Your Financial Identity
Finance and LGBTQ2+
A survey conducted by SAGE reported that 42% of LGBTQ individuals between 45 and 75 years old were “very” or “extremely” worried that their savings will run out, in contrast to the 25% of non-LGBTQ individuals.1 Additionally, an LGBTQ Financial Security Study by MassMutual reported that 40% of the LGBTQ community worries about money/household finance on a daily or multiple times a week, compared to the 29% for the general population.2 What does this tell us? The societal and institutional prejudice against the LGBTQ2+ community that still continues to persist impacts the financial health of those that are part of the community.
For example, there are 29 countries worldwide that legalized same-sex marriage. This means that in these nations, same-sex couples can plan their financial futures together, finally have their rights recognized under the law. This helps to alleviate a portion of the emotional damage that stems from the lack of legal support when dealing with finances. While it is a significant improvement compared to a time not so long ago, this also serves as a striking reminder that more work needs to be done in order for this to be recognized worldwide.
Additionally, the transgender population’s unemployment is three times higher than the public.3 In a society where some have to choose between securing their income while masking their identity, or embracing their identity while risking their financial status, it creates a great financial barrier that others do not experience nor will understand.
The podcast Nancy, hosted by Tobin Low and Kathy Tu describes the current economy being structured for cisgender and heterosexual individuals, rather than encompassing and fostering diversity among all. A case where a transgender woman was blocked out of her bank account because the phone operator thought she sounded like a man is one of many incidents that highlight the systematic discrimination when dealing with money. David Rae wrote, “It is a bit of a heteronormative attitude to think financial planning is the same regardless of sexual orientation.” Ignoring the differences and variability in needs will lead to a system that only helps the majority while creating a more polarized community as denial of one’s own identity by others or the lack of support simply due to one’s sexual orientation can cause emotional trauma.
As allies, it is crucial to stand behind and with those who are part of the LGBTQ2+ community and listen to their needs. By aiming and working towards creating a society where financial and moreover, human rights are applied to everyone regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, and all other factors, we can help the minority groups financially and emotionally.
The stereotypes and prejudice ingrained in society need to be addressed in all domains, including the financial field as it is an essential part of everyone’s lives.
No one should have to hide their own identity to claim their own rights.
- SAGE, “Out and Visible: The Experiences and Attitudes of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Older Adults, Ages 45-75”, 2014. https://www.sageusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/sageusa-out-visible-lgbt-market-research-full-report.pdf.
- Greenwald & Associates, “MassMutual LGBTQ Financial Security Study”, 2017.
- Out & Equal, “2017 Workplace Equality Fact Sheet”, 2017.