Today’s episode is a topic near and dear to my heart: the hidden costs of being LGBTQ+. Financial coach Cait Howerton, MBA, AFC® joins the podcast as we chat about the unexpected financial challenges of being LGBTQ+, even in a post-marriage equality world.

Cait is a Financial Coach and Candidate for CFP® Certification who infuses authenticity and inspiration with proven financial processes to yield innovative, ideal and sustainable financial plans for each of her client’s unique journeys. She is a Student Loan and Relationships & Money Specialist; her ideal niches include the XY Generation, LGBTQ+ individuals and progressive and unconventional professionals. Her additional interests include Trauma-Informed Financial Practices, Emotionally Focused Therapy, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and her golden retriever Charlie. In her “free time,” she is studying to sit for the CFP exam in November 2019.

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INTRO [00:00:00] Hello. And welcome to the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I’m your host, Michelle Waymire. And each week, I’ll be bringing you tips and tricks to help you take control of your finances as well as interviews with people who made big financial changes in their own lives. So join us. And we’ll help you get your financial s**t together.

MICHELLE: Hello, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. I am super excited, y’all. It’s gonna be a pretty sweet episode because I have my very dear friend Cait Howerton here with me to talk about the invisible costs of being LGBTQ+. So Cait is an accredited financial counselor, a total money badass.

She’s also working on the CFP certification— which, for those of you who are not quite as familiar with all the industry alphabet soup type business, that’s actually the big one for financial planners. So soon, she won’t just be here lecturing about all of the important considerations for LGBT folks, young professionals, couples in relationships. She can also help you build a financial plan one day, which is very exciting business. So welcome, Cait. I’m really pumped to pick your brain today.

CAIT: Yeah. Thanks for having me.

MICHELLE: So you’re a financial coach. And I kinda wanna start by having you just share your story with folks, like how you got into this business. Because I think your background is so interesting.

CAIT: For sure, for sure. So, you know, I actually finished my MBA in 2014. And I had no inkling to be in personal finance whatsoever. My undergraduate degree was in management and marketing. And I thought that I would really go the route of the pretty design, and making collateral, and making beautiful websites, and etc.

And I found that I hated it. I loved what I was doing in school. But so I actually navigated to the hospitality industry. And that was kind of a, I’m going to just stay put for a little while and figure out what’s next while I’m in— I was living in New Orleans at the time, which is ve— very, excuse me— hospitality driven.

So along this time, I had always been really, really good with money. And my friends knew that I was really good with money. And I kind of became the token go-to person when it came to talking about what is a retirement, or what health benefits to choose, or how to build a budget, and so on and so forth. And I found as I was, you know, migrating into adulthood that people truly struggled with money. And for me, it was something that I was intuitively good at.

And most of the time, what I was seeing was that people were not struggling with money from the numbers side. They grasped the addition and subtraction. They were struggling with the behavioral aspects of money. So I started googling. I figured there had to be something like a financial counselor or a financial therapist, you know, someone who could talk to you about why you did what you did with your money.

And I came across the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, saw that they had an accredited financial counselor certification. I was like, this is exactly what I’m looking for. So I delved into this certification and worked my way through achieving the accreditation.

And shortly before receiving my marks with the AFC, I was practicing through various nonprofits, doing financial coaching and financial counseling for nonprofits within New Orleans and throughout the Southeast. And then I migrated to Atlanta so that I work full-time as a financial coach. And like you said, I am working towards my CFP as well.

MICHELLE: Awesome. So I love that you have this behavioral emphasis because you and I have talked about this before. You know I’m on like team behavior and money all the way.

CAIT: Mm-hmm.

MICHELLE: But one other thing that I love about the work you do is that you also have a little bit of a specialty in working with LGBTQ folks. And this is a topic that’s pretty near and dear to my heart. I consider myself part of that community as well. And so I’m curious to kind of hear as we talk about the invisible costs of being LGBT.

