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Gay Men More Likely To Be Poor, Homeless Than Straight Men

Gay Men More Likely To Be Poor,
Homeless Than Straight Men

Gay Men More Likely To Be Poor,
Homeless Than Straight Men

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By Andrew Yarrow
February 16, 2017

 

Despite stereotypes of affluent well-dressed, urban gay men, the likelihood of poverty is greater among gay men than straight men, according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA Law School. In 2013, 20.5 percent of gay men and 25.9 percent of bisexual men in the United States lived below the federal poverty level. By comparison, about 15.5 percent of heterosexual men did. Most of these are men live far from the Manhattans and San Franciscos, in small or medium-sized cities.

It is a mixed picture

The data admittedly present a mixed picture, as gay men in couples actually have a slightly lower poverty rate than straight men in couples. However, African American gay men in couples have twice the poverty rate of straight black married or partnered men.
 
Poverty is slightly more prevalent among lesbian women than among gay men, although the differential is not as great as for straight men and women. In addition, lesbian and straight women have pretty similar poverty rates.
 
Another somewhat counterintuitive finding is that those with lower incomes are more likely to identify as gay than Americans with higher incomes, according to a recent Gallup poll. About 5.5 percent of Americans with household incomes below $36,000 a year said told Gallup that they were LGBT. By comparison, 3.7 percent of those with annual incomes above $90,000 identified as LGBT.

Youth

Homelessness is also much more common among the young LGBT population than among straight youth, according to research by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. As many as 40 percent of the young homeless identify as LGBT, many times the percentage of all Americans who are LGBT. Most of these homeless youth, often rejected by their families, are undoubtedly gay men.

 

Sources:  Williams Institute, Gallup,  Voices Of Youth Count