Know Your Worth: 5 Queer Content Creators Share Their Paths to Financial Empowerment
What does it mean to truly know your worth? As we celebrate Pride and the progress made by the LGBTQ+ community throughout the month of June, it’s a question well worth exploring.
We asked five queer content creators to share their journeys to financial empowerment, what Pride means to them, and their advice for other LGBTQ+ individuals on how to live life to the fullest. Check out their responses below!
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What does Pride mean to you?
Alysse Dalessandro Santiago: Pride to me is about remembering our past, honoring our present, and fighting for our future.
Kate Hina: It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come in the LGBTQ+ community. We can’t forget the trans women of color who brought us to where we are: Marsha P. Johnson, Stormé DeLarverie, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and Sylvia Rivera.
Christina Bailey: Pride means being proud of who I am. I used to feel ashamed of who I was, but that was because I grew up not knowing anyone who was gay. Now that I have my own community, I am very happy with who I am.
Denzel Bryan: Pride, in my opinion, is all about walking in your truth and staying authentic. I try to apply that to my everyday life, including my finances.
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What does taking pride in your finances mean to you?
ADS: When I was coming out, I wasn’t always the best with money. And I had the privilege of being able to pass at my job and being safe at home with my parents. But not every LGBTQ+ person has those privileges. So for me, taking pride in your finances means being able to invest BACK into your community. Specifically, that means supporting Black trans-led LGTBQ+ organizations.
Tommy Lei: Having pride in my finances means making informed and empowered decisions that can result in liberating and meaningful changes throughout the rest of my life. It’s about knowing your worth!
KH: Taking pride in my finances means supporting people in my community, and you should too! It’s really important not just this month, but every month, to support and create demand for queer businesses.
These are some of my favorite LGBTQ+ companies to buy from:
- Bianca’s Design Shop is owned by a queer Latinx person living in New York City.
- Loyalty Bookstore is Black- and queer-owned.
- Telfar is owned by a Liberian-American queer person.
- Gc2b is a trans-owned company whose founder created the first gender-affirming chest binder.
- Otherwild is queer woman-owned.
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What financial achievement are you most proud of?
CB: I am proud to be able to provide for my family. One of the things I really enjoy doing is teaching my girls how to save. They love putting coins in their piggy bank!
TL: It took a long time, but I finally saved up for a down payment to own the house that I currently live in.
DB: I’m very proud to say that I’ve cleared a lot of my debt, which will lead me to my ultimate goal of financial freedom.
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What financial advice do you wish you learned earlier as a queer person?
DB: As a young gay Black man, I wish I had gained a true understanding of credit earlier in my career.
TL: Don’t overspend on the things that don’t matter or depreciate over time.
CB: I wish I had known earlier on that I needed to start saving to create a family. I had no idea how expensive it was, but being part of the LGBTQ+ community and making a family comes with a cost. So please make sure you save, save, save!
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Can you tell us about an LGBTQ+ organization you’re passionate about and why?
ADS: One of my favorites is run by my husband! He runs META Center Inc., an organization that centers Black trans youth. That’s where I like to give my money back to because I know that he is making such a difference in the community.
TL: The Marsha P. Johnson Institute. It all started with her, and she’s one of the reasons why we celebrate Pride the way we do today.
KH: We would not be anywhere without the contributions of the Black LGBTQ+ community. The Center for Black Equity helps bring social, economic, and health equity to Black folks within the LGBTQ+ community. Make that dollar count!
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