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In 1999, the city was one of the first in the South to adopt a fairness ordinance, intended to protect LGBT people from discrimination. *** It's been five years since Orser packed up his Market Street apartment and returned to Louisville, and his early optimism has largely faded.
But within the last 5-10 years, Angel says the community has bloomed, ranking No. In that time, weighed down by his burdens, Orser developed a drug habit.
I wanted to go somewhere where my parents hadn't already set in their roots. I was born in Taiwan, but spent 20 of 23 of my years alive in the Bay, and I've come to appreciate the people's open-mindedness, stellar cuisine, and our "cutting-edgedness" even more. Ridiculous housing costs and the realization that I could never be a homeowner, nor could I provide a good life for myself and my daughter there. We looked at smaller metro areas like Austin, Atlanta, and New Orleans and tried to imagine our lives there. I love how much green there is here compared to all the cement of the Bay Area.
While I could've lived under my parents' roof until I made enough money to get a place on my own and sustain myself, I wanted to start out on my own to grow more independent and self-sufficient. It's ironic, as I was the economic development person for Divisadero, Central Market and the Tenderloin, but could barely get by as a single parent on my city salary. We pay less for the basic stuff like car insurance, dining out, and because my family is in both Kentucky and Florida, on travel. I have met a bunch of others who feel the same sense of relief. The cost of living is rising in Nashville but overall it is much more affordable.
His partner left because “he could never really get the feeling that this could be home.” Then Trump got elected, and Orser says he watched as homophobia became more brazen in the city.
“Two months after the inauguration, I got my first gay bashing,” he said.
I moved to the Bay Area in 2001 and lived in Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville at different times.
The beautiful people that I called friends and family there.
To put this in perspective: California receives more than million in grant money for LGBTQ issues a year; Kentucky receives about 0,000.(California’s population is about nine times that of Kentucky.) Despite the obvious funding hurdles, Aaron Angel, an LGBT activist and member of Louisville’s LGBTQ Community Coalition, says Louisville has become a representative southern city for the community.