From rural to urban to coastal areas, Massachusetts projects diversity, and not just in terms of its geography. The state is gay-friendly, exemplified by the large LGBT communities in Northampton and Provincetown, but these towns are not aberrations. In fact, Worcester, Boston, Cambridge, and Salem scored the highest on a Massachusetts equality survey measuring how well cities and towns treat their LGBT residents. And gay marriage has been legal for more than 10 years.



Boston is a city of neighborhoods that melds history with the present day, but always with a cutting-edge perspective. Exploring the architecture of the area can be a hobby in itself, from Beacon Hill with its late 17th century architecture and the State House to Victorian-era Back Bay to the modern skyscrapers gracing the city’s skyline. World-renowned hospitals and medical research facilities have a home here, especially in the Mission Hill neighborhood and the West End. Education is well-represented, with universities, and schools dedicated to the arts, nursing, and dentistry. Boston has a passion for sports, and the city is home to major sports venues. The LGBT community has access to a lively nightlife that is not confined to the bar scene. In Fenway, the community also can take advantage of a major provider of health care, including a medical clinic and other support services, such as counseling and fertility assistance. An affiliate of the organization undertakes research on LGBT issues, including a project focusing on LGBT aging.

Greater Boston

Greater Boston includes towns rich in history, such as Lexington and Chelsea, which figured prominently in the Revolutionary War. Milton is the home of the longest running weather observatory in the country. Cambridge is world-famous for its graduate and undergraduate colleges and universities, as well as one of the best institutes of technology in the world. The arts, museums, sports venues, and job opportunities found in the city are in easy distance from all locations in Greater Boston Support services and other resources are available in several Greater Boston communities, such as groups to assist LGBT youth, and gay parents, as well as groups to assist the transgender community.

Metro West

This region includes 44 towns and cities that are located west of Boston and east of the city of Worcester, and accessible to both. It is an area that has many of the amenities of the city without the urban congestion. The business climate is conducive to a thriving economy, and employment opportunities for skilled workers are widely available. Companies with international reputations are based here, including the technology and biotech industries. Outside of an excellent economic climate, the region connects to bygone days with its present-day working farms and apple orchards. Golfing, sports and music venues, and outdoor recreation are icing on the cake. The Metro West area has a strong LGBT support network, which addresses transgender issues and LGBT youth homelessness.

Northern Massachusetts

North Shore

The North Shore is an area of northeastern Massachusetts that includes a rocky coastline, harbors, and beaches. The region borders New Hampshire to the north and Greater Boston to the south. The towns of Salem, Gloucester, and Rockport are historically famous for seafaring and commercial fishing. Salem is primarily known for its witch trials, but has a long history of voyages to China and other points in East Asia for the purpose of trade. The revitalized beach area in Revere is a popular destination in the summer months. The LGBT community can take advantage of a networking group and other support services.

North Central Massachusetts

Also known as North County, this region lies in Worcester County north of Worcester. It includes the area around Fitchburg, and the cities of Gardner and Leominster. Leominster is where John Chapman, the nurseryman who was the inspiration of the folk hero Johnny Appleseed was born in 1774, and is also where, much later, the plastic pink flamingo was invented. Gardner was once known for its manufacture of furniture. The area is rural as well, and has many opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as biking, swimming, and snowmobiling.

Southern Massachusetts

South Central Massachusetts

This region is the part of Worcester County also known as South County and includes the city of Worcester, and towns and cities south of Worcester.  Blackstone River Valley is an area that Massachusetts shares with Rhode Island, and is rich in Revolutionary War and early industry history. Worcester is the second largest city in New England, has moved from a history of manufacturing to higher education, the biotech industry, and health care. Lake Quinsigamond crosses from Worcester into the town of Shrewsbury, offering the area opportunities for outdoor activity, such as rowing and canoeing. South County offers support to all ages of the LGBT community, as well as those with HIV/AIDs, and those seeking asylum in the United States.

South Coast
 The South Coast region begins in Wareham in the eastern portion of the region and ends at the Rhode Island border outside of Fall River. The cities of New Bedford and Fall River anchor the region. South Coast is a relatively recent moniker, and originally its towns were grouped with southeastern towns closer to Boston. The region includes the seacoast and farmland, and offers opportunities for recreation, such as fishing and boating. New Bedford was once an influential whaling center, and now hosts fishing, manufacturing, and health care. Fall River was known for its textiles, and is evolving into a cultural region with a rich ethnic diversity. A network of LGBT services, groups, and organizations has recently been formed to coordinate services and to address the needs of the community, with a focus on youth and the senior population.

Eastern Massachusetts

South Shore

This region comprises coastal communities running southeast of Boston to Cape Cod. Quincy and Braintree are cities, but many of these towns are largely rural or suburban. Plymouth’s main industry is tourism, due to its place in colonial and early American history. Plymouth Rock, a replica of the Mayflower, and a museum that features a 16th-century English settlement are important attractions. Plymouth has several beaches on Cape Cod Bay, as do other communities. South Shore communities have easy access to Boston and Metro areas

Southeastern Region

Communities in South Coast and South Shore regions are often grouped together as Southeastern Massachusetts, and lie within easy distance of Providence and Boston. Cape Cod and the Islands is usually designated as a separate region. The largest communities in this area are the cities of Brockton, Taunton, and Fall River.


Western Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts includes the Berkshires and the Pioneer Valley (the Massachusetts portion of the Connecticut River Valley). New York borders the area to the west, Connecticut to the south, and Vermont to the north. The region is known for its numerous colleges and universities.


The Berkshires region is an area of overlapping hills that is known for its rural beauty, its devotion to the arts, and as a tourist destination. Music and the performing arts have an important home here.

The Pioneer Valley

The Pioneer Valley is an agricultural-rich area of farms growing tobacco and corn, and a destination for outdoor recreation. The region is known for its quality higher education, its dedication to the arts, and other cultural opportunities. Springfield is the region’s largest city.  For the LGBT community, Northampton is an anchor city. It is famous as a place where lesbians feel comfortable living and raising families. The opportunities for self-expression and support are numerous. An annual gay pride parade has been held here for over thirty years. Colleges in the area offer education and a chance for study in a welcoming forum. The arts and culture are also important elements.