new study supports myth of gay affluence

A study was released today that examines gay and lesbian consumers.
The study was conducted by Community Marketing, Inc. and released
key findings such as:

  • There are approximately 1.3 million gay and lesbian households
    in the United States with children under the age of 18.
  • 85% of gay men and 85% of lesbians said that advertising in gay
    media favorably influences their decision to purchase products or
    do business with a company.
  • 89% of gay men and 92% of lesbians reported that the way a
    company treats its gay and lesbian employees impacts their decision
    to do business with that company, with the majority (52% and 59%
    respectively) saying this was strongly positive.
  • 88% of gay men and 91% of lesbians report that their purchasing
    decisions are favorably influenced by corporate sponsorship of LGBT
    (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) events and participation
    in LGBT charities.
  • For gay men, the median household income is $83,000 per year
    (gay singles, $62,000; gay couples living together, $130,000), a
    figure that is almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of
    $46,326, according to US census data.
  • 40% of gay men reported household incomes in excess of $100,000
    per year. For lesbians, the median household income is $80,000 per
    year (lesbian singles $52,000; lesbian couples living together
    $96,000), and 36% of lesbians reported household incomes in excess
    of $100,000 per year.

I’m delighted to see that purchasing decisions are influences by a
corporations support of our community. However, I find the income
findings to be quite disturbing. It’s my fear that this study will
reinforce the idea that gay and lesbian folks have lots of money.
It supports the myth that LGBTQ people don’t need employment
protections because they already make more money than the average

The Task Force released a report called the
Myth Of Affluence Among Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people
are not, as a class, richer than heterosexuals. In some cases, in
fact, we appear to earn less than comparable heterosexuals.

  • Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are spread throughout the
    range of household income distribution, just as heterosexual people
  • The popular press has taken marketing and advertising
    statistics for specific segments of the community and used them to
    stereotype the entire community.
  • These myths and misconceptions about the wealth or disposable
    income of LGBT people have found their way into the courts in
    crucial civil rights challenges

The gay and lesbian consumer study is indicative of a segment of
our community, but not our community as a whole. For one,
participants were gathered through 75 leading online and print
publications. Not everyone reads the Advocate or visits In
fact, any LGBTQ people that can’t afford the internet or that don’t
have the dispensable income to buy magazines aren’t represented in
this study. Not to mention that bisexual and transgender people are
entirely excluded from the study.

The myth that LGBTQ people are wealthier than the rest of the
population is not only dangerous but untrue.

Here’s a sobering fact: of the estimated 1.6 million homeless
American youth, between 20 and 40 percent are lesbian, gay,
bisexual or transgender.