The Out In The City Christmas meal was held at the Village Brasserie downstairs from the Velvet Hotel at 2 Canal Street, Manchester.
The restaurant has a great atmosphere and whilst people were arriving we enjoyed a glass of Kylie Rose Prosecco. The starters were vegetable soup, ham hock terrine or prawn cocktail. Our mains were turkey, nut roast, sea bass or beef, and our deserts were Christmas pudding, chocolate fudge brownie or apple pie. It was a really enjoyable day.
Photographs can be seen here.
10 retirement communities in the US where you can live as your authentic self
Finding a safe and supportive environment to age has become increasingly possible in recent years in traditionally friendly enclaves. San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Wilton Manors (near Miami) and Provincetown are some of the towns and cities where older adults can continue to live their best lives in the “gaybourhood”.
For many, though, a planned community is the preferred destination. A growing number are built and run with LGBT+ retirees in mind. Still, with an estimated 2.7 million people in that group, supply dedicated to this population segment has a long way to go to catch up with demand.
Here’s a list of 10 communities at the leading edge of serving LGBT+ retirees. From high-rises to log cabins, like-minded neighbours can also find comfortable living from coast to coast – and on the golf course.
1. Fountaingrove Lodge, Santa Rosa, CA
If you’re looking for a resort-like community with a continuum of care, Fountaingrove Lodge is ideal. Amenities on the 10-acre campus in Santa Rosa, CA, include golf, fine dining, a comprehensive wellness programme featuring fitness instruction, and as residents age, in-home continued care services. A memory centre programme for residents with cognitive impairment related to Alzheimer’s or dementia eases the burden of care for loved ones.
2. Stonewall Gardens, Palm Springs, CA
In California, Palm Springs is already a mecca, so it makes sense that the desert oasis would be home to a first-class assisted living community for finding your chosen family. The development has 24 units and comes with the features you’d expect such as chef-prepared meals and an on-site nurse. It also offers multiple levels of medical care.
3. The John C Anderson Apartments, Philadelphia, PA
Life at the John C Anderson Apartments in Philadelphia, located in the middle of the city’s gaybourhood, centres around the 6000 sq ft garden courtyard maintained by building residents. Built in 2014 with community input, the modern, airy complex features 67 affordable one-bedroom apartments with ceramic-tiled baths, wall-to-wall carpeting, and sun-filled, open floor plans, plus a community room adjacent to the courtyard for events, and retail shops serving senior needs on the ground floor, including a convenient coffee spot.
4. The Resort on Carefree Boulevard, Ft Myers, FL
Options for lesbian-only communities are few, but this Ft Myers retirement village is a popular choice. The site features 278 home and Recreational Vehicle lots on 50 acres, many overlooking two women-made freshwater lakes. Amenities include a clubhouse with pool, fitness centre, hot tub, billiards room, library, clay room with kiln, card room, “a really great dance floor” and a wide variety of art programmes, plus tennis, pickleball, shuffleboard and bocce courts.
5. Carefree Cove, Ashe Co., NC
This 165-acre gated community started as an entirely LGBT+ development but has welcomed straight allies in growing numbers. Set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of north western North Carolina, the forested community features 28 log-cabin homes and 78 lots available to build on; major development was stalled in the last recession. The tranquil setting, which includes a mountain stream and plenty of wildlife, is the development’s most-prized amenity.
6. Birds of a Feather, Pecos, MN
Just 30 minutes outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, Birds of a Feather is a 140-acre gated community founded in 2004. The independent living compound is designed for aging in place, with up to 3 acres ready for building either a custom home or one of several plans designed by architects for the community.
7. Rainbow Vista, Gresham, OR
Fifteen miles from Portland, OR, you’ll find Rainbow Vista, an apartment development geared toward active seniors. Studios and one-bedrooms come with a kitchenette. The communal facilities include a large event space, a video theatre, an exercise room, a game room with a pool table and a music room.
8. A Place for Us, Cleveland, OH
For those not into moving south for retirement, this modern apartment complex in Cleveland, Ohio, offers city living in affordably priced one and two-bedroom apartments, plus amenities like a fitness centre and community room. Conveniently located close to transit, shopping and parks. It’s the first LGBT+-friendly senior housing complex in the state.
9. Town Hall Apartments, Chicago, IL
Chicago’s Town Hall Apartments, located in the North Halsted gay district, comprises two buildings: a historic former police station and a colourful new six-story building next door featuring 79 units dedicated to affordable senior housing. Studio and one-bedroom apartments offer sweeping city views; a senior centre provides programmes, services and a full-time social worker. Outside, a sprawling, second-floor rooftop terrace is a popular destination, while the community Rainbow Room features event programming. The building also has a fitness and computer area. 60 percent of residents are LGBT+ older adults.
10. Village Hearth, Durham, NC
Located on 15 acres in Durham, North Carolina, Village Hearth is a first-of-its-kind cohousing community that includes 28 single-story, fully equipped cottages with open floor plans, skylights, vaulted ceilings, and hardwood floors. The main complex features a common house with a gourmet kitchen plus exercise, game and craft rooms.