Dayton PRIDE Festival and Parade happen June 1, 2019 at Courthouse Square downtown,  FILE PHOTO
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Dayton makes top 10 list of places for LGBTQ seniors

Study, which refers to Gem City as ‘Little Detroit,’ cites cost of living, parks/recreation, historic neighborhoods as top amenities.

Dayton is among the nation’s best places for LGBTQ seniors, according to an evaluation from a senior housing referral service.

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The Gem City landed in ninth place in the best cities in America for LGBTQ-friendly retirement ranking from 

The ranking did oddly refer to Dayton as “Little Detroit.” 🥴

Here is the description from the company’s website: 

“Located in Western Ohio, Dayton has a lot to offer its senior LGBTQ residents. Referred to as "Little Detroit" due to its prominence in manufacturing, the cost of living in Dayton is low compared to similar cities, and it is a good location for older adults who enjoy a variety of parks and trails, and dozens of golf courses. In addition, there are over 300 miles of paved trails and a plethora of metro parks in the city. Several historic neighborhoods attract residents of all backgrounds to Dayton. 

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A non-discrimination ordinance on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in private employment, housing, and public accommodations has been in place in Dayton for several years. It is one of only 6 cities in Ohio with a ban on Conversion Therapy. Dayton is one of several Ohio cities which scored perfectly on the 2018 Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index. 

 Currently, the senior population is just over 12.5 percent of the city's population and the LGBTQ population in Ohio is just over 4 percent. 

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There are a number of community programs and services in the city specifically for the benefit of its LGBTQ citizens: 

• Rainbow Elder Care of Greater Dayton 

• Miami Valley LGBT Horizons of Aging Summit 

• Senior Resource Connection 

• Dayton Medical Center - Equitas Health 

• The Greater Dayton LGBT Center 

There are over 100 senior living facilities in the Dayton area and half a dozen community and senior centers with fun social activities and events for older crowds to enjoy and participate in.”

In an email to this news organization, Media Director Lori Thomas says the ranking is based on SeniorScore, an evaluation of more than 100 variables in four categories. 

>> Where is Dayton on the list of friendly LGBT Ohio cities?

“We also considered a number of metrics that are of specific interest to members of the LGBTQ community, such as the percentage of LGBTQ population in the area, the city's score according to the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce presence, the number of gay-friendly senior communities, local and state legislation protecting the LGBTQ community, cost of living for the area, and more,” she wrote. 

This is not the first time Dayton has landed on a LGBTQ friendliest list. 

The city ranked No. 1 for the “Queerest Cities in America 2015” from Advocate Magazine.

>> Dayton No. 1 on ‘Queerest Cities in America 2015’ list’s top 20 cites for LGBTQ retirement:

1. New Orleans

2. West Palm Beach, Fla

3. Tucson, Ariz.

4. Toledo

5. Alexandria, Va.

6. Tempe, AZ

7. Fort Lauderdale, FL

 8. Austin, Texas

9. Dayton

10. Tampa, Fla.

11. Pittsburgh

12. Boulder, Colo

13. Albuquerque, N.M.

14. Asheville, N.C.

15. Eugene, Ore.

16. Salt Lake City

17. Boise, Iowa

18. Buffalo, N.Y.

19. Bridgeport, Conn.

20. Santa Ana, Calif.