and my bf are looking to move we are gay and have two kids. is davenport ok with gays? will we all fit in? i saw the lesbians talking about this but did not see anyone say anything about davenport so if anyone knows anything about it let me know
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:18 AM
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I grew up in Davenport, now live in Chicago. I see many more openly gay folks in Chicago of course. But Davenport is large enough to have what they call "The Rainbow District". So I assume Davenport/Quad Cites is pretty accepting.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:29 AM
Location: Quad Cities, IA
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I'd stick to one of the bigger cities. Davenport, Des Moines, Iowa City, Ames. Iowa City and Ames have major Universities there, so they have younger more liberal people there. Davenport and Des Moines are larger metro areas where there are sizeable gay populations, so you should be treated better there. Don't know much about Keokuk. I know its a smaller rural town, which if you're an openly gay couple you might want to avoid. Not because it's a bad town, but some smaller towns in Iowa are like going back in time 50 years. Bottom line is, pretty much any decent sized city, or college town would be a good fit. Or if you want a smaller town feel, find a little mini suburb around one of the bigger cities. If you have any questions feel free to ask.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:39 AM
Location: Quad Cities, IA
85 posts, read 345,769 times
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You should fit in fine in Davenport. It's a metro area of around 350,000. We get lots of transplants from Chicago, St. Louis. Theres surprisingly a good deal of diversity,(for Iowa standards). You will find people from every race, religion, culture, sexual orientation. I know there is a gay pride event held here every year, I forget the date, sometime in summer. People actually formed a human chain across the Mississippi River, and they turned the skybridge here rainbow colors, it was pretty cool to see. I know there is a gay bar district(rainbow district) on western 3rd street downtown. If you're into the "club scene" you might like it. Although I'll warn you like any other bars, you will get a few shady characters down there. Overall, you should like it here.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:11 PM
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I really think you should visit Iowa City before you rule it out. It is a university town, so about 2/3 the population consists of a transient student population. It is very quiet from June-August when the students leave the area. To me, it has more the feel of a large town than of a small city. I went to university there, and found everyone very friendly. As far as gay-friendly, I think it has one of the largest per capita glbt communities in the country. It has a wonderful annual pancake breakfast every year to support local AIDs resources and education.

Housing in Iowa City is more expensive than the rest of Iowa, so if cost of housing is an issue, look into the towns near Iowa City such as Mt. Vernon, Coralville, etc.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:39 PM
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Quad Citians Affirming Diversity | building an inclusive community through support, education, and advocacy
Davenport has a great group for you to probably get more info from. I would contact them to get a true feel for living open in Davenport. I will tell you that area of Iowa is beautiful and there is great shopping in Galena. Just a three hour trip to Chicago and Dubuque is a beautiful rivertown with a downtown district being revitalized. There are great scenic drives in the area in the fall if you like trees as much as I do. I work with people who live in the small towns around a metro area and homophobia and racism are still there. But not, I think, in the same way as Utah/Okl/Mont/Wy. Iowa City would also be big enough to be fine but is far from the Mississippi. I've been thru Keokuk and it's a beautiful little river town but I would not live so far from a metro if I were gay. The closer you are to a large city the better it will be. Iowa City and Ames have food coops and Davenport has a store called Greatest Grains, a family owned natural foods store. Most who shop at these stores will be very gay friendly. I would look for a home near a natural food store in any city I would move to in order to find like-minded individuals.
Welcome to Great Grains (http://www.greatestgrains.com/index.htm - broken link)
Also for jobs the quad cities or Iowa City would be much better than Ames.
According to wiki Davenport has affordable housing, much more so than Iowa City. Also has The Villages of East Davenport and seem to have a really nice downtown area with bus service.
QC Pride Street Fest 2010 in Davenport - Quad Cities Online Quad City Pride Street Fest 2010
There's also the Bix Street Festival downtown in July with food, music, arts and crafts, vendors, and a family fun area for the kids. Also a Rainbow district with a few bars and a restaurant.
Welcome to the Quad-Cities -- QCQ&A
Most importantly they have a Happy Joe's, with the best taco pizza in the world. And I highly recommend living in the city, not a small town. Also, Iowa welcomes you!
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:03 PM
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:14 PM
Location: Quad Cities, IA
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Originally Posted by Middle Class View Post
Most importantly they have a Happy Joe's, with the best taco pizza in the world. And I highly recommend living in the city, not a small town. Also, Iowa welcomes you!
Trust me, it's worth the move just for the Taco Pizza. Also Whitey's Ice Cream is a local favorite.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:26 PM
Location: San Marcos, TX
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I hope it is okay for me to chime in and ask a question (not meaning to de-rail the thread but not wanting to start another with a similar title, either)..

How is Cedar Falls/Waterloo on the gay friendly scale? MY fiance and I are hoping to transfer to Univeristy of Northern Iowa. We're both FT college students here in Texas, also we are parents of 3 and we are marrying in March in Decorah, Iowa.

An aside; to the OP, have you researched much on Decorah, IA? It's far NE, we are marrying there, so we haven't researched it from a living there standpoint but WOW, so far, in the 9 months of wedding planning, people have just been AWESOME. Granted, no in person contact, but everyone we've spoke to online, on the phone, or via the mail has been soooo friendly and welcoming. And someone can correct me but I think the population is around 9,000, and it's a college town. Maybe native Iowans can help more regarding Decorah but I thought I'd throw it out there.

My fiance grew up in Iowa but nowhere near the North or NE part of the state and she lived in a very small town and to be honest, her experience was pretty miserable, growing up as an out lesbian and unwilling to be closeted. But again, it was a SMALL town and times have changed.

We've lived in a very old-school Catholic area of our town for years now, and the novelty of the lesbian couple moving in faded quickly, and we are just like any of the other neighbors at this point. We were worried but we've quickly discovered a live and let live mentality, even with most of our neighbors being senior citizens and die hard devout Catholics. Our kids have never had problems either, not with other children anyway (had some nutjob teachers, Texas style)... just a teacher or two overstepping that whole church/state thing, but not only in relation to sexual orientation alone.

I think if we can live comfortably in Texas as an out couple with kids, then a state where gay marriage is legal can't be any worse...? We do have one friend who is also from Iowa and she thinks we've lost our minds and keeps warning us about how conservative, blah blah, which strikes me as funny since we are both in Texas! But I will admit that San Antonio (where we are) is pretty mellow, conservative but no one is overtly hostile or anything.

Anyway, sorry to hijack. Would love to hear about Waterloo/Cedar Falls in regards to being gay friendly. We thought we'd eventually live in Iowa City but will most likely go to school in Cedar Falls so we'll be spending a couple years there.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:19 AM
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I found there's a bar called King and Queens tap downtown. That would be a good sign that it is not tucked away in some corner. Waterloo/Cedar Falls is not as large as San Antonio, of course, but I think you will find similar people. Conservative, but not hostile. Each town has several natural food stores but I am not sure how large they are. That is always a good sign to me. I think the thing in most of Iowa is if you are not in people's face they do not really care what you are doing. We kind of want people to be just like us but if they're not we don't really want to talk about it. My friend from New Orleans is the whitest prettiest girl you could ever meet and she thinks it's hard to make friends here...so that should tell you a lot. People here are very family centered and even in metro areas they are self involved because they are very busy. Also there is a great waterpark in waterloo we are planning on going again this summer.
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