The financial cost f LGBT discrimination
There are still 30 states where it’s legal to discriminate against someone because they identify as LGBT. Such inequities affect our quality of life, but have you ever considered how LGBT discrimination affects your financial health?
LGBT discrimination and debt
Leslie Tayne is the founder and lead attorney at Tayne Law Group, a debt solutions law firm based in New York City. Leslie has 20 years of experience in the practice of consumer and business financial debt-related services, and her work has appeared in Inc. Magazine, Forbes and the Huffington Post, among many other media outlets. Tayne Law Group has been voted Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s best debt consolidation service four years in a row, and Leslie has twice been honored as one of Long Island Business News Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business. She is also the author of Life & Debt: A Fresh Approach to Achieving Financial Wellness.
Leslie joins us to offer her insight on LGBT discrimination and share steps to take if you’re being discriminated against. She discusses the impact of discrimination on our finances, explaining why a healthy savings account is crucial for the queer community. Listen in for Leslie’s top tips on managing debt and learn how short-term financial discipline can lead to long-term rewards.
Listen to our discussion Leslie Tayne discuss LGBT discrimination and debt:Bringing discrimination to light can create … an opportunity for change. - @LeslieHTayneEsq of Tayne Law Group' quote='Bringing discrimination to light can create … an opportunity for change. - Leslie Tayne of The Tayne Law GroupClick To Tweet
1. Where we live
Seventy-five percent of LGBT people live in either the urban core or suburban areas. The primary reason for this is safety in number. As a matter of fact, our number one post on DebtFreeGuys.com is Affordable Gay Cities. That’s because, as many of us can relate to, living in larger and safer urban areas or traditionally more expensive.
2. Success in our careers
Only recently has LGBT discrimination in the workplace started to subside due to companies taking a stand for all their employees and providing a safe and harassment-free workplace. Although this is primarily due to policies being put in place, we know that not all companies are able to or actually police these policies. This means that many LGBT individuals stay in the closet at work. A full 40% of queer individuals are still in the closet at work for fear of discrimination.
As Jay Allen, former Senior Vice President at Charles Schwab once pointed out on the Queer Money™ podcast, when we hide who we are at work, we spend energy that could be used to give our all, 100% to our work. This means that for many in the LGBT community, we stagnate in our jobs, don’t seek promotions and don’t socialize with our peers, where opportunities may become apparent because we don’t want to be “outed” at work.
3. Our costly educations
In a recent study conducted by MassMutual, data was uncovered that shows that the average LGBT household holds approximately $40,000 more in student loan debt than the general population. This is often due to the need to prove our worth to ourselves, our families and our employers to feel like we are “equal.” This is backed by data from a study conducted in England as well.
The above reasons are why we invited Leslie to discuss discrimination and debt on Queer Money™. She provided, not only some great data but discussed ways we can prepare ourselves to face LGBT discrimination head-on, especially at work.
Topics covered about LGBT discrimination
Leslie’s insight into LGBT discrimination
- Very accepting community, large LGBT population
- Less overt discrimination than other areas
- Still legal to fire or deny services in 30 states
Leslie’s advice on handling perceived discrimination
- Keep detailed written record, look for patterns
- Discuss with employment rights attorney or trusted friend
- Take issues to HR or supervisor and keep record
- File complaint with state labor department or EEOC
The value in discussing perceived bias before going to HR
- Avoid ‘crying wolf’ due to heightened sensitivity
- Must be taken seriously to affect real change
Leslie’s advice around finances for the LGBT community
- Larger savings cushion (12 months of living expenses)
- Keep more cash on hand for emergencies (i.e.: evacuation)
Why debt continues to grow among minority communities
- Lack of access to information, support
- No two finances same (priorities differ)
Leslie’s take on changing careers for financial reasons
- Don’t be afraid, may be best option
- Self-preservation and peace most important
Leslie’s top tips for managing your debt
- Gain awareness of spending habits
- Budgeting is a necessity
- Practice self-control
What Life & Debt offers readers
- Practical advice (budget, credit score, etc.)
- Focus on changing money mindset