A GAY-LESBIAN-BISEXUAL-TRANSGENDER GUIDE:
Colorado as a whole, with many ranchers and farmers and several military installations, is fairly moderate to conservative, but Boulder is a very progressive/liberal town, a typical college town and home to the University of Colorado, as well as several hight-tech, science, and research facilities. We're less than an hour from Denver, a very diverse city with one of the five largest Pride Parades in the country. There are several other gay-friendly areas in Colorado, especially ski resorts and other mountain towns.
My partner and I have lived in Boulder for over 30 years. We and many other LGBT folk are quite visible in the community and have experienced a lot of support and acceptance. Boulder has a very large LGBT population (maybe slightly more lesbians than gay men, since the guys seem to gravitate to Denver) and we're an important constiuency for politicians, businesses, etc. But as a result, many LGBT folk have gotten a little complacent over the years. To some extent they don't seem to feel a need to organize a cohesive community. This can make it a little hard for people who are new in town or newly out or newly single. There's not a particlualr neighborhhood or hangout area in Boulder. There are lots of resources and regular events depending on your interests: films, hiking dining out, dancing, etc.
You may have heard of Colorado's Amendment 2 effort in the early '90's, spearheaded by conservative groups in Colorado Springs (home of the Air Force Academy and Focus on the Family). The amendment tried to ban gay rights ordinances everywhere in the state, affecting several towns and cities including Boulder. Although it was narrowly approved by Colorado voters, it was declared unconstitutional by both the Colorado Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. The City of Boulder (whose voters opposed the amenment two to one) was very active in opposing Amendment 2, and spent a lot of effort taking the issue through the court system.
Today the city, the county, and the university offer same-sex partner benefits, have nondircrimination laws and policies regarding LGBT people, and have agencies that pursue cases of discrimination. The city has offered domestic partnership registration (largely symbolic) for many years. (In the '70's the Boulder County Clerk actually married 6 same-sex couples before the state legistlature quickly passed a ban on same-sex marriage licenses.) Boulder has several pride events and activities throughout the year, and lots of opportunities to socialize.
In terms of weather, we're in a semi-arid, high-plains area. This means lots of sun, fairly mild winters with occasional snows and some cold weather, and warm (sometimes hot) summer days with little rain. Fall and spring here are wonderful and sumptuous. The thin dry air means that cold temperatures are easy to insulate against, and shade provides a quick respite to the summer heat, with summer nights generally pleasant and cool. Mountain temperatures are also substantially cooler, andt the mountains are much snowier than the plains in the winter.
The main drawback to living here is that
Besides being progressive and aware when it comes to LGBT issues, people here also work on issues of peace, the environment, open space, animal rights, race and gender equality, and others. Another drawback is that although Boulder as a whole is very welcoming of diversity, its population is not very diverse racially, mostly white/Anglo, but there is a growing Hispanic population, along with other races and ethnicities.
Please call and leave a message if you have any questions. I wish you the best during your time in Boulder, and hope you come to love it as much as I have!