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Gay Life/Various questions from a non-LGBTer

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Question
Hi,

There are some myths(truths?) about gay people. For example, that they are generally wealthier than straight people. This makes sense to me since gays generally are less likely to have dependents and therefore school-education etc. does not have to be paid for. But maybe I am wrong?

Also, I got the impression that some areas of the workplace are very heavily dominated by gays, so that it actually helps to be of that persuasion. I was thinking of the acting profession, for example, but also showbusiness in general. Perhaps there are other job-sectors I had not thought about?

Lastly, there seems to be a stereotype that a lot of gays are vegetarian. Is this correct?

Thanks,
Geoff

Answer
Hi Geoff

As with most stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth in each of these, but there are also glaring disparities as well.

1. This is probably the one that has the most glaring disparity. The truth is that LGBT people still face considerable job discrimination, and this actually hurts their earning potential. They are often denied promotions or even job offers entirely, based on sexual orientation. Where the perception of greater wealth comes into play is partly what you've mentioned, about often not having child-care expenses, and that is a factor. But that is becoming less of a factor. As marriage equality is becoming the norm, and even before that, more gay couples are adopting children, so there is not as great of a gap as there used to be. Another factor that I think is more of a consideration is that for many LGBT people, knowing that they face workplace discrimination, give themselves an advantage by seeking more education than the average worker. This is certainly the case for me, and that was a very conscious decision for that very reason. I have a Masters degree and multiple professional certifications, which put me in a salary range well above peers in the same profession without the same credentials.

2. This one is probably the biggest misnomer. There are certainly some professions that make it easier and safer to be an out gay man, and that may be why there is more visibility, and thus the impression that gays dominate those professions. But I believe there are just as many accountants, programmers and insurance salesmen who are gay as there are actors and dancers.

3. I think gays, men especially, are more health conscious and body conscious than average, and this lends itself to healthier eating habits. Going vegetarian is certainly a much healthier way of eating than the average American diet.

Hope that helps,

Tedd

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Tedd Adams

Expertise

I can answer questions related to gay life in general, but also specifically questions about gay youth, coming out, dealing with family issues, religion and homosexuality, and workplace issues. I have also visited many of the popular gay travel destinations and can give you advice on what is worth seeing and what is not.

AVISO: También, puedo responder a preguntas en español.

Experience

I have been a volunteer facilitator for a state-sponsored gay youth support group, where we dealt with all of the issues mentioned above. I have also been active in the local chapter of PFLAG.

Organizations
Human Rights Campaign Oklahomans for Equality Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Publications
Tulsa World, Muskogee Phoenix, Tulsa Family News, About Business Magazine, Contributor to the book "I Can't Believe You Asked That!", by Phillip J. Milano

Education/Credentials
Associates degree, Biblical Studies, Kentucky Christian College
Bachelors of Science, John Brown University, Psychology
Masters in Organizational Management, University of Phoenix (Tulsa OK campus).

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