Recession-proof?

Posted on 29 Apr 2008 at 2:51pm

I received a press release the other day about a new study about a recent financial survey of gays and lesbians. I have to admit, I was a little surprised by the findings.

The survey was conducted online by Instinct Magazine and Dallas-based MergeMedia, and 83 percent of those responded said they felt the gay market is “a stronger financial force than ever before.”

Here is an excerpt from the press release:

Even in the current economic climate, relatively few gay Americans say they’ll significantly slow purchases of big-ticket items like high-definition televisions, computers and cars.

“This research proves what smart brands already know,” said Dawn Meifert, MergeMedia Group’s chief executive officer. “Gay and lesbian purchasing power cannot be ignored.”

The press release said that “industry estimates” put gay and lesbian “buying power” at about $780 billion for 2008, and that gays and lesbians are about twice as likely as straights to have an income of more than $250,000 and hold a financial portfolio of more than $1 million.

In this survey, only 5 percent of the about 500 people who responded in March said they felt they were more vulnerable to a recession than straights.

Now, I know Dawn Meifert, and I am not questioning her survey results. But I do have one question: How many of those 500 folks who responded were parents of teen or pre-teen boys? You know, that strange creature who can eat their weight in food about every other day, who manage to tear holes in the knees of their jeans within 48 hours of purchase, and who need new shoes every other month?

How ever many such parents may have been in that group of respondents, I hope none of them were in that non-recession-proof 5 percent. Because I know from experience that even a six-figure income may not be enough to keep up with the needs of growing kids!

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