Adam Dupuis's picture

Gay Men Used to Earn Less than Straight Coworkers. Recent Study Says That Has Changed

We reported back in 2015 that LGBT Households Shop More, Spend More Than Non-LGBT Households. So we like nice thins and lots of them.  But we also asked that year the question: Unequal Pay: The Gay Wage Gap. Does it Exist? We found mixed results then where gay men were earning less than their straight coworkers. But the results are a little more promising in 2017.

A recent Pew Research Foundation study reported:

  • 92% of all LGBTQ adults felt that society is more accepting of them than a decade ago
  • 87% of adults report personally knowing someone who is gay or lesbian (up from 61% in 1993). 

We are now more accepted and hold many high positions in wonderful companies across America.  Have these changes made a difference in our incomes? The trend is saying yes.

For over 20 years nearly all the studies have resulted in the same data, if two men are equal in every way except their sexuality, a gay man will earn about 5% to 10% less than a straight man.

The stability of this finding has been remarkable: it has been replicated across numerous datasets in several different countries (e.g., Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and time periods. It seemingly did not budge. - Harvard Business Review

But, now as we approach 2020, a new and recent paper has found that the American gay male earnings are not showing the same results anymore. Instead of a deficit, there is a 10% premium.

The simplest explanation that came to mind first was the Dan Savage explanation: “It Gets Better.” One interpretation of the literature’s near-universal prior finding of a gay male earnings penalty was that it was a consequence of labor market discrimination against gay men. If that’s the case, then, naturally, improved attitudes toward LGBTQ people would reduce this penalty. - Harvard Business Review

But did "It Gets Better" turn into a 15 to 20% upswing for the American Gay Male?

For more on this, head over to Harvard Business Review and see where they feel more studies need to be done.


Have you seen an upswing in your salary? 

Quicker than your straight counterparts?

Are we just that good and people are finally realizing it and paying us for it?