Because I think some of us have this sense that, you know, now that we have marriage equality, that it’s all easy now, right? That financial planners who specialize in working with this group don’t really have anything new to bring to the table now that more traditional marriage options are available. And I— you know, you know this. And I know this to some extent as well that that’s flat-out not true.

CAIT: Right.

MICHELLE: So I’m wondering if you can kind of give us a brief overview. If you think about the invisible costs of being LGBT, what examples can you think of?

[00:05:05] CAIT: Yeah. So I— you know, at a high level, to bullet point the issues, I would say where we live, so the living location and the cost of the location as to where we reside. The wage gap, that is still very present, of course. We hear about it right now all the time for women versus men and trying to break the glass ceiling. But also there is still a very, very real wage gap within the LGBTQ community.

Discrimination, whether at home or at work. Some taxes and laws, those of course are evolving and changing as with marriage equality. But and then also parenthood, becoming a parent. Those would— I would say that those are kind of the core issues that are going to encompass some of that invisible hand, or those invisible barriers that LGBT people are still facing financially.

MICHELLE: Yeah. So let’s talk about some of those in turn. I think the first one that you brought up is really interesting, so this idea that people are being driven to urban areas. And so, you know, how does that impact or potentially disproportionately impact LGBTQ folks?

CAIT: Yeah. So this one is something that is very I don’t wanna say sensitive, but sensitive to even me. So for me myself, I had a bit of a difficult coming out process— not awful, but it was still trying. And so I grew up in Arkansas. And so it was very difficult to be LGBT at the time— and still is in many, many ways. And so I was like, I’m getting the hell out.

And so in getting the hell out, I wanted to go somewhere that I could be myself, be accepted, be understood, and also not be fearful of receiving snide looks or remarks just by walking down the street holding my partner’s hand, but more importantly also just to remove myself from a situation of potential violence and aggression. And so oftentimes, LGBTQ people are relocating to areas that have a higher cost of living versus staying in more of the rural hometowns that they resided in or grew up in. Just and with that being said, there’s the cost of moving. There’s the cost of living in a more expensive place.

And on top of that, there is the opportunity cost that they’re foregoing. By staying at home, you have access to community. You have access to family and friends— whether it’s babysitting, or it’s bringing stuff over when you’re sick, or coming to check on you.

And there are— of course, it’s been proven that we have such large benefits, and it even impacts our longevity of life for the having community, just overall not living in isolation. And so those are some of the big costs that I can think of. When we have to move simply because we’re not accepted, it really can impact our wallets.

MICHELLE: Yeah, wow. Gosh, I didn’t even think of it that way. And I think in my situation, like I was very lucky I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, which is arguably one of the biggest cities in the South. I mean, there are a couple other like big cities, but we’re kind of like the big guy. And certainly politically speaking, we’re a little bit of a blue dot in a sea of red.

You know, regardless of your political views or whatever you believe, I would say that Atlanta is, in a lot of ways, a little bit of an LGBT haven in the South. And unfortunately, you’re exactly right. The cost of living here, while certainly not as high as, oh my gosh, Bay Area or New York or any place like that, even we have a much higher cost of living relative to other parts of the state. And so I didn’t even think about, you know, exactly like you said, there are so many pieces that kind of go into that decision to move. And they can be so expensive.

CAIT: Yeah. And even that kind of also brings to mind of not having proper LGBT protections for even students. Students can face a hostile and unsafe and unwelcoming environment within their schools. So they can miss out on receiving financial aid and other support, especially if maybe they would’ve gone to a private school, potentially within an urban area.

And also, LGBT young people and the children of LGBTQ parents are more likely— excuse me, the children of parents that are LGBTQ are more likely to perform poorly in school and face some challenges within their educational experience if they’re raised in a place that doesn’t have that overall acceptance. So there’s some other costs that come from— you know, if you’re discriminated against while you’re in school, and then if you’re trying to have a coming out process once you go to college, and of course that’s gonna impact your studies and maybe even your networking abilities, etc. So the long-term snowball effect of those implications in that trying time of your life can also affect your long-term earnings potential.

