In the past years, world leaders have agreed to meet global development goals and eradicate poverty. However, in most cases, there’s never a specific or particular mention of gender or sexual minorities and the effect of poverty in this group. Poverty within the LGBTQ community isn’t usually given the amount of attention the community deserves but it’s clear that a lot of work has to be done to eradicate it.
There isn’t quite a lot of data on poverty within the LGBTQ community where prejudices and poverty are widespread yet LGBTQI+ people are finding it difficult to make a living and have to face violence and rejection from their families and the community. While some focus has been put into changing some laws and ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people, legal changes by themselves aren’t enough to guarantee acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community into society.
Changing law isn’t enough- societal attitudes have to be changed as well. When economic opportunities for the LGBTQ community are improved, society’s attitude towards the community also changes and especially in countries such as India where owning a small business can make the difference between having an extra income or putting a meal on the table.
Even in states that have progressive anti-discrimination policies and laws, there are still high levels of prejudice which results in the LGBTQ community finding it harder to access jobs. There is a myth that poverty within the community hasn’t been getting the attention it deserves. It is called the ‘gay affluence myth’. In Western countries, there’s a belief that lesbians and gays are rich. This belief doesn’t do much to bring the conversation to light that poverty within the LGBTQ community is a ‘thing’.
Reasons for Poverty In the LGBTQ Community and How it Affects the Community
When LGBTQ people are denied equal access to various civil rights, employment opportunities or education, as well as family benefits, this can contribute to higher rates of poverty within the community. Even though there have been advances where the community is concerned, LGBTQ rights are never sufficiently addressed where there are policy debates and agendas about poverty in general.
Most people in the LGBTI community have experienced a degree of discrimination in their lives. Some of them are negative, hurtful comments while some of them are extreme forms of discrimination such as hate crimes and violence. While exclusion can be difficult and psychologically tough, there are other more practical results of such discrimination.
Such discrimination may result in higher rates of unemployment, lower education standards, and unequal access to health and social services. This translates into a vicious cycle within the LGBTQ community. What this means is that exclusion towards the community isn’t only felt by LGBTI people. When gender identity is the reason for turning backs on people in the job market, it becomes impossible for people in the LGBTQ community to put their education to use and creates personal hardships for them, their families, and their communities.
This loss of productivity may have many significant effects on social and economic lives of the LGBTQ community. As a result, this has far-reaching consequences to the entire community.