I think it’s great that some communities have dropped the initials that Pride Month celebrates — Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning — and simply call this “Pride Month.” San Francisco started this several years ago, and I note that Portland, my new home, calls June Pride Month as well.
So: Happy Pride Month!
But let’s not forget the initialized members of our community as we celebrate, and remember one thing about our community’s initials: no person is LGBTIQQ. People are lesbian, people are gay, people are bisexual. Individuals are queer or questioning; persons are born intersex: 1 in 100 whose bodies differ from standard male or female, and 1 in 1000 with Klinefelter syndrome (XXY). When we speak of the inclusive community — the folks who, because of their sex difference, have been excluded from the benefits mainstream America conveys on the majority — it’s fine to call the community LGBTIQQ.
But while we are proud, we still lag behind. Let’s remember that being a member of this community means one has lower socio-economic status, on average:
While LGBT persons tend to have more education on average than the general population, evidence suggests that they make less money than their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts (Factor and Rothblum, 2007; Fassinger, 2007; Egan, Edelman, & Sherrill, 2008). Studies on income differences for LGBT persons indicate that:
* Gay men earn up to 32 percent less than similarly qualified heterosexual men.
* Up to 64 percent of transgender people report incomes below $25,000.
* While 5.9 percent of the general population makes less than $10,000, 14 percent of LGBT individuals are within this income bracket.