Queer Fashion Faux Pas?
“Gurl, you look good!” is a phrase that often accompanies the proud owner of a new Louis Vuitton bag. Looking good with luggage is common in the queer community. There is, however, a bag that’s becoming an albatross around our necks.
Consider that Prudential’s 2016-2017 LGBT Financial Experience Survey found that 48% of queer people identify as spenders, relative to 32% of the general population. Regardless, LGBTQ disposable income spending makes up about 14% of the U.S economy. Although our relatively high income compared to our straight peers, fewer queer people reported in 2016 having started saving and investing than reported doing so in Prudential’s 2012 study.
Even today, many of us come from a place where it isn’t okay to be queer. Despite the talk of “it gets better” and anti-bullying campaigns, queer people still have extra hurdles to jump. Don’t get us wrong; we’re incredibly grateful for the advancements our community has made since that fateful summer in 1969. There is, however, more progress to be made.
As NoBullying.com reported, a Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) study conducted in 2013 found that 74% of queer youth reported being verbally harassed in school, relative to 27% of all students as reported by a 2013 National Center for Education Statistics report. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 12% to 28% of queer youth are likely to experience violent threats and injury on school property, not including harassment.
Because of a combination of reasons, many queer youth run away from or are kicked out of their homes and are 40% of the homeless youth population. For a demographic that makes up only 4% of the overall population, we make up a disproportionate percentage of the homeless youth population.
Children start forming personalities as young as four years old, if not younger. As we grow up, we pick up hints and clues that mold our adult personalities. Even before many children know if they’re queer, they know being queer is perceived as bad.
This dichotomy of what we feel on the inside and what messages we hear on the outside causes many of us to grow up with stunted belief systems. Our stunted belief system results in limiting beliefs, some of which are limiting money beliefs. We’re making up for being bullied, forced into the closet or pushed out of our homes when we were younger.
Despite appearing fabulous, many of us don’t feel that way on the inside or don’t fully believe we deserve to be fabulous. We then go to even greater lengths to prove that we are fabulous, often through showy outward appearance, such as queer fashion, rather than resolving internal conflicts.
Find your purpose
Businessperson and philanthropist, “W. Clement Stone said,“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.”Click To Tweet
From our personal story, we know this to be true. It wasn’t until we got clear on our definition of “success” that we were able to pay off our $51,000 of debt that we acquired in search of validation.
Your definiteness of purpose is the inspiration to turn your financial situation and all aspects of your life around. Your definiteness of purpose is your higher calling and will erase conscious and unconscious feelings of inferiority. So if it’s queer fashion, go do it. If it’s not, well… you know. Don’t!
Clarify your financial goals
It’s impossible to achieve success without knowing your definition of success. Financial goals, such as “to live comfortably,” “to prepared for retirement” and “to be debt free” aren’t adequate.
Financial goals should include:
• Dollar amounts for each goal
• Dates to achieve each goal
• How you’ll achieve each goal
• Why each goal is important
• How each goal supports your purpose from above
Stop being a victim
What we say here will anger some in our community, but we must cease being victims. There’s a difference between being a victim and being victimized and you cannot at the same time be a victim and be a winner.you cannot at the same time be a victim and be a winner.Click To Tweet
Tony Robbins said, “It is your decisions, and not your conditions that determine your destiny.” If you think you’re a victim, your ego wants to prove you right. Therefore, your ego perpetuates the thought processes of a victim, the decisions of a victim, and you get the results of a victim.
If you don’t like your reality, it’s up to you and only you to change it. As Earl Nightingale said, “We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.”
Shed limiting beliefs
Limiting beliefs stem from our conscious and unconscious thinking. Our erroneous conscious beliefs are hard enough to change. Changing erroneous unconscious beliefs is more difficult.
There are three exercises we recommend to change the conversation in your head, your unconscious beliefs. When you change your unconscious beliefs about yourself, you change your feelings about yourself. This is the start of changing both your personal and financial circumstances because your thoughts produce your emotions, your emotions produce your actions, and your actions produce the results you want and sometimes don’t want.
Repeat motivational affirmations daily
Memorize a script that describes the best version of your personal and financial life. Be specific. Choose measurable benchmarks to track your progress and include deadlines to achieve your goals.
Then, for five minutes in the morning and at night, close your eyes and recite your affirmations out loud with enthusiasm and emotion. Visualize and feel what you say.
Keep a daily gratitude journal
Keep a daily gratitude journal and write a minimum of 3 gratitudes per day even when you feel like you have nothing for which to be grateful. If what we focus on expands, focusing on the good will produce more good.
Actively seek happiness
Happiness shouldn’t be a constant goal, but a constant state. If you aren’t happy with what you have today, you won’t be happy with what you’ll have tomorrow. Therefore, every time you have a negative thought about anything for any reason, think of two things you’re happy about to counterbalance that one negative thought.
When you look for happiness, you’ll find more happiness. When you celebrate every win, you’ll have more wins.
As Nazi Concentration Camp survivor, Viktor Frankl, said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
If we as a community want that fabulous life, we must start with the seed of happiness and gratitude planted deep within us. As it grows, we’ll no longer need the baggage that we’ve been lugging around for years. It’s then that we’ll free ourselves to receive all the truly personal and financial success we and our queer brothers and sisters have been yearning for all these years. Plus, who knows, you may really be about to afford that awesome queer fashion you have been lusting after. 🙂
This post originally appeared on Forbes.com/sites/debtfreeguys.