When it comes to finances, members of the LGBTQ+ community face many unique challenges, often as a result of discrimination or bias.
According to a 2018 survey by Experian, 62% of the LGBTQ+ individuals surveyed expressed that they had experienced financial difficulties because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Among others, these difficulties included:
- Being passed over for a job
- Lower salary or reduced chance of promotion
- Discrimination leading to higher housing costs
In addition, LGBTQ+ individuals often have unique financial needs, such as medical expenses for surgery or hormone treatments, a sudden loss of financial support from parents or guardians, and so on.
While progress continues to be made, discrimination and prejudice still permeate many social and economic sectors. Fortunately, there are a number of resources, organizations, and financial tools available that are specifically designed to help LGBTQ+ individuals navigate financial challenges.
From free personal finance advice to scholarships and grants for those advocating on behalf of LGBTQ+ human rights, here are some examples of the resources that are available.
Keep Finance Queerd Podcast
Hosted by finance educator Ellyce Fulmore, the Keep Finance Queerd podcast offers tools, strategies, and advice on personal finance, directed to a young, queer audience. Through topics like “Intersectionality, Identity and Money,” “Advocating for Yourself & Financial Advisor Red Flags,” and “The Cost of Being Queer,” Ellyce and various guests explore the relationship of identity and money for a smarter, healthier approach to personal finances.
Point Foundation’s scholarship programs offer qualifying LGBTQ+ students not only financial assistance, but also mentorship and leadership development opportunities. The program’s purpose is to cultivate upcoming generations of LGBQT+ leaders who will continue to advocate and act for positive change in their local communities.
Scholarships available include the Flagship Scholarship for accredited four-year universities and the Community College Scholarship for local community colleges.
LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance
The LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization committed to helping members of the LGBTQ+ community on their journey to homeownership. In addition to assisting with home buying and selling, the organization also offers resources for all aspects of home ownership and advocates for better real estate and housing policy to eliminate discrimination.
Dignity for All: LGBTQI+ Assistance Program
The Dignity for All: LGBTQI+ Assistance Program, run by a consortium of international human rights organizations, provides support to human rights defenders and civil rights organizations (CSOs) who are under threat or attack because of their work on behalf of the LGBTQI+ community.
The program supports these individuals and organizations through:
- Emergency assistance: including medical expenses, legal representation, temporary relocation, and more
- SOAR grants: short-term urgent assistance for CSOs to help address volatile environments and unpredictable changes such as new legislation, increased violence, unexpected opportunities, etc.
- Security assessment and training: to help individuals and organizations increase the security and safety of their communities through awareness, security plans, etc.
Accessibility Is Key
Personal finances can be daunting, especially when one’s financial state is exacerbated by outside forces like discrimination and extra costs. Access to safe, accurate financial education and resources is essential for empowering future leaders and protecting vulnerable individuals. Because, ultimately, greater access to information creates a safer, more inclusive society for all.