Friday, 7 December 2012

On Gay wealth

So the Prudential in the US has produced a very flawed study on gay people and concluded we have more money than our straight counterparts. I can already hear the usual suspects claiming this means we’re not oppressed.

This study asked 1,000 gay people. 60% of which had a Bachelor degree or higher.

Do they really think 60% of all gay people have a degree?

Considering that the gay community faces (often legal) discrimination in the work place, huge rates of work place bullying, horrendously high mental health problems, depressing rates of homelessness (in some cities a full quarter of young homeless are GBLT), high rates of school drop outs, extreme levels of bullying at school, high levels of drug and alcohol addiction – tell me, what part of all this is a recipe for affluence?

The problem is, again, the closet. One of the keys to coming out of the closet is feeling that it is safe and secure to do so. Wealth and, to a lesser extent, white collar jobs, are more likely to offer that security. Not always by any stretch and no money in the world will immunise you from homophobia. But someone with sufficient security, with sufficient backing of money, of education, or access to lawyers and simply having more options will obviously feel more secure in taking the risk and opening that closet door.

And even the Prudential’s study shows some effect of that insecurity – more saving, more plans for the future, more “what if” finances.

Oh and affluent folk in general are also more likely to actually be in touch with a firm like the Prudential. Where did they drag up these 1,000 anyway?