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Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Old May 7th 2020, 3:16 pm
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Default Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Hi all!

I'm wondering if you can help me with a British (or Canadian) view on some of the differences between life in the UK / Canada vs Charlotte, NC. Specific concerns below.

About us - We moved from the UK to Canada 9 years ago, so we're no strangers to many of the challenges of moving. We find Canada a good fit, but for work (and weather) reasons are now very tempted by a move South. The location would be in or around Charlotte, NC. Covid-aside, visas etc not a problem.

Concerns -
- Guns: It's hard to separate fact from fiction on the reality of life with guns. We find the Canadian and British approaches fit us and are concerned about school shootings, but also about the effect on kids of things like lockdown drills and metal detectors at school entrances. How have your kids found this? Also concerned about our kids visiting friends' houses and playing with the parents' gun cabinet.
- Pride and Sexuality: We have a fairly liberal outlook and one of our sons liked to wear pink and dresses as a kindergartener. In our view, this was only healthy exploration and didn't mean anything about his future sexuality (etc) but also we wouldn't care if it did. The school and community in Canada had the same view. My concern is how his explorations would be viewed in NC, and whether he would be restricted in or bullied for his future expressions of self, whatever they turn out to be. Obviously all kids have their challenges, but I would want to school and community as a whole to be on his side.

Anyone have experience of these issues and can advise?
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Old May 7th 2020, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

A view from NC:

I have been known to compare Charlotte to Toronto - a modern, rapidly growing city with no soul, where almost everyone you meet has come from somewhere else. ..... In short, a great place to live, so long as you don't have high expectations for culture and class, but bu99er-all reason to visit the place.

Charlotte is massively more liberal than surrounding areas, and from what I understand from one of my colleagues has a fairly vibrant GLBT "scene". I won't go into the entire saga, to which there was a lot more than the media reported, but the whole NC bathroom fiasco started with a city ordinance (by-law) passed by Charlotte city council to further GLBT rights.

If you live in Charlotte, in a middle-income or higher suburb, the prospects of you ever hearing gunfire are very slim. .... In a more "inner city" area, you might here gunfire and be concerned about it (firing a gun with the city limits anywhere in NC, is unlawful, unless directly to protect yourself or family, or within a gun range.) I have lived in NC for 17 years, a fair distance from Charlotte and being in a rural area I hear gunfire probably most days, but it really isn't something I even think much about, it certainly isn't IMO "concerning".

So far as schools go, unsurprisingly they mostly seem to reflect the part of town where they are located, but yes, the schools do have gun/ active shooter drills. AFAIR there has not been a mass school shoting locally, but it is fairly common for the police to find and remove a gun (pistol) from a school pupil, and to remove the pupil (see below re demographics). I don't recall a case of a gun at a school being used in the Charlotte area, but the police finding a gun at a school is common enough that is doesn't make a huge media headline,

If your concern with "guns" is really more to do with "gun violence", then I wil repeat what I have often pointed out, that gun violence is highly compartmentalized in the US, both geographically, to "certain parts of town", and racially - most shootings are related to drugs and gang activity. So, if you choose wisely when you rent/buy a home, and don't go wandering around rough parts of town, especially at night, then you will actually face a risk of being killed or seriously injured that is little different from living in the UK (where the criminals' weapon of choice would be a knife, which could leave you equally dead compared to you bring shot in the US), combined with a relatively low risk of being burgled, because most low-life's know that breaking into a home in the US, to burgle it comes with a very real risk of the home owner shooting you! The only notable instance I have experienced in NC with a concerning gun-related situation was when I inadvertendly drove into the middle of an armed police action (the police had chased someone on foot, and by the time I noticed what was going on I was trapped between police cars across the road in front of me and several police officers with guns drawn behind me. So that taught me a lesson about taking a shortcut through "the wrong part of town" after dark.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 7th 2020 at 6:28 pm.
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Old May 7th 2020, 4:50 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

We live about three hours south (via I85) of Charlotte and have passed through a few times. We have only spent a couple of days in the city when we went there for a (American) football game. I have, however spent a little time in small cities around Charlotte.

