LGBTQ individuals are subject to two types of discrimination in lending: denials of credit due to their LGBTQ-identity (disparate treatment) and denials of credit, or high interest and fees, due to their economic insecurity as a result of outside discrimination (a disparate impact). Both forms of discrimination are under reported and under pursued, and both can be addressed through improved access to financial services.
Financial services prey on the LGBTQ community in two ways. First, predatory financial products and schemes such as check cashing, payday loans, and overdrafts can extort high fees from users. Second, predatory marketing and attempts to ingratiate financial services groups to the LGBTQ community at events such as Pride parades, banks have revealed their interest in the LGBTQ as a market for its services. But the LGBTQ community can do better than traditional financial services: we can start our own.
As any parent can tell you, there is a high cost to become a parent. This is particularly the case for aspiring LGBTQ parents who often seek the assistance of fertility or adoption services to start their families. Adoptions fees are often more than $30k, IVF treatment costs more than $1k (and often, numerous treatments are required), and the services of a surrogate often costs over $10k.
Due to a lifetime of economic exclusion, workplace discrimination, and diminised earnings means LGBTQ elders have reduced retirement savings as compared to straight peers. Ensuring economic security for LGBTQ folks’ golden years, and the proper inheritance of assets, requires financial planning tools the queer community cannot easily access.
Numerous causes have been named as a possible reasons for why gay bars are struggling: competition from mobile apps, increased tolerance of LGBTQ patrons in other bars, and organizers who have taken politics out of the bars and into the streets. While the extent of these factors is unclear and anectdotal, there is another culprit clearly driving harms LGBTQ businesses: gentrification. Continue reading “The “Death” of Gayborhoods”
Trans* individuals are particularly economically vulnerable due to rampant discrimination in job, housing, and numerous other contexts. 47% of trans individuals report being discriminated against in hiring, firing, and promotion; over 25% reported losing a job due to discrimination on the basis of their gender identity. Adding to their costs, instead of helping them achieve economic empowerment, trans* folks suffer particularly burdens in the insurance and financial services contexts.
Queer Persons of Color (QPOC) suffer the greatest burdens of discrimination which drives up the financial services; they are more frequently victimized by alternative financial services (e.g. check cashers, payday lenders, prepaid card issueers) who charge exorbitant fees for services which often leave borrowers poorer than they started. Continue reading “QPOC Wealth Gaps”