[00:10:22] MICHELLE: Oh, gosh, yeah. That’s so right. And I think speaking of earnings potential, something else that you had kind of brought up previously is like the wage gap. So thinking about the wage gap between, you know, LGBTQ folks and maybe their straighter or cisgendered counterparts, can you speak to that a little bit?

CAIT: Yeah. So, you know, this one is really— this is harder to tangibly speak in terms of statistics and metrics. For me, being in financial planning, I like to have the numbers to back something, to really be able to say, yep, this is exactly what happened. But it’s really difficult to tangibly say this because we don’t have a reliable way to understand the depths of financial situations.

Because we don’t have— the US Census does not poll for if someone is in the LGBTQ community at this point. And that’s— it’s something that our legislation still is going back and forth. It was going to be added to the upcoming census. And then it was taken back off.

So but with that being said, the gender and racial gap, wage gap, well, it can disproportionately impact lesbian couples, given that lesbian households have two female wage earners, thereby doubling that impact of the wage gap for women, in some ways tripling it if one or both of the women is a woman of color. So 22% of LGBTQ Americans have not been paid equally or promoted at the same rate as their peers. And that’s given on kind of an aggregate of several studies that have been done and then aggregating that data together of showing, this is kind of what looks like to be of what has been reported of where people are right now as far as earnings potential.

And some of the things that impact this is there are only so many states that offer protections for gender expression, for gender identity, for sexual identity, etc. So one fifth of LGBTQ Americans have experienced discrimination just based upon their sexual orientation or gender identity when applying for jobs and then also just by going to work. There are people that, if they put a picture of their partner or partners on the desk at work, they can be fired. And they have been fired.

And it’s a very, very stressful life to live that way, to not even be able to be yourself. And that can impact your productivity as well just because you’re walking on pins and needles. And so there’s a lot that comes with that.

MICHELLE: Yeah. I love that you kind of make this point that it’s not— I mean, it is about the money. But it’s not just about the money. So thinking about it in terms of particularly like the cultural forces at play in the workplace, and I think it’s— you know, it’s certainly hard for like cisgendered gay and lesbian people.

But I think it’s also so, so hard for, you know, our friends who are trans or nonbinary, those folks who kind of feel a pressure to fit into a certain gender mold. So it’s not just really about relationships. I mean it really is too about self-expression and the type of quality work that we as humans are able to do in an environment where we feel appreciated and supported for who we are rather than having to kind of play this game of trying to fit into like, this is what my relationship looks like, or this is what my gender looks like. There are such— there are so many financial implications to that.

CAIT: Yeah. I mean, I wholeheartedly agree on that. We as a society have— we, of course, want to be able to relate to other individuals. And so we want to find commonalities and things that we share between one another. But there is— there is quite a bit of harm that happens when we try to force ourselves into these boxes.

Thinking about this, for me as a cisgendered woman, I went to sign up for my insurance, my health insurance, the other day. It was open enrollment. And I was so, so very proud of my insur— or my— our HR provider. Because we were signing up. And it said, are you male or female? And I was like, d**n it, like d**n it.

And instantly, it popped up and said, we understand that gender isn’t binary. But insurance companies don’t. We’re sorry, but you have to pick one. And I was like, thank god. Like for this company to be able to acknowledge this, that at least is a step. But we’re still so far away from where we need to be.

[00:15:06] MICHELLE: Yeah, totally. Actually, as a financial advisor, I have a similar onboarding survey, where clients have to fill it out when they want me to manage their money. And it has like risk tolerance and all that good stuff. But one of the things that I’ve found, same concept, investment companies, banks, when you go to open up an investment account or a bank account, they ask you male or female. And I hate this.

