It’s no secret that being a member of the LGBTQ+ community comes with unique challenges. But did you know that those challenges extend all the way to your finances?
In 2018, an Experian survey revealed that respondents faced higher rates of identity-based discrimination leading to trouble:
- Finding gainful employment
- Obtaining raises and promotions
- Or even finding affordable housing
A 2023 survey supported these findings, suggesting that LGBTQ+ individuals are highly likely to struggle with homelessness, poverty, and starting families.
This is a sad reality that, in our opinion, isn’t changing quickly enough. Fortunately, there are resources out there to help – and we’re here to point the way.
First, a shameless plug for ourselves.
Cleo fosters an inclusive community built around one principle: to help everyone – everyone – achieve their money goals. We want everyone, regardless of identity to have the opportunity to build credit, access affordable cash, and more. And we do it all through a pretty sweet financial app, complete with a pizza emoji cursor.
If you've been hit with an unexpected expense, Cleo could spot you* up to $250**. No credit checks, no interest, no stress. 💙
Eligibility requirements apply.
But enough about us. From family-building grants to affirming banks, these resources can help you manage your money and achieve your goals, you-style.
In recent years, many financial institutions have grown more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community. If you’ve been around a while, you know that Cleo isn’t the biggest fan of the big banks, still we’ve plucked out a few that go above and beyond to implement inclusive policies for both their customers and their employees.
- Capital One remains one of the largest banks to support the LGBTQ+ community. The firm loudly supports the Equality Act and partners with organizations like Queer Money, GLAAD, SAFE, and the Trans Lifeline. Employees receive benefits like LGBTQ+-focused family planning and gender reassignment coverage. Capital One’s digital assistant, Eno, is even designed to be gender-neutral.
- Citi now affirms trans and nonbinary employees and customers by using preferred names in financial matters. (Yes, including on your credit card.)
- Superbia is another LGBTQ+-focused work-in-progress with big dreams. Upon launch, Superbia hopes to offer LGBTQ+-focused banking, credit access, life insurance, and even health insurance.
- Wells Fargo partners with LGBTQ+ organizations to combat youth bullying and preserve, promote, and celebrate LGBTQ+ history. The bank also offers financial training for LGBTQ+-owned businesses and employees advisors who specialize in working with the community.
Financial and Investment Management
Many people could use a little financial management assistance, but most firms aren’t well-versed in unique LGBTQ+ needs. But these organizations pride themselves on standing out from the crowd.
- New York-based Christopher Street Financial meets communities and individuals where they are. They employ a diverse range of professionals who make it easy to just “be,” so you can achieve your goals in the closet and out.
- MassMutual provides employment and tailored life insurance/financial services to many groups, including LGBTQ+ individuals, women, veterans, and people with disabilities.
- Prudential Financial’s record of openly implementing LGBTQ+-inclusive policies dates back to at least the 1990s. Employees and clients of all stripes receive the support they deserve, and Prudential’s newsroom proudly highlights many LGBTQ+ experiences.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
While many college campuses proudly support LGBTQ+ pride, their high price tags maintain their exclusivity. Several organizations offer financial aid specifically for members of the LGBTQ+ community to help overcome this barrier.
- The Human Rights Campaign is a leading LGBTQ+ nonprofit that operates an extensive database of LGBTQ+-directed scholarships.
- The Point Foundation provides scholarships to LGBTQ+ individuals and helps foster mentorship and leadership opportunities. The Foundation also manages a massive archive of LGBTQ+-focused financial, housing, health, and emotional support resources.
Real Estate and Homelessness
Housing discrimination is illegal – but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. The following resources help tackle LGBTQ+ housing injustice from different angles.
- The LGBTQ Real Estate Alliance partners LGBTQ+ individuals with LGBTQ+-friendly businesses. They provide assistance at every stage of the homebuying process and advocate for better, less discriminatory housing policies.
- MoneyGeek’s Financial and Social Resources Guide for Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth offers resources that provide financial, social, and housing support for individuals facing family rejection and homelessness.
- NAGLREP pairs LGBTQ+-friendly realtors and homebuyers to help you navigate the real estate process end-to-end.
Family Planning Resources
Many gay, lesbian, and trans couples have had their hopes of starting a family dashed by outrageous price tags and discriminatory family planning clinics. If you want to adopt, find a surrogate, or receive fertility assistance, these resources can help.
- The Family Equality Council maintains an active list of grants for LGBTQ+ families who need family planning assistance. They helpfully list which resources do and don’t require an infertility diagnosis to receive aid.
- The Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP) provides financial support to prospective LGBTQ+ families. Applicants may be eligible for cash grants or receive free/discounted IVF, surrogacy, or egg donation services.
- Gay Parents to Be maintains a list of grants and charities that offer financial support for hopeful LGBTQ+ families.
- Mate Fertility is a new startup that offers access to affordable fertility services through its network of clinics and financing partners.
Expanding Your Financial Literacy
Taking steps to make sure you have the resources to car for yourself is important, but how you handle that money makes a huge difference. The following resources impart both general and queer-specific financial knowledge to put you on the path to success.
- Gaby Dunn hosts the Bad With Money podcast, an “unapologetically” queer analysis of life, money, and social justice. This NSFW podcast injects a healthy dose of lived experience and real talk into a traditionally dry topic of conversation.
- The Debt Free Guys blog and Queer Money podcast aim to help you “Live fabulously, not fabulously broke.” The out-and-proud hosts spout free financial advice and good money vibes to everyone on (and off) the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
- Healthy Rich provides free content, worksheets, and financial tools geared toward a diverse community of readers. Rather than pigeonholing readers into a single, traditional budget, Healthy Rich guides users into taking charge of their own finances.
- The Keeping Finance Queerd podcast explores the relationship between money and identity and offers targeted advice to give LGBTQ+ listeners the knowledge and confidence to handle their personal finances.
- Though the Oh My Dollar! podcast no longer publishes new episodes, it’s a goldmine of “budgeting advice from someone that doesn’t assume you’re straight with a salary, retirement account, 2.5 kids, or a white picket fence.”
- SAGECents targets a different user base: namely, older LGBTQ+ individuals who want to improve their financial stability and literacy. Signing up for a free account grants access to a range of tools, information, and resources curated for “gay elders” and their families.
Take Pride in Your Finances – You Know We Do
LGBTQ+ rights have come a long way in the last decade, but the fight for equality and fair treatment is far from over. These inclusive financial resources can help you find your footing and make your own path in the world. And Cleo will be right there with you, every step of the way.
Enjoy this post? Def give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference. Big love. Cleo 💙
*Cleo Plus is our subscription service, which offers eligible users cashback on your money, information on your credit score, and access to cash advances (“Cash Advance”). Advance amounts will vary based on eligibility. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can also apply for cash advance by contacting our customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about eligibility, repayment, and overall terms, please visit: meetcleo.com/terms.
**Eligibility requirements apply. Not all users will qualify. Advance amounts range from $20 to $250. Same day transfers subject to express fees. Visit meetcleo.com/terms for more information.