The city itself, as with all cities, has good and bad parts and, as stated, the better areas have far less 'problems' than the 'wrong side of the tracks'. There is always a chance of being caught up in something, but that can happen anywhere. I, myself was one held up at gunpoint at a local Zaxby's (fast food/casual restaurant), where I was a duty manager. It turned out it was a disgruntled employee who was fired a coupe of weeks earlier.

As for LBGTQ+ (not sure what GLBT is! ) is concerned, it can vary depending on how rural you are. Remember that Charlotte is in the south, or Bible Belt, where the first question you're likely to be asked is 'where do you go to church?'. Some, not all, southern types can be less tolerant of differences than others.
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Old May 7th 2020, 5:16 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Hasn't Canada had it's worst mass shooting ever a couple of weeks ago? And UK has been close a couple of times despite our gun controls. And hasn't Canada had school shootings.

And as Pulaski said the problems in many areas of the USA as whole are centred around a certain ethnic grouping. And sad to say that same ethnic grouping will not take too kindly to the membership of the LGBTQ fraternity from your child if he goes that way.

But if you pick the right area you have great schools, colleges and parents bringing their kids up properly and the kids won't care from gay or straight or trans they have too much to lose to mess about. Those kids know where they are going in life and how they need to conduct themselves to get there.

Isn't Duke University in North Carolina. That is one of the top schools in the country. Among others.

Last edited by andyrebell; May 7th 2020 at 5:24 pm.
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Old May 7th 2020, 5:20 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by andyrebell View Post
Hasn't Canada had it's worst mass shooting ever a couple of weeks ago? And UK has been close a couple of times despite our gun controls. And hasn't Canada had school shootings.

And as Pulaski said the problems in many areas are centred around a certain ethnic grouping. And sad to say that same ethnic grouping will not take too kindly to the membership of the LGBTQ fraternity from your child if he goes that way. But if you pick the right area you have great schools, colleges and parents bringing their kids up properly and the kids won't care from gay or straight or trans they have too much to lose. Those kids know where they are going in life and how they need to conduct themselves to get there.

Isn't Duke University in North Carolina. That is one of the top schools in the country. Among others.
Seriously?!?!?! You don't even live in the US, never mind NC!
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Old May 7th 2020, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Seriously?!?!?! You don't even live in the US, never mind NC!
I used to though. I lived in nyc for a while when it was twice as dangerous as it is now and I felt safer there than in England.

Last edited by andyrebell; May 7th 2020 at 5:32 pm.
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Old May 7th 2020, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by andyrebell View Post
I used to though. I lived in nyc for a while when it was twice as dangerous as it is now and I felt safer there than in England.
You are delusional.
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Old May 7th 2020, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by andyrebell View Post
I used to though. I lived in nyc for a while when it was twice as dangerous as it is now and I felt safer there than in England.
NYC is NOT NC. You may as well give advice about taking up residence in DisneyWorld!

Were you not advised by a mod to not give immigration advice or information about thing which you have absolutely no knowledge? I foresee a time in the not-too-distant future where your posting privileges will be completely removed and you'll become nothing but a bad memory if you carry on.
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Old May 7th 2020, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by andyrebell View Post
I used to though. I lived in nyc for a while when it was twice as dangerous as it is now and I felt safer there than in England.
you dismissed my earlier post, but if you are smart you will take note of what I and others are saying to you. Please think before you post as your comments are becoming increasingly bizarre. I do not think you are trolling but the jury is still out. We do not tolerate trolls.

if you wish to discuss my comments plse do so via PM a per our Site Rules. Thanks.
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Old May 7th 2020, 8:02 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Lived in and around Charlotte for four years while in college. My husband is also born and raised in the greater metro area and all of his family live in Meck. Co. and Union Co.

