Bil Browning

Indiana Same-Sex Couples Census Results

Filed By Bil Browning | August 06, 2011 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: 2010 Census, Indiana, Indiana gay couples, same-sex couples, Williams Institute

The Williams Institute has released the analysis of Indiana's same-sex couples recorded in the 2010 census. The results, for those who know Indiana's gay landscape, are hardly surprising.


Gay men are clustered mostly in the state's urban areas - Indianapolis, Bloomington, Ft. Wayne, and Evansville. Lesbian couples, however, are mostly clustered in the south central part of the state with Bloomington as the epicenter.

Jerame and I met in Bloomington and have several lesbian friends who live in the area. While many of the surrounding counties are known mostly for the rednecks, lesbian couples are also quite common in those rural areas. Green County, for example, has a popular pride festival in one of the smallest towns in the state; lesbians are the primary organizer of the event.

More details after the jump.

According to the Williams Institute, the top five counties with the highest percentage of same-sex couples are:

  1. Monroe (biggest city: Bloomington)
  2. Marion (biggest city: Indianapolis)
  3. Brown (biggest city: Nashville)
  4. Floyd (biggest city: New Albany)
  5. Vanderburgh (biggest city: Evansville)

I was a little surprised by Brown County ranking so high, but Floyd County's inclusion shocked me. I had no idea there were that many gays and lesbians in New Albany.

The top five cities with the highest percentage of same-sex couples are:

  1. Indianapolis (Indiana's capital)
  2. Bloomington (home of Indiana University)
  3. New Albany
  4. Michigan City
  5. Lafayette (home of Purdue University)

While Indianapolis, Bloomington, and Lafayette are all known as LGBT-friendly areas of the state, New Albany has popped up again as a large concentration of queer folks. I'm also amazed that Michigan City made the top five over Evansville or Ft. Wayne.

You can download the Indiana-specific white paper or check out other states at the website.

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Pride in Greene County?! I've never heard of such a thing, and I've lived in Greene for a couple years now. Where does this mythical event take place?

It's sponsored by the local PFLAG chapter, Steve. That's all I've got; I've never been to it.

I can't tell you anything more about Greene County, except to point out that (1) one of the smallest, yet best publicized, Gay Pride events takes place each year in Spencer, Indiana, which is in Owen County; (2) Both Owen County and Greene County are adjacent to the west from Monroe County (Bloomington) -- and their adjacency to Bloomington must have something to do with this rural phenomenon.

Steve, if you want to track down the scoop on Greene County, I'd start by inquiring at the GLBT Student Support Services office in Bloomington. Try asking for Carol, I think she lives in or near Spencer. At a minimum, I expect someone there would be able to put you in touch with PFLAG in Bloomfield.

Ooops! It says right on Carol's Facebook page that she lives somewhere other than Spencer, and I have no business posting speculations about where other people live, anyway. My apologies, and mea culpa.

But in any event, call the GLBTSSS office -- (812) 855-4252 -- they are very helpful and a treasure of information.

Michigan City? Isn't that *South Bend*? [I would think that the area around Notre Dame would have LOTS of gay men, and not a few lesbians!]

Actually, according to, Michigan City and South Bend are about 40 miles apart.

Michigan City? Isn't that *South Bend*? [I would think that the area around Notre Dame would have LOTS of gay men, and not a few lesbians!]

... the state's urban areas - Indianapolis, Bloomington, Ft. Wayne, and Evansville ...

I have never understood why people pretend that the Indiana cities across the Ohio River from Louisville don't exist. In case your atlas has the southern half missing, those cities are called New Albany, Clarksville, and Jeffersonville. But check any online drop-down list of Indiana cities, and likely you will find that they simply don't exist. (By the way, the national HQ of the US Census Bureau is in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Maybe the whole city has been classified TOP SECRET.)

And now that New Albany has been found to be a secret gay/lesbian stronghold, maybe that entire southern Indiana tri-city urban area will actually be allowed to pop onto Indiana's geographic radar screen.

I was driving down String Street in New Albany just the other day, and noticed a gay pride flag being flown on someone's front porch. I thought, "Boy, they are being brave! [to do such a thing in a sleepy town like New Albany]" but maybe they knew something I didn't until I read about the census data analysis. (The Bloomington Herald-Tribune included this info, but not quite so detailed, in an article they ran last week.)

So, the $64K question is ... Where are all these same-sex couples in New Albany hiding? ... Beats me! All I can guess is that they are out when they visit the bars in Louisville, and they crawl back into their portable closets as they cross the bridge on the way back home. New Albany, Indiana might have been one of the best-kept secrets in modern gay America. Whodda thunkit?

Signed, A.J. -- who grew up about 10 miles outside of New Albany, Indiana

It occurs to me now that New Albany is home to the IU-Southeast regional campus -- but even this doesn't explain that much, because there are other regional campuses throughout the state.

Anyway, I've beaten this horse to death -- I'm outta here.