LGBTQ+Community and Finances
Just like you and me, who seem so solid about our gender and sexuality preferences, people that belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer individuals community also have debts and apply for bankruptcy. They are no different from us despite their unique preferences, needs, wants and desires which may have led them to face financial issues.
What is LGBTQ+Community?
LGBTQ+community is also known as LGBT community, gay community, GLBT community or queer community. The “Q” at the end of LGBT may also mean “Questioning”, which refers to someone who is questioning his gender identity or sexual orientation. Known to us, these people are unified by social movements and a common culture.
What Leads to the LGBTQ+Community’s Financial Struggles and Debts?
Since the LGBTQ+ population has unique needs and wants – the need to be accepted and the feeling of secured belongingness – they face unique challenges that actually affect their finances which at times may lead to uncontrollable spending and unwise budgeting habits resulting in debts.
Understanding the emotional and psychological struggles of the LGBTQ+community, we may also understand the circumstances that placed them in a pile of debts with creditors that eventually cause some of them to seek bankruptcy protection as well. Let us take a closer look at them:
Discrimination because of your gender preference and sexual orientation is hard to deal with. Although you are not obliged to prove anything human nature, as it is, proved to be that you are gregarious.
Discrimination impacts your life, spending and your finances. In a lot of ways, this unjust response of people towards you may result in more negativity than positivity. In what aspects then does discrimination affect you:
- Housing. You and your LGBTQ friends may have encountered this – discrimination has resulted to a higher housing cost for you.
Only 24 states in the US have laws that prohibit housing discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Some other states only safeguard you from either gender identity or sexual discrimination, and not both.
You also may have moved to a major city in the U.S. to avoid discriminatory places so you can live with peace and acceptance. It follows that housing rentals and/or housing ownership in your new place of residency are quite expensive because of location status and classification.
- Professional stability. Discrimination most often will leave you unsure of your profession and work stability. Just because of your unique preference, you may be passed over jobs and promotions that will affect your financial standing. Not having a job means not having means to spend for your daily cost of living, pay bills or current debts. This could be your worst nightmare since you know where this leads you – more debts.
- Harassment. You are more prone to harassment in different ways because you have different views, beliefs and preference about your identity and sexuality. You may experience harassment in various forms – physically, psychologically and emotionally. Harassment often happens in your workplace although it does not choose a particular environment.
Harassment makes you feel uneasy, uncomfortable and unsecured. If these emotions set in, you tend to veer away from the confronting issues and scenarios, eventually leading to life-changing decisions that will also affect your finances.
2. Starting a Family
Much like any other couple, the LGBTQ+coummunity members also aspire to build a family. There are a number of ways on how you can achieve having a family but the cost you have to pay may not only affect your finances but result in debts.
You may consider options that are available like adoption, surrogacy, giving birth or in-vitro fertilization (IVF). All of which incur expenses. The struggle now boils down to not only having children but the cost of expenses as well.
Despite all 50 states in the U.S. allow LGBTQ members to adopt children, only a small percentage of 29% raise children. The stringent requirement for adoption says that finances of adoptive couples should be stable enough to cover child care expenses, excluding the adoption expenses to be covered.
If adoption poses as an expensive option for you, so are the other alternatives. You should be financially ready if you are considering to start your family as member of the LGBTQ+community so that you will be able to avoid getting yourself into debts.
3. Medical Costs
As your preferences might be different, so will your medical needs be. Despite the Affordable Care Act that contributed to the decrease in the number of LGBTQ members without insurance and the same-sex married people can benefit from their spouse’s insurance, there is still an existing disparity when it comes to health care in the LGBTQ population.
Here are some reasons why health care and medical costs affect the LGBTQ+community:
- they are less likely to have insurance;
- they are more prone to harassment by health care providers; and
- they are likely subjected to discrimination and refused health care services and so they get the care they need late.
If you are a transgender, your medical and health costs are higher compared with the other members of the LGBTQ+community. These factors contribute to that fact:
- continuous hormone therapy and care that can cost from $25,000 up to $75,000;
- gender affirmation surgery/ies that can cost you approximately $100,000; and
- mental health care expenses as a result of anxiety and other mental disorders that may require long term medication.
These factors and more can greatly affect your finances and may eventually lead you to spend money beyond control.
Freedom Law is Here to Help
As an individual that belongs to the LGBTQ+community, living your life the way you prefer may not be easy knowing that you have to deal with a lot of physical, emotional, mental, social and most of all financial pressures. One wrong move when it comes to handling your finances because of your need to live your life may turn to a nightmare of debts before you know it.
If you feel that you are facing financial struggles and debt, and finding a way to get things back to normal, you may want to seek the expertise of a bankruptcy attorney to check out your options.
Freedom Law is ready to help. Please request a call-back by submitting a short online form. All initial consultations are free and confidential.