Are LGBT Couples Richer Than Straight Couples? The Reality Doesn't Look Like 'Modern Family'

ByMehak Anwar

In case you were under the impression that lesbian, gay, and bisexual couples are financially well off, a new report from the Movement Advancement Project and Center for American Progress shows what it's actually like, from an economic standpoint, for LGB couples.

Our general understanding of class and LGBTQIA+ couples is very limited from the perspective of media analysis. First of all, you can basically forget the TQIA+ of the acronym. Most non-heterosexual couples we see on television and in film are lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Secondly, forget any form of partnership that isn't monogamy. And third, forget any depiction that isn't totally and completely hetero-normative. All these issues about LGB depiction on television are right in line with how the media portrays LGB couples in terms of financial stability — incorrectly.

More often than not, lesbian, gay, and bisexual couples on television are either wealthy, well-off, or not at all concerned with the socioeconomic issues that come from being a lower-income person, couple, or family. Think Tina and Bette Porter from The L Word, Cam Tucker and Mitch Pritchett from Modern Family, Piper Chapman and Alex Vause from Orange is the New Black (pre-jail, of course), Emily Fields and Maya St. Germain from Pretty Little Liars...the list of rich couples goes on.

Giphy
Giphy
Giphy

The report, however, which discusses statistics about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans people shows otherwise. In fact, not only are LGBT families two times as likely to have incomes near or below the poverty line as their NON-LGBT peers, but LGBT people of color face even more discrimination, which goes to show that there are multiple oppressive forces acting to discriminate financially against different LGBT people in different ways. The report uses controls like tax benefits, health care rights and costs, access to crisis programs and, most importantly, access to jobs and problems with job discrimination as a way to measure some of their claims. Check out some of these charts that illustrate the problems, and make sure to take a look at the report to see how these issues perpetuate themselves in numbers:

We can stop pretending LGB couples have anything easier than hetero couples right about now.

Images: Giphy, Center for American Progress and Movement Advancement Project