As somebody who runs an LGBTQ-friendly practice, I put in my onboarding survey, what is your legal, legally specified, gender? And then I have to put the disclaimer of like, I’m so sorry to make you answer this question. I need it to get your accounts open. And then, you know, again, also leaving space on the questionnaire for people to put their pronouns. I mean, it’s— there— it’s astounding how little of that type of accommodation and understanding that there is in this industry in particular.

CAIT: Yeah. It truly is. (SIGHING) It’s saddening, for lack— just it’s saddening.

MICHELLE: Yeah. So let’s talk about that kind of discrimination. Because I think wage gap is a form of financial discrimination. But what are the other costs of discrimination for LGBTQ folks?

CAIT: Yeah. So kind of like we talked about as far as your wage gap, I would say another cost that really comes to mind that I had mentioned a moment ago was parenthood. Traditional methods of conception are usually not an option for LGBTQ individuals, or queer folks, who typically often pursue much more costly routes of parenthood. So that can be anywhere, and adoption can be anywhere, from $5,000 to $40,000.

Many times, and we see right now with all over social media kind of debates on abortion, adoption, etc., and seeing organizations that are religious organizations that provide adoption services. But then they prohibit LGBTQ individuals from being able to adopt. So it’s kind of that catch-22 of what— there are children who are here and available that we could love and parent. But we don’t— we’re not able to do so.

Additionally, if you choose to go the route of IUI or IVF, that can be anywhere from $5,000, $10,000, to $80,000 if it’s a female-bodied person. For gay couples, for gay male couples, they are— they’re automatically going to have to adopt or use a surrogate. And that’s incredibly expensive. Surrogacy costs around $150,000.

And it is so very taxing with the legalities that go into having— using a surrogate. Because really the surrogate remains— has the rights over her body. So at any given moment, you could invest that money into trying to have a child and then to losing that child in the process.

And then at minimum, even for partners as they go through this process, if they were to adopt, if a female-bodied partner has a child, and their other, their partner, wants to be able to be a parent to them as well, you can place your name on the birth certificate. That doesn’t provide— doesn’t provide protections for you. So you actually have to go another step and do a second parent adoption, which is taxed an additional $2,000 to $3,000, coupled with the stress of making sure that you go to a county or parish that is accepting and is easier to deal with. Because otherwise, you can face quite a bit of discrimination just simply by trying to complete that second parent adoption process.

MICHELLE: Yeah. I work with a lot of clients who are kind of in the process of adopting or considering adoption— and oh my gosh, like the hoops that they have to go through, the amount of cash that they have like sitting in savings to be 100% ready no matter the expense, and bending over backwards to kind of like perfectly align their financial lives and their personal lives, and just get all their ducks in a row. Like it’s just crazy to me. Because you think about, you know, forgive my term, but like doing it the old-fashioned way, so to speak.

[00:19:51] CAIT: Mm-hmm.

MICHELLE: And that is so, so much cheaper. There are no questions of like, hold on, I’m gonna stop you right there. Are you sure you have your life together? And so it’s just— it’s just like fascinating to me to see the commitment and passion and care that people go through in order to adopt. And the expense they incur along the way, it’s just incredible.

CAIT: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And you had mentioned before on transgendered individuals and also nonbinary individuals, so I kind of come back to the, just because you’re a part of it doesn’t mean you can speak to it. For me, I know that there are incredible costs associated with being transgender, and also not just for medical costs, but also with mental health counseling costs, the things that you have to be able to— really that you have to do to prove— I guess what you just said a moment ago about showing that you have your financial life together, you have to jump through hoops just to prove that you know what you’ve known your entire life.

You know, you know your ingrained gender. You know who you are. And to be able to have your body to match what you are inside, you have to jump through hoops to get there. And it’s absolutely— it’s really disappointing. And it’s a hard journey, and it’s an expensive journey.

MICHELLE: Yeah. For those who choose to go through that journey, I think that’s exactly right. The amount of— the amount of time and energy and money that goes into justifying your identity to legal bodies is a lot. It’s— there’s just so much going on there.

