Queer Luxuries

Suze Ormann, The Lesbian High Priestess of Finance urges us all to have “the courage to be rich” (!) but let’s face it; courage is probably not going to propel most of us down the yellow-brick road to wealth in today’s world of vast economic inequalities.

I actually have one of Suze’s books sitting on my desk, her gleaming white smile reminding me that financial freedom is just around the corner if only I could get my shit together and actually do one single thing she recommends!* But it’s all so desperately dreary. Debt, savings, retirement, insurance, wills. There’s a reason I didn’t go to law school, clearly!

Perhaps because of my own less than stellar record with regard to financial (a-hem) planning, The Advocate’s Oct. 21 cover story, “The Cost of Being Gay,” caught my eye. With the economy bottoming out, author John Cloud asks, can you afford to be gay? Cloud’s lead-in: “We all agree that sexual orientation isn’t just about whom you sleep with but how much of your identity is tied up in the things you have to buy (not to mention the price you’re willing to pay for them).” Read the rest of the article here. And surprise! The cover image is a photo of a white gay man. Who could have predicted it?

Given the recent posts I’ve read on several sites (my own included) about ways to be frugal and fabulous, I think a lot of us are asking these questions and trying to reconsider the consumer-oriented definition of being gay/queer/lesbian that, quite frankly, magazines like The Advocate have been promoting ever since I can remember.

Is queerness a luxury accessory to be bought and sold?
Does wealth/racial/gender privilege transform ordinary homos into A-list power gays or uber queers?
Do these issues play out differently for gays and lesbians, butches and femmes?
What’s a progressively-minded and fashion-forward femme to do???

*A Note, Genteel Reader:
Yes, Sublimefemme really does curse like a sailor. In the future, I will make every effort to restrict my profane outbursts to desperate situations only–animal cruelty, shoe envy, and beauty products confiscated at airport security checks.