I felt safe in most areas around the city by myself and with young children. I found that families either love or hate guns. You won't be alone in your aversion to having children around their friends' houses if guns are kept there, but be aware that guns are a revered part of the culture for some. Unless you're mixed up in the wrong crowds or go wandering through a bad part of town at night, gun violence will barely affect your life except for the odd headline. Open carry is also allowed so you will see guns out and about. I know that some children have had shooting drills in schools but most parents aren't concerned for their safety on a daily basis.

As for the pride and sexuality questions, the Charlotte Metro area is very divided in some ways. Charlotte Pride is a popular event every year and there are very liberal areas. I'm thinking of Davidson in particular due to the college but there are others. Other areas, however, are very conservative and they won't understand your liberal take on life and raising children. That's not to say you'll face abuse necessarily but prepare to hear comments that you may not appreciate in and outside of schools. I know of plenty of schools where diversity is encouraged and valued, others not so much, so I would do a little research if you can before enrolling.

Overall, Charlotte is a wonderful city to live in for so many reasons. It's relatively affordable, well connected in terms of transport, and a booming area for business and education. Although the pandemic is widely affecting air travel, American have previously had three direct flights to London every day so it was very easy for me to get home. You'd be close to the mountains and the beach, all within three hours drive of the city. The hardest part was the heat and humidity for me but you get used to it. I'm sure Canadian weather can be similar.

Please feel free to ask me any more questions and best of luck!
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Old May 7th 2020, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by matthews94 View Post
.... Open carry is also allowed so you will see guns out and about. ....
In 17 years in NC, mostly working in Charlotte, but living in a semi-rural area and shopping in nearby towns, I think I have only seen "open carry" (pistol in holster on belt) once, other than by police officers, obviously, unless you're talking about rifles in gun racks in pick-up trucks during hunting season, but that really isn't going to apply in Charlotte.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 7th 2020 at 8:17 pm.
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Old May 8th 2020, 3:38 am
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Well obviously I do not live in NC but as the comments seem to be addressed at a general view of the US

I live in a big time hunting area but outside of that I do not recollect seeing anybody open carry, if I wanted to conceal carry it would be in London where I was once threatened with a gun.

I know quite a few members of the LG community, one B, not sure any of the rest of the alphabet and not aware of any issues.

Did not think Charlotte would be that different, NC even has a Denver.

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Old May 8th 2020, 4:21 am
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
.... NC even has a Denver.
Well it sounds more snappy than "Dry Pond".
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Old May 8th 2020, 11:54 am
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

My concern is how his explorations would be viewed in NC, and whether he would be restricted in or bullied for his future expressions of self, whatever they turn out to be. Obviously all kids have their challenges, but I would want to school and community as a whole to be on his side.
Honestly, I wouldn't want my child anywhere near South of the Mason/Dixon line in that situation. You have to realize that NC, even though it's no TN, is still the Bible belt - people can and do revolve their whole lives around going to church and the older population will not be as 'liberal' or as tolerant as the younger one is. This is true of anywhere in the South.

Many still continue to instill these 'values' in their children.

Is he likely to be bullied? Unfortunately my honest opinion would be yes I'm afraid. I'm not sure he would avoid that anywhere - at least from some 'dumb jocks' anyway.

However that's a view from GA. I haven't ever lived in NC and certainly not in a big city. The more rural you get, the more intolerance you get, generally speaking.
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Old May 8th 2020, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Lifestyle Differences UK vs Charlotte, NC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
In 17 years in NC, mostly working in Charlotte, but living in a semi-rural area and shopping in nearby towns, I think I have only seen "open carry" (pistol in holster on belt) once, other than by police officers, obviously, unless you're talking about rifles in gun racks in pick-up trucks during hunting season, but that really isn't going to apply in Charlotte.
Yeah, I have never seen open carry in Charlotte... outside of when I and some others open carried on a private outdoor gun range.

Charlotte is a nice and bland city. That said there is a good amount of stuff to do, places to hang out, good beer and food selections. Very good employment opportunities with all the large and small corporations.

I've found people here to be very accepting of sexuality. There is an annual pride parade that attracts thousands. Even many of the churches here don't give a crap. That said, when it's a small kid I think it could attract bullying in the school system. That's just me being honest.
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