Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gay Money; An Argument for Marriage

Last week the New York Times ran a story titled: "The High Price of being a Gay Couple". In the article, the NYT proposed fake scenarios in which they looked at 2 gay couples, 2 men and 2 women, both with incomes of $70,000 or more each, and how that money was spent. According to the article, the couples lived in states with the highest gay populations; New York, Florida and California. All couples were college educated, were home owners and spent about half to over half of their income on taxes, health care, child care (assuming there was children in the picture) and other necessities that are a natural part of coupled life.

The article brought in some great points, and made a great argument for gay marriage, all of which I completely agree with.

What I didn't agree with are the unrealistic incomes of all parties involved. This article assumes that most gay men and women are upper middle class to wealthy, and in some areas of the country this is true, however it's not in most cases.

I happen to be college educated, have a fairly decent job, and so does my partner. We live in New York state, we don't have children, and we rent our home not own. I do not make anywhere near the assumed $70,000 a year, nor does my partner. Our incomes combined are a little over the single, $70,000 each article starting line. So what gives?

The majority of gay men and women earn between $25,000 - $50,000 each per year. The top 10% earn between $70,000 and $100,000. This includes educated individuals living in all 3 states the article highlights. Although as I mentioned before, if you just take NYC alone, the cost of living is more, so incomes may average out a bit higher there. If you just take Manhattan alone, then $70,000 is about right, seeing as how Manhattan is next to impossible to afford, even on a duel income of $70,000 each. You factor in kids, taxes etc., forget about it!

I guess what I'm trying to say is this. Once again, big media misses the bus on the gay community. I was really excited to read the article when I saw the headline, but as I read, I became disillusioned. I felt disconnected with the article, then realizing the times was missing the big picture. I know many gay men who like to claim they earn way over what they actually do, and if you meet a gay individual who tells you he earns over $70,000 a year, he's probably full of shit.

There are exceptions, and some who do, but if you take the majority of gay men and women in all 3 states, you'll see that most of us are middle class men and women who lead normal 9 to 5 lives. We are far from the glossy, fabulous lifestyle that was and is still portrayed in American society.

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