And I— and it’s so interesting because we really have touched on so many topics that— like, yes, marriage equality is good. Yes, being able to kind of have access to spousal benefits, all those are such good things. But I think in having this conversation, it really is showing me just how far we as a community still have to go in order to make sure that our needs— our financial needs, our emotional needs— are really taken care of.

CAIT: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And that’s kind of the thing is even right now for racial equality and for civil rights, as we’re moving into a day and age also with human rights, we still have so far— so, so far— to come within civil rights, for people to be able to finally acknowledge that there is a racial wealth gap. And it is a very real thing. And it is systemic oppression that many, you know, people of color are facing every single day with their money.

I was listening this morning to a YouTube video on who actually pays for the rewards that we receive on our credit cards. And it’s the fee most of the time that is passed along to the vendor to pay that covers— that a credit card company is collecting for just by, you know, being able to grant credit, for the vendor to be able to receive payment, etc. But what has happened in turn is that people are— vendors are adding the cost of that to their prices. So any of the goods and services that you’re purchasing are going up a little more.

And so someone who’s using cash, or someone who doesn’t have access to credit, or only has access to subprime lending, they’re having to eat those costs. So as we’re trying to progress forward, it’s even harder. You’re facing one more stumbling block.

And that just kind of reminds me of some of the most vulnerable members of our LGBT community are facing additional discrimination, like based on race, religion, or disability. And it is even harder for them to absorb the financial penalties that are created by, you know, potential LGBTQ discrimination, that process of transitioning as a transgendered person, etc. It makes it even harder.

MICHELLE: Yeah, absolutely. And I didn’t even think about that in terms of all of the like small, overlooked, systemic ways that wealth distribution occurs, exactly like the credit card processing fees example. I mean, I think we— we’re kind of aware of like the big ones, right? We always think about like wage gap and, you know, access to education and like kind of all of the hot button issues. But nobody’s talking about all those little ones, like all those little insidious ways that that takes place.

CAIT: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm, absolutely.

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[00:24:55] MICHELLE: I kind of have a follow-up question for you. So, you know, in talking about all these things, how can we as like socially minded humans try and improve this situation? So I think two things. So, one, if you are an LGBTQ person, what can you do to kind of get a leg up financially? Is there anything that you would recommend that folks do? And then I guess my follow-up question to that follow-up question would also be, if you’re listening to this podcast, and you are an ally, what can you do to help LGBTQ folks in your community?

CAIT: Yeah. So the first thing I would say is if you are a member of the queer community, and you’re wanting to get a leg up, I would say— and this comes from something that’s very near and dear to my heart— is continue to educate yourself. That it is hard, and it is difficult, to be able to start a race behind. But we have such access to resources now via the internet, via the phones in our hands, via computers at school, etc.

And at minimum, if you don’t have access to that, we all have access to a public library. Get your butt there. Get your butt in a seat and spend some time to figure out what you need to do to help yourself financially, whether it’s taking a course like you offer through Young and Scrappy, if it’s going on YouTube and watching videos, or going to like the Khan Academy and learning what you need to be able to help yourself.

I would say for— if there’s anyone who is a teenager, or early into their life, within college, focus on math and science, but especially math. Understand your money. And understand concepts such as interest. And understand those concepts like time value of money, those little things that are often so boring for people that aren’t like you and I. We geek out on stuff like that.

MICHELLE: We do. We certainly do.

CAIT: But understanding these things can help you advocate for yourself the same way that we have to advocate for ourselves when we go to the doctor and do a little bit of WebMDing prior to so that we can check exactly like, are we getting the best care? Are they offering everything that they can to us? I would find LGBTQ financial professionals that you can align yourself with, so someone like you, someone like me. There are many, many others— not as many as I would love to see.

But search the web and find someone. And if you’re not able to afford to pay to work with them, use the heck out of the free content that they’re offering. Because we’re all offering this content, you know, from the goodness of our own hearts and because we wanna see people to be able to understand what they need to do to progress forward. And as you get to the point of being able to— you’ve got your boots on. You know, it’s hard to pull yourself up by the bootstraps if you don’t even have boots on.

