Today, as we can see National Coming Out Day To give visibility and support to the LGBTQ community, we want to highlight one challenge that we don't talk about enough when talking about LGBTQ topics:
It costs more to be queer.
Wage and wealth gaps affect every marginalized community in our country. You've probably heard of the gender pay gap affecting women in the workplace, but we hear much less about the barriers LGBTQ people face in building wealth.
daylight, a queer-friendly banking platform, aims to help overcome some of these barriers. But the LGBTQ community and its allies need a much wider awareness and effort to address these systemic financial problems.
Here are five common financial challenges LGBTQ people face and how you can address them in your life or support those around you.
1. Lack of financial support
After graduating from college with record student loan debts and entering an insecure job market, millennials rely heavily on their parents' financial help.
Unfortunately, many queer millennials don't have access to this lifeline. Instead, they are forced to fend for themselves from early adulthood (or earlier) when unsupportive families cut them off financially and emotionally as a punishment for coming out.
Without the luxury of waiting for better deals, they may be forced into low-paying jobs, cascading wages throughout their lives.
A lack of financial support during the transition into adulthood also means in many cases more debt.
LGBTQ students take out an average of $ 16,000 more in student loans as cishet (i.e. “straight”) peers. Like many millennials, this burden of debt prevents queer people from buying a home, buying a car, raising a family, and getting married when they want to.
If you are struggling to make ends meet due to a lack of financial support, Find out about support services for LGBTQ people in need such as For the Gworls, The Next Generation Project and the Ali Forney Center. Your local LGBTQ center may also have resources and programs in place to support homeless LGBTQ youth.
Allies can support these organizations by donating money.
2. Discrimination in the workplace and pay gap
Despite significant advances in legal protection regarding gender and sexual orientation, queer people still face barriers to professional success.
Almost 10% of LGBTQ people left their jobs because of a hostile environment, and more than 50% experience discrimination in the workplace, after a Out & Equal report.
Unsurprisingly, the situation is worsening for queer colored people, who are hired almost three times as much as their white peers. according to research by the What We Know project.
These stubborn realities limit opportunities in the job market and force applicants to settle for less paid and less desirable jobs than they want or qualify for.
The result? Even LGBTQ workers with a college degree are more likely to earn less than $ 50,000 a year – well below the national median income.
If you are concerned about job discrimination, See the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Equality index for companies Review company before applying.
The report measures guidelines, practices, and benefits to evaluate jobs and help you find LGBTQ-friendly ones (and stay away from those who aren't). Allies fighting discrimination can do the same – review your business to make sure you are giving your time and work to inclusive and supportive companies.
Many people who face barriers in the traditional workforce can also benefit from working independently. Consider open a business such as freelancers or consulting with pre-existing skills.
3. Health care costs
Queer people, especially trans and gender expansive people, experience significant barriers, blatant discrimination and ignorance when attempting to access health care.
Overall, 70% of trans adults and 56% of LGBTQ adults are discriminated against by health professionals.
Even when discrimination is not obvious or intentional, many patients are able to educate doctors in order to receive appropriate treatment. Those who can afford it may find off-grid providers and pay out of pocket – but this is not a realistic option for many.
These circumstances discourage LGBTQ people from receiving basic preventive care, putting them at greater risk of health problems later in life.
This risk, coupled with the need for unique care such as medical conversion, HIV prevention and treatment, and family planning services, results in increased healthcare costs. Now do the math and imagine what it means to pass these costs on to a population that is less likely to have a job that provides health insurance or pays enough to cover it.
When faced with high healthcare costs, Start with a look at the health insurance marketplace below HealthCare.gov to make sure you are getting the assistance you are entitled to.
For health care needs not covered by your health insurance, look for grants and free services that meet the unique health care needs of our community, including:
4. Cost of living in inclusive and affirmative communities
Many LGBTQ people tend to move into more inclusive areas as adults because they grew up in communities – and with state laws – that do not embrace or affirm their identity.
The biggest Concentration of the LGBTQ population happens on the coasts and in major metro centers where state laws and local cultures are intentionally inclusive and affirmative. Unfortunately, these areas are much more expensive to live as small towns and states of the Midwest.
If you are worried about the cost of living, Start by figuring out how much you can afford. Use mints Rental budget calculator to determine your ideal housing costs. Then research the cost of living in the areas you're interested in to find something that fits your budget.
You don't have to travel to New York City or San Francisco to find inclusive culture. Secondary cities like Seattle, Portland, Austin or Chicago are a bit cheaper and more and more diverse.
Even small towns, especially those with colleges and universities like Madison, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; and Salt Lake City, Utah, have thriving LGBTQ communities.
5. Access to credit and credit
You may not know, but borrowers may be legally denied loans and credit cards based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Only 15 states have laws to protect against this type of discrimination.
According to a Student Loan Hero Survey, 40% of LGBTQ borrowers said they were denied college financial aid because of their sexual orientation.
Lack of access to student loans can result in higher education being postponed or abandoned, working during school hours and graduation taking longer, or studying prematurely. All of this has implications for career prospects later in life.
If you do not have access to sufficient financial support to cover study costs, find others Creative ways to pay for college. Scholarships and grants are a common, debt-free method of covering college expenses, and HRC maintains one LGBTQ scholarship database to help you with funding.
Restricted access to credit cards excludes people from benefits such as building a strong one credit-worthiness and enjoy money-saving rewards.
Many banks proclaim LGBTQ pride with rainbow-themed credit cards – but you have to look below the surface to find products that really suit your needs.
If you're struggling to get credit, look for financial institutions that offer credit cards for people with low or no credit, such as the Discover it card, Credit One Bank, and Petal. These companies may not be showing flags of pride, but they are doing real work to improve access to credit for communities at risk.
Arm yourself to face queer money challenges
The statistics are difficult to read, but we refuse to believe that the outlook for the queer community is bleak.
LGBTQ-friendly banks and financial institutions can have a huge impact on the financial well-being of this community. daylight created the first banking platform that rewards LGBTQ people for spending that supports queer values and communities.
More inclusive banking, lending, investment, recruitment, and health care practices and laws can alleviate many of these longstanding and pervasive challenges – queer people and allies alike can urge lawmakers and corporations to make these changes. Contact yours Elected officials to publicize your support for the queer community and select products that match your values.
Daylight and Mint invite financial institutions to continue supporting the LGBTQ community and encourage you to choose financial products and companies that do so.
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