Today as we confess National Exit Day To give insight and support to the LGBTQ community, we want to highlight a challenge that we don’t talk about enough about when we talk about LGBTQ issues:
It costs to be cranky.
Wage and wealth gaps affect every marginalized community in our country. You may have heard about the gender pay gap affecting women in the workplace, but we don’t hear much about the barriers that LGBT people face in building wealth.
daylight, a gay-friendly banking platform, is designed to help remove some of these barriers. But it takes a much broader awareness and effort from the LGBTQ community and its allies to address these systemic financial issues.
Here are five common financial challenges that LGBT people face and how to tackle them in your life or support the people around you.
1. Lack of financial support
After graduating from college with record student loan debt and entering a shaky job market, millennials have relied heavily on financial help from their parents.
Unfortunately, many millennials do not have access to this lifeline. Instead, they are forced to fend for themselves from early adulthood (or earlier) when unsupportive families cut them financially and emotionally as punishment for going out.
Without the luxury of waiting for better offers, they may have to work in lower-paying jobs, sequentially affecting wages throughout their lives.
Lack of financial support during the transition into adulthood also means more debt in many cases.
LGBTQ Students Make $16,000 On Average In Student Loan Debt Peer cishet (ie “straight”). Like many millennials, the debt burden prevents gay people from buying a home, buying a car, starting a family, and getting married when they want to.
If you are struggling to make ends meet due to lack of financial support, Look into relief options designed for LGBTQ people in need such as For the Gworls, The Next Generation Project, and Ali Forney Center. Your local LGBTQ center may also have resources and programs to support LGBTQ homeless youth.
allies These organizations can be supported through financial donations.
2. Workplace discrimination and wage gaps
Despite notable advances in legal protections related to gender and sexual orientation, LGBTQ people still face barriers to success at work.
Roughly 10% of LGBTQ people quit their jobs due to hostile environments, and more 50% are affected by discrimination in the workplace, according to Report by Out & Equal.
Unsurprisingly, the situation is exacerbated for black people, who experience employment discrimination at nearly three times the rate of their white counterparts, According to research by the What We Know Project.
These persistent realities limit choices in the labor market, forcing applicants to settle for positions that pay lower and are less desirable than they would like or qualify for.
The result? Even LGBTQ workers with a college degree are more likely than cishet graduates to make less than $50,000 a year — well below the national average income.
If you are concerned about job discrimination, Check out the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index To screen companies before applying.
The report measures the policies, practices, and benefits of evaluating workplaces and helping you find LGBT-friendly spaces (and stay away from those that aren’t). Allies who want to fight discrimination can do the same – vet your company to make sure you’re giving your time and labor to inclusive and supportive companies.
Many people who face barriers in the traditional workforce can also benefit from self-employment. I recommend Starting a Business Like freelancing or consulting using the skills you already have.
3. Healthcare costs
LGBT people, and transgender people in particular, face significant barriers, blatant discrimination, and ignorance while trying to access health care.
70% of transgender adults and 56% of LGBTQ adults generally experience discrimination from healthcare professionals.
Even when the discrimination is not blatant or intentional, many patients are in a position to have to educate physicians just to receive proper treatment. Those who can afford it may find out-of-network providers and pay their money out of their pocket – but for many, this is not a realistic option.
These conditions prevent LGBT people from seeking basic preventive care, putting them at greater risk for health problems later in life.
This risk, along with the need for unique care such as medical shifts, HIV prevention and treatment, and family planning services, is fueling ever-increasing health care costs. Now do the math, and imagine what that means when you put those costs on a population that is less likely to get a job that offers health insurance or pay enough to cover it.
If you are facing high healthcare costs, Start checking out the health insurance market in HealthCare.gov To make sure you get any help you qualify for.
For health care needs not covered by your health insurance, find free grants and services designed to cover the unique health care needs of our community, including:
4. The cost of living in inclusive communities and confirmation
Many LGBT people tend to relocate to more inclusive areas as adults because they grew up in communities that – and with state laws – do not welcome or affirm their identity.
greatest LGBTQ population concentration It occurs on the coasts and within major metro hubs, where state laws and local cultures are inclusive and affirmative. Unfortunately, these areas Much more expensive to live in From small towns and midwestern states.
If you are concerned about the cost of living, Start by knowing how much you can spend. Use mint rent budget calculator To find out the ideal cost of housing. Then research the cost of living in the areas you’re interested in to find something that matches your budget.
You don’t have to go to New York City or San Francisco to find inclusive culture. Secondary cities such as Seattle, Portland, Austin, or Chicago are slightly affordable and increasingly diverse.
Even small towns, especially those with colleges and universities such as Madison, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; and Salt Lake City, Utah, both have thriving LGBTQ communities.
5. Get loans and credit
You may not realize it, but loans and credit cards to borrowers can legally be denied based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Only 15 states have laws in place to protect against this type of discrimination.
according to Student Loan Champion Survey, 40% of borrowers from the LGBTQ community said they were denied university financial assistance because of their sexual orientation.
Not being able to get student loans can mean delaying or giving up on higher education, working during school and taking longer to graduate, or dropping out before completing a degree. All of this has a ripple effect on employment prospects later in life.
If you do not have access to sufficient financial aid to cover college costs, Find others Creative ways to pay for college. Scholarships and grants are a popular and debt-free way to cover college costs, HRC maintains LGBTQ Scholarships Database To help you find financing.
Restricted access to credit cards excludes people from benefits such as building a strong character Balance level And enjoy the rewards of saving money.
Lots of banks advertise their LGBTQ pride with rainbow-themed credit cards – but you’ll have to dig beneath the surface to find products that really meet your needs.
If you’re having trouble getting credit, look for financial institutions that offer credit cards designed for people with low or no credit score, such as the Discover it Card, Credit One Bank, and Petal. These companies may not fly proud flags, but they are doing real work to increase access to credit for vulnerable communities.
Arm yourself to face the challenges of money queer
The statistics are hard to read, but we refuse to believe that the outlook for the gay community is bleak.
LGBT-friendly banks and financial institutions can have a significant impact on the financial well-being of that community. daylight Created the first banking platform that rewards LGBT people for the kinds of spending that support queer values and communities.
More comprehensive practices and legislation around banking, lending, investment, employment, and health care can mitigate many of these long-standing and pervasive challenges — LGBT people and allies can urge legislators and businesses to make these changes. your contact Elected Officials To make your support for the queer community known, and to choose products that align with your values.
Daylight and Mint are calling on financial institutions to support the LGBTQ community and encourage you to choose financial products and companies that do so.