Start paying attention to your laws. That’s the first thing that I challenge everyone to do is get out and freaking vote. Because we can make a change. And at minimum, it’s at home. It’s within the cities and the communities that we reside. And then it’s at the state level. And then it’s at the federal level.

And because, you know, we hear so often people don’t come out to vote for these local elections, they matter. And they impact us. And they impact the smallest things that we experience on a daily basis— our taxes, just our jobs. Seeing that Atlanta has— the City of Atlanta has protections on nondiscrimination— they have nondiscrimination laws, etc.

As an ally, I think first and foremost that I wanna be able to touch on is that we make sure that you don’t use that word unless it’s bestowed upon you, primarily because you wanna make sure that you’re— that someone else also sees you as an ally. Because it can— it can turn people away. It can make them feel unsafe that it’s very easy to claim a title and then to not do something behind it.

And doing something behind it is having the conversations with other people, standing up for injustices, saying, hey, that’s not right, at your workplace, at home, when it’s at a tense conversation over Thanksgiving dinner being like— when you see your niece or your nephew or one of your other family members who comes out as LGBTQ, saying, hey, we love you. And we accept you. That’s probably the first thing is really talking, speaking up, and offering acceptance and love.

[00:29:56] From there, I would say voting, putting your money at work, spending in places that are LGBTQ accepting and affirming, and, you know, not directing your money to the places that aren’t. I think the next step is advocacy. If— you know, if you’re able to go to bat and really be heavy-hitting with fundraising and directing your money in places that are lobbying and trying to change laws at a federal level, that’s of course like leveling up. And that’s the next level stuff.

But I don’t wanna lose sight of the things that can be changed just at home or how much impact it is when a family member or friend comes out and says, hey, this is who I am, when you say, yeah, that’s cool. I love you. What do you want for dinner? Like those are the conversations that change the trajectory of someone’s life.

And going back one more point to someone who is LGBTQ, if you face discrimination, and if you face your family and friends not being accepting of you, I would say to know that there are people and communities out there for just as many naysayers. And it doesn’t feel this way. And when you’re sick of it, there are people who will love you and accept you.

You can look online. You can look through community forums, looking through Meetups, groups. And there are spiritual resources available if that’s your route.

And at minimum, if you do go through that discrimination, I think it’s so, so important to look into mental health counseling. Mental health problems are one of the biggest issues that LGBTQ people face outside of workplace discrimination. It’s because acceptance and understanding and belonging are some of the needs that we all as human beings not only desire, but need. And so being able to work through those issues as soon as you can, the earlier the better, will help you get that scaffolding inside of you of like your self-worth, and self-respect, and any of those words that are kind of thrown at us amidst the coming out process to help rebuild that confidence within ourselves.


CAIT: Phew. That was a lot. Sorry.

MICHELLE: Yeah, no. It was so very good, though. It was so very, very good. One thing that I do wanna add to that— because it kind of sparked this thought of, you know, at home or in your community, if you kind of are friends with or coworkers with somebody who is kind of going through a coming out process, or even if it’s a new hire, someone you don’t know who has— you’re getting to know them for the first time. And they trust you with the fact that they might be a member of the LGBTQ community, one thing that I’ve found to be so powerful is if you are— if you want to be a good ally, and you overhear somebody saying something in the workplace, using a word that is transphobic or has, you know, racial undertones or— you know, you have the ability to speak out and say like, actually, I don’t think it’s appropriate to use those words in the workplace. Or, I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss coworkers like that.

That kind of, you know, really taking the time and energy to shut down when other people are saying those things, I think it’s not necessarily enough for you to not say those things. I think kind of going to the next level, so to speak, really is being the person to kind of stand up and say, hey, look, we don’t talk like that here. Like, we don’t use those words, I think can be a really powerful reminder both to your LGBT friends that, you know, you see them and accept them, but also to people who are not interesting in being allies that we don’t really have room for cultivating hate in our office, or our community, or wherever you tend to be.

