Yes, the myth of the wealthier than non-gay gay community was started by a research firm that looked the disproportionately prime-aged, wealthier, SINK and DINK male readers of certain gay publications and found, surprise, surprise, that they were younger, whiter, and wealthier than the average adult consumer -- basically certain advertisers' wet dreams. The company, Overlooked Opinions, which was located in Chicago, then passed this off as valid scientific research describing all gay people which it most certainly -- and, finally apologetically admitted as such by Overlooked Opinion's owner -- was not.
The only valid scientific research (properly using matched pairs) I know of on the incomes and relative wealth regarding gay people and non-gay people was conducted at the behest of the State of Maryland by then-University of Maryland -- College Park professor Lee Badgett. Lee has done followup work on behalf of NGLTF's Policy Institute, MIT, and the U.S. Census Bureau, some of which expanded on her original work's holes in ignoring the effects of lack of right to marry on couples' lifetime incomes. Her subsequent work also increased the information available on gay parents' incomes.
What Lee has consistently found is that, as with every other form of discriminatory oppression, homohatred has a negative effect on income. In other words, as a people, gay people are poorer than non-gay people due to antigay oppression and that, when other oppressions such as those based on race and sex are added to homohatred, the negative effect is compounded. Lesbians are thus poorer than gay men and lesbians of color raising children are, as a group, the poorest of us all -- which is very important information given that lesbians of color are the most likely of us to raise children.
There are, of course, gay people with plenty of disposable income but they are a niche and not the norm and, even they, as a niche group, are negatively affected fiscally by antigay oppression. In other words, as a subgroup, wealthy gay men, when taken as a whole, are less wealthy than wealthy non-gay men. (Ah, the blessings of matched pair research!)
They have -- we all have, for that matter -- been undermarketed and that the business community is finally starting to take more serious note of that is a good thing but it doesn't change the basic fact of our collective lower income as a people.
What gets to me about all this is the persistance of the rich queer myth -- defended most staunchly in my experience by those who most want to oppress us (religious political extremists) and many of our own people. The first group came as no surprise but the second one, who I've experienced to be the most viciously intractable when confronted by the facts -- well, the first time I experienced the angry vehemence of the denial was at a public talk I gave over a decade ago on the fight for marriage equality and how it would likely play out in Indiana and I was, frankly, astounded. I had personally discussed it with both Prof. Badgett and the Overlooked Opinions owner and provided much information to the audience beyond which was readily available -- information that was lapped up by the professors in attendance -- yet these students remained outraged in their denial to the point of rudeness.
It was something I was to experience again and again. In fact, on the GayIndy list over the years, I've provided the same basic information about the myth, how it came about, the players involved, updates, etc., yet still the myth persists among some of that list's regular readers.
I believe that it is due to some deep wounding in our collective psyche causing an odd clinging to a myth that is routinely used to further deny us equality and thus perpetuate the sad fiscal truth or make it worse -- but I have no proof of that. Have any of you had similar experiences or are any of you able to shed more substantiated light on the genus of this strange denial?