CAIT: Yeah. I wholeheartedly agree with that. And I saw something about changing someone who is expressing, for lack of better words, bigoted ideas, you know, ideology. That sometimes, even with as much persuasion and as much compassionate questioning and trying to have empathy and understanding and creating a safe dialogue with them, their minds are not going to change.

I think that more often than not, if we’re able to have the crucial conversations, and sit down and provide understanding, and understand where a stereotype has arisen from, and what— you know, why is it that someone believes the way that they do? It may not evolve completely. But I think that they will at least somewhat understand where we’re coming from. And even in those situations, it’s something a little further from where we started.

[00:35:02] But sometimes it’s just not going to change whatsoever. And by speaking out, it’s not— it’s not to change that person’s mind. But it is to help the person who may be experiencing that oppression or that microaggression or macroaggression in the room who’s not raising their hand. It tells them, hey, someone else is in my corner. I am not alone here. And that solidarity is life-giving.

MICHELLE: Yeah. It’s life-giving. It’s also, you know, for a workplace setting, it helps people do better work. It helps, you know, keep the team doing better work. And I think, actually, it can open up LGBT folks to more financial opportunity when they’re in a workplace that they feel safe and secure in. So you— I mean, it helps culturally. But you never know the financial impact that that kind of standing up for somebody else can have as well. That’s, I think, really, really important.

CAIT: For sure.

MICHELLE: Ah, man, this has been really great. What a delight to talk to you about this topic. Any sort of like parting words? Anything else that you’d like to share either about the hidden costs of being LGBTQ or kind of anything else that we’ve talked about?

CAIT: Yeah, no. I would say just leaving it kind of on a moment of— we discussed a lot of things that are difficult and expensive and trying that LGBTQ people face. And if I had my way, of course, we would wipe all of that out and so that it would be a much, much easier journey. But I think that we’re in a place within this generation that we will see the next generation and the generation after that facing far less discrimination and bigotry than what we did and of course the generations prior to us.

But I just really wanna stress that if you’re in a place to where you think that it’s just never going to get better, and you’re never going to be accepted, if you’re at that place to where you’re like, I’m just gonna give up, it gets better. And that’s so cliche. But as someone who I have struggled a large portion of my 20s trying to find acceptance, trying to find where do I belong and who I am, etc., when I finally said, screw it— I’m just gonna accept it. And like, this is what it is. And I’m gonna lose people along the way. But I’m going to tell my story.

That’s when stuff started clicking. And it is incredibly cliche. But we hear all of the time, live in your authenticity, and your world will start to align. Live in your authenticity. Be who you are. Figure out who that is. Do the work around that. And in the process, you will find your community. And you will find the people— you’ll find your tribe.

MICHELLE: Yeah. That’s wonderful. If you’re listening to this podcast, and you also are LGBTQ+, just know that, you know, we have your back. We’re rooting for you. And we love you so very much. And we hope— we hope you get out there and learn about yo’ monies.

CAIT: Absolutely.

MICHELLE: So thanks, Cait. Thank you so much for stopping by. It’s been a delight. Y’all, if y’all are listening to this podcast, and you made it to the very end, I just wanna recommend that— or, I guess, recommend. I would ask you so lovingly to please share this podcast with your friends. Give us a like. Give us a review. Give us a comment.

The more you interact, the more people get to listen to our content, the more I get to share the platform of all of the awesome speakers and interviewees that I get to have on the show. So thank you so much for your support. And again, thank you, Cait, for joining me today.

CAIT: Thank you so much.

END CREDITS I hope you enjoyed this episode of the Young Scrappy Money podcast. If you want to read about my work as a financial advisor and financial coach, you can do so at That’s Thanks again for listening. The Hidden costs of being LGBTQ+ with Cait howerton, MBA